How much goodwill ?

(117 Posts)
Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 17:01:19

I am supposeing that since this is the staffroom and therefore inhabited by teachers mainly?

So, I am just wondering how much you are happy to do as extras ( unpaid and because you are nice folk) before you start saying enough is enough?

Do you draw the line at additional duties? Bus duties , coming in onm a day off ( part timers), school changing school day and requiring more hours for the same pay, school demanding easter revision classes for students on own time? Attending PM and management meetings in ones own time. How about things like trapped time? How much is reasonable - and where is unreasonable?

Also , how doyou expect to be communicated with? e mail. notes,letter, verbally? Not at all? Told or negotiated with? Do you expect a " Hi Guys" management speak tone from someone you do not know ( colleague ) or good English? Where do you draw the line on palley tone (when you are strangers in all but name) with SMT?


Euphemia Sat 02-Mar-13 20:32:24

We sit down as a staff at the beginning of the year to develop the working time agreement, which sets out how our hours will be spent over the year i.e. class contact time, staff meetings, CPD, working groups, parents' evenings, school clubs, etc., etc. for our contracted 35 hours per week. Anything above that is voluntary.

What is trapped time? confused

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 20:58:17

Thank you for that. I might put that idea up as a suggestion. We do not seem to have any kind of direction on the matter - hence my question.

Trapped time - the time which is stuck in the middle of a timetable which is not paid for and is not part of a teachers teaching hours but which forces them to stay in school unpaid.

For example ( which is why I am adsking about this) on my present timetable I teach 14 periods over three days ( in fact logistically it should be possible to do that in two days with time to spare). It amounts to around a nominal 0.4 timetable ( nominal because it is actually slightly less). However, the time is split so that I teach first lessons in the morning and last lessons of the day only and some 27 hours is trapped between. This time is unpaid and technically my own should I choose to exercise the right to come home.

However, I am having some issues with my esteemend line manager who seems to think that the time is the schools and I should be willing ( good will) to do whatever they ask and attend whatever meetings they ask - and do duties and all other things in that time or after school in some instances .

In questioning this I am being told that I am failing to offer goodwill and that I am not entering into the spirit of what the school is about. I am also told other teachers are happly doing all of these things without question in other schools and it is part of being a teacher.

Added to that my esteenmed manager is writing me e mails in management speak ( asking me to think outside the envelope and to touch base with him .... in my own trapped time of course....... and start balls rolling on various issues. I personally object to this but was told it was normal to be addressed in this way these days! I asked then if I was allowed to write the reports for the parents in such terms ( a resounding NO). so I am somewhat annoyed right now and thinking of giving the school and the job the elbow.

I like teaching but I do feel unhappy about this mission creep ( to use the management speak) or the pushing of the envelope ( another cringeworthy phrase). The trouble is I dont know if I am wrong and plain old fashioned to feel this way.

Arisbottle Sat 02-Mar-13 21:04:03

I think that teaching does rely on goodwill however when it is your goodwill it is up to you to dictate how much you are willing to give.

When I was part time I would come in on my day off because I would rather get my marking done in school hours than in the evening. I think I would do most of the things on your list ( apart from Easte revision - although I have done in the past) but I would not want anyone to assume that I would do them. Although as part of the management team I think the expectations are higher - rightly so.

No one emails me in management speak - but I would not take someone to task on their email style unless it was offensive.

BranchingOut Sat 02-Mar-13 21:22:46

Ignore the management speak, I don't think it is worth taking issue with that.

Trapped time - I think it is reasonable to do the occasional favour eg. doing a break duty if someone is taken ill, helping out with a cover period if the school is really in a fix, but not as an expected thing.

Your routes are:

Choosing to disappear in this time for a few weeks
Flagging up that you are unpaid and therefore might not be properly insured to take on teaching duties in that time? Mmm...

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 21:27:06

I teach 9 hrs and 20 mins a week to A level students only. Thats my job. My job titlestate clearly I am paid for 14 periods a week ( thats 14 x 35 mins - or sometimes 40 mins depending on the lesson position)

I get paid £12K ( before tax) for that + an allowance of £200 to attend 3 HoD meetings a year, organise a budget and enter pupils for exams etc. I am not paid for PPE . I have no " free periods" in that. All marking and paperwork is unpaid (or rather calculated as part of the 12K)

I would not be that bothered if it were not for the sudden change in culture in the school which seems frankly to think that they can demand full time working from me for part time hours and pay and contract.

Hence I am likely to be saying goodbye soon.

I would probably be less upset if it were not for the fact that several other part time teachers who are mothers seem to be getting very good timetables ( working 27 periods over 3 days and with a 3:30 finish - mine is 4:30 each day and I only teach 14 periods) to accommodate their child care and this seems to be at my expense . I too have a family. I would like to see them sometimes. But it seems the school think I am demanding too much in suggesting that.

Neither do I see why I should be attending PM and similarmeetings after school just to accommodate my SMT leader because he cant fit them in elsewhere - or being asked to use my personal time to come into school to see him. I have precious little of it left. The reason for working part time was so I did not have to do so many hours.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 02-Mar-13 21:34:35

It is usual for teachers (including part timers) to have non contact directed time. This can be used for PM and management meetings. You should have sufficient paid non contact time to meet your line manager.

I do lots extra at the moment because my department is woefully understaffed. My goodwill is stretched to breaking point (as am I...) and it is towards my students and very much not SLT.

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 21:38:54

Oh I forgot that - am I insured to look after the kids in trapped time? Good one.

Yes, I have taken to disappearing off site but this is how the situation arose. SMT to me " I would like to see you period 5 today to touch base about targets" ( I teach pd1 and 2 and then 7 and 8 on the afternoon) . Thats lap in the middle of my trapped time. Me I say " Oh sorry, I am off site then as I am not contracted during that time. I will be back this afternoon to teach and then off again"

Him " but that not good show. You need to be more flexible and think yourself lucky you have a job. Other teachers would do it For example ( he names a silly colleague who seems to do all things because she is, I know desperate for a job) would come in. You should too."

I said, "sorry, otherwise engaged today. E mail me with some possible times and dates, I will get back" ........ and on we go and it keeps happening.

Then he suggested 5:40 ( after he finished with the boarding duties) but that requires me to stay on site over an hour after school finishes for me. I cant win. As if I dont do enough.

I dont mind parents evenings, HoD meetings , paperwork ( I used to take it home and I was and am amongst the first to get it done often). I domost things - even take prep although its not on my contract and is specifoed as one thing I am not expected to do - although to hear this guy you wouldnt think it.

Rant over - thanks.

Arisbottle Sat 02-Mar-13 21:46:25

I am not sure you can say that you never see your family when you work three days a week and finish at 4:30pm. That would be a dream for most of us.

Having said that , they should not treat you as a full timer.

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 21:49:46

There is no directed time or free paid periods in my timetable. I was contracted to teach and my time wascontact only ( we had an agreement that any paperwork would be done by me whereever convenient - usually at home - and for a fixed supliment of £200 a year and that also covered HoD meetings.

I do not get paid for anything else and paying me, even for coming to a staff INSET on a day off has never been suggested. They think I should do it for free it seems - although HT acknowledges I dont have to do it at all if I dont want to ( and a number of part time staff have refused to do such things).

These meetings I am being asked for are a new one.

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 21:53:02

But Arisbottle, most part timers are not paid to teach 9 hours and end up sitting at work to work those hours either do they? By the way, I do not have an office or a computer ( or a classroom tocall my own) to do any work at work - hence I have to come home and do it.
Thats why previously the school has been flexible with how I work Until this year.

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 21:55:32

I never finish at 4:30 Arisbottle. Its 5:00 pm before I getout of school usually I never get home before 6:3o because of rush hour traffic. Then I have to do prep and work. I see my DW and DS at weekends ( providing none of the students have sent me great files to mark ( they e mail me anytime during term time - and some e mail me in holidays too).

TheFallenMadonna Sat 02-Mar-13 21:55:48

There was someone in my department who worked two full days and took her PPA on her days off so to speak. She was paid for them, and was very flexible in terms of attending after school meetings, parents' evenings and some INSET days.

Arisbottle Sat 02-Mar-13 21:56:56

Most part timers would get their planning and assessment done in that time . It is very odd that you do not have any paid PPA time. Even odder that there is no where for you to work . It sounds like a very badly funded school .

Arisbottle Sat 02-Mar-13 22:00:53

Having worked part time in the past you do have my sympathy , it is a tough gig. I always attended parents evenings and INSET days.

It is not your school's fault you live 90mins away.

However if they made an agreement with you that you could work flexibly they should honour that . Especially if you are doing extra already .

Is it possible that they are trying to push you out?

RainbowsFriend Sat 02-Mar-13 22:06:48

I agree that no PPA is very odd.

I am a part timer as well and teach 50% timetable spread over 4 days - I therefore have trapped time as well as "trapped" PPA. I just do all my marking and stuff then, while I am in school. Seems daft not to to me. I also don't have a classroom or office so work in the staffroom, or the back of someone else's classroom.

We are often expected to do extra revision classes unpaid as well - I rarely actually get a lunchbreak - and we are expected to do clubs, and bus/break duties as well. I don;t mind this too much.

We are also occasionally expected to go in at Easter to run revision classes as well. I REALLY don't like doing this sad

The management speak would get my back up as well - but it's really a non-issue.

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 22:19:40

Arisbottle, the school is well funded and I suspect most parents ( who pay biug time fees) would be surprised to hear of the Dickensian working conditions and practices really. But that is the way it is.

I repeat I do not get PPA. I do not getpaid non contact time and there isnt even anything onmy contract to say I have to be there for staff meetings or INSETS or anything else. There isnt even the idea I do it at home instead either - thats my goodwill and always was.

I am one of three A level only teachers in the school who run courses specific to A level and are paid for contact time only.

In the past it has not been a problem - now it is, precisely for the reasons you point out, most teachers get paid frees. My contract was different. I was considered to be such short hours that such things were not worth it. It was cost effective to give me a contract like mine.

The new SMT though have failed to realise some of us are not on the same contracts as others. Of course the Bursar wont pay for any additional non contact ( it has been talked about) so the situation remains and besides it would mean a change in my contract.

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 22:23:48

I do not live 90 mins way arisbottle. I live 40mins away max - its the rush hour traffic that put the time on. Previously I always finished by around 3:00 pm and got away before the rush hour. The new timetabler has trapped me in school for three full days. Its also meant I dont get to go home before the crowds.

As I said, I do feel done down because several other teachers have gone from full time to part time and have three full day timetables ( around 70% of full time) and also get early finishes but it has to be at the cost of timetabling me to the graveyard shifts in lessons.

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 22:28:11

Are they trying to push me out _ I dont think they are trying anything. I think they havent thought and the newcommers havent a clue about my contract .

The fact they trapped the time has led the silly billoies with management speak to think I am there and I can do whatever they ask - the HT and DH know thats not the case.

They are pushing the envelope and hoping I will go along - and I have stopped going along.

Last year we lost 16 staff over reasons like this I have just mentioned. Good staff. Top exam performers and its beginning to show. I noticed a thread on here about some of the issues at my school and I thought if the parents really knew what was going on ......

TheFallenMadonna Sat 02-Mar-13 22:31:00

What question are you asking? I understand you don't get PPA. I'm saying it is unusual, although my experience is only of state schools.

My school (an academy) increased our directed time without consultation. The unions got involved and there was a temporary backing down, but it is under review and they will do it again, only using the right process

It is pretty standard for us to offer holiday revision classes.

The management speak emails are irrelevant apart from that they add to your lack of goodwill.

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 22:31:37

Rainbow - if I wasdoing a 50% timetable I would have the same conditions as you describe. However, less than 50% as mine is, those conditions do not apply. ( I have a 0. 35 timetable I think) . Thats the problem . Some of the new SMT have failed to realise it - despite being told and they look blankly when you try to explain and then carry on as if you never said anything (or worse, you are lying)

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 22:36:49

What am I asking - really , how much should I be giving?

Finding out what others are doing helps place the boundaries for me.

I think I am being asked too much. I give a lot but it goes unrecognised because it is all student time. Yet when I draw a line, I am immediately lambasted for lacking good will. I give PM meetings a low importance rating - especially since the targets I get have nothing to do with what I am doing. I find myself with targets for things relating to the lower school and I dont even teach in the school. I cant see why they cannot be set by a series of e mails or notes. No need to have meetings. I am not even sure I should be getting PM targets.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 02-Mar-13 22:40:39

Oh lord. PM. I have to provide evidence that I am meeting every teaching standard. One of which is that I don't fail to uphold traditional British values. And yes, I am expected to provide evidence of this negative. Management consultants on governing bodies hmm

TheFallenMadonna Sat 02-Mar-13 22:43:44

Anyway, back to your concerns...

I would ask for a meeting with your line manager and the head to set out clearly the expectations you all have. Things have obviously changed in your school, and you are drifting. After expectations are clear, you can make the decision about whether you want to remain in post.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 02-Mar-13 22:45:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Arisbottle Sat 02-Mar-13 22:45:48

Is the point of PM not to set your own targets?

ProphetOfDoom Sat 02-Mar-13 22:46:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 23:03:27

Is the point of PM not to set your own targets?

Is it? I havent been allowed to set my own targets. We have done it for two years now ( last year and this one). Last year I was told what my targets were. They were totally useless to me. Required me to do things that had nothing to do with my teaching ( based on whole school targets which were lower school and where I do not teach ) and one even included my completing a course which I paid for and which I did in my own time and was nothing to do with the school at all - but passing it became a necessity, even though I only signed up for interest ( and I had not planned on doing the assignments).

I was very miffed by that.

None of my targets have been set by me. They have been handed down to me. Hence I cannot see why I have to have " face time" ( another of those awful words) to do it.

Arisbottle Sat 02-Mar-13 23:08:54

Our staff set their targets which should reflect the schools development plan and their personal development needs . So not a completely free choice but it should be something you have control over.

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 23:09:34

btw, my targets for this year are to be something to do with providing additional support for G&T ( and I do not have any in my classes anyway - not those on the register ,and I have a G&T doc already written and have done for a long time) and something to do with integration of all students in the school ( not sure what that means) and the obligatory ALIS and VA.

These are whole school targets and I have to meet them with some sort of extra work to evidence I have seen them and am doing what I have to do for them ( and I have to specify this to my line manager , although its susually him who tells me what he expects me to do, not me setting anything ) - but as I said, they do not relate to my job or my teaching..

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 23:12:08

I have also, apparently to set aside some of that trapped time whereI may feeably be out of school doing another job , to go and watch other teachers teach! I do not know who I will be given. This is a whole school thing.

Why I do not know.

Arisbottle Sat 02-Mar-13 23:16:28

I would love a chance to watch other teachers teach , very valuable and does not happen often enough.

lpy101 Sat 02-Mar-13 23:35:54

I had a similar situation once where I was asked to come in for a parents evening on my day off. I pointed out in the teacher's pay and conditions booklet it said that a I wasn't expected to come in.

They backed down on that occassion but from the following September, all part timers had to be contracted on the day the parent's evenings took place. Didn't really mind that but did object to arranging/paying for childcare and driving for 3/4 of an hour when I wouldn't get paid!!

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is take a look at the P&C document, see if it is of any help and then shove it up that idiot's backside!!

Good luck!!

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 23:39:53

Arisbottle, I am sure it is good to watch others teach but I do not see why I should be doing that in my own personal (and unpaid ) time. If I had a paid free ( which I think is where most other teachers will be arranging this) , fair enough. If the gave me cover and allowed me time off ( difficult in my particlar role) fair enough. If the school pay me to be there, fair enough. But they do not.

TheFallenMadonna Sat 02-Mar-13 23:40:37

That doesn't apply to independent schools though does it? Nor to academies if they choose to change...

TheFallenMadonna Sat 02-Mar-13 23:45:05

You need to sit down with the Head and make this clear. Or get another job.
How easy would that be? My school would for example have no problem employing a Maths or Physics teacher PT A level only. English or Biology, not so much. But my school is not what you would be after!

Arisbottle Sat 02-Mar-13 23:47:48

But if I go and watch a colleague teach in my paid free , I would then have extra work to do in my own unpaid time. But I would still do it.

I do think it is wrong that you have no frees and it makes me wonder why they are making life so difficult for you.

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 23:48:59

Yes, Ipy, I think you may be right. I thinkI may well have to point to my pay and conditions. I know they know it. When I actually say " Sorry, I am not here", the DH or HT usually back it up. If they want me there ( say for cover) they will pay me as " supply" . They do that from time to time when they need extra cover - it saves bringing in an outside supply.

But if I say I have something planned, they do not force it (unlike this SMT guy). We had the matter of part time pay and conditions clarifiedtwo years ago and it was recognised that those like me had different conditions. I accepted that my timetable might have some trapped time ( wasnt expecting as much as I ended up with) but it was also acknowldeged that I could not be made to do any duties in that time or attend meetings.

But it has gone to the winds with my new line manager - who doesnt seem to know the situation, mainly because I suspect, he hasnt got the leadership from the old girl ( battleaxe!) who would gently tell SMT such as him who could be asked to do what. She left a couple of years ago ( early retirement) largely because she too didnt like the culture change. HT and DH live in ivory towers on the top floor and never seem to know what is going on now.

Ronaldo Sat 02-Mar-13 23:54:02

FallenMadona - I wouldnt get another job. I would do what many have done before me and just retire. As for my school finding someone to replace me in my role? Best of luck to them (and they know it) although the way they treat me you would think otherwise.

They have lost three teachers this term. They have advertised but been unable to replace any of them ( no applicants). All specialists. ( One just walked out without giving notice - I didnt find out why). I am expecting to see a big dip in A level results this year.

Rowlers Sat 02-Mar-13 23:54:29

You should be under no obligation to stay on site for "trapped" time.
When you arrange next year's timetable, I would push for having PPA time built in - it should be 10% of your teaching load, so if you teach 10 hours, you are entitled to 10%, 1 hour per week.
I attend INSET days pro rata, so I teach 0.5 timetable and attend 2.5 days in one year. I try to attend the ones which are on days I would be at work anyway.
I attend all parents' evenings - if they are on days I don't work, the school pays me the hours.
With regard to PM, it sounds to me as if your school isn't really on top of this and hasn't got it right. PM should be about ensuring all staff are up to speed on certain issues, receiving training if necessary, about staff pursuing areas of interest and need specific to them, and about staff / school working towards the school aims.
Your targets should be relevant to where the school is aiming to get to, but clearly need to be relevant to your teaching practice.
When it comes to meetings, our school has weekly meetings set out on calendar - I don't work on the day we have our fac meetings so never attend. If I need to see HOD, I do this perhaps in my PPA time, or over lunch, or after school. If it is hugely important and there is no work-around, they have to take staff off timetable and cover the lesson.

I'd look for a new job as they clearly don't give a shit and don't recognise that they are being unreasonable.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 00:04:11

Arisbottle,in truth they are not " making life difficult" for me - at least they do not think so. The problem is they do not think. Full stop.

They are making life difficult for lots of staff like me. As I said we lost 16 this year. 3 remain un replaced. We took two who are really not up to the job just because they were the only applicants. Basically the new management cannot manage to run a bath let alone a school.

They constantly forget that there are several types of contract. Having given me a timetable which traps me in school for threee full days they have forgotten that the time is still mine and are effectively treating me asa full timer teacher ( in fact there has always been a tendency to treat me as a full timer even though it was known I am not. Usually I have not bothered. This time it is pissing me off annoying me.

Previously my timetable has been reasonable , three days but early finishes or late starts and maybe one full day. Not three days with bugger all in the middle for five hours.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 00:04:40

I am thinking to leave.

Rowlers Sun 03-Mar-13 00:06:38

I think I would, unless the next academic year shows more promise

Arisbottle Sun 03-Mar-13 00:09:25

My experience of senior management is that they always think , there is always a reason why they do things.

I am intrigued by your school, would the other staff have left anyway ?

FelicityWasCold Sun 03-Mar-13 00:11:18

This trapped time thing is odd in the independent sector- most schools would allow you to be offsite at this time as a matter of course.

I have some experience of odd independent contracts which fall outside the norm. Can you PM me the name of your school? I might be able to give you some more specific advice. Not to worry if you don't want to give it away.

Arisbottle Sun 03-Mar-13 00:11:27

Sorry I read that you lost three staff , in fact it is 16. That is a lot. In our state school we may lose about five or six a year , absolute tops.

I would be very concerned if I was sending my child here and furious if I was paying thousand a year - in my case probably about 100k a year .

Is it a well known school?

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 00:16:51

No, none of the staff would have left Arisbottle. Several had been there a number of years. they were top of their games. Our results weretop because they were top. Most cited privately that the new SMT were the cause.

The SMT - all of whom have come in the last two years - are useless. They have a state school mentality and seem to fail to nderstand how public schools work. We are not about Teaching and learning and performance management. We are about giving an edge and a liberal education.

Some of the old hands say, stick 'em out and they will be gone in two years and all will get set right. The school only works because of the good will of the staff right now. I know several who ignore the SMT , but I find it hard to do that.

Of course it is now seeping through and a lot of people seem to have found out there is an ethos change ( as I said even MNers have been discussing whether they want their kids in our school. I stayed out of the conversation but clearly its got out).

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 00:19:06

We have lost 3 this term. We have lost 16 in the last year - most leaving last summer. Of those we have not been ableto replace several and we filled 2 places with only applicants ( not good). We lost another teacher the beginning of term who just walked out ( dont know why).

Thats aside of the two who were appointed and never came! I dont count them

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 00:19:48

Oh absolutely well known Arisbottle

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 03-Mar-13 09:21:40

I am very flexible and never say no. Some colleagues are very rigid, so anything unforeseen that crops up falls to a few of us who will pick up anything.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 03-Mar-13 09:47:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 03-Mar-13 10:05:40

You should have said something about the timetable last summer, not half-way through the academic year. Were you not asked to sign your allocation and make timetable requests?

I am a timetables, and I would have worked hard to avoid trapped time. For 14 teaching lessons, I would give you four PPA and one HOD lesson (so you would be paid for 19 lessons). I would put these on your timetable as "available", and all other non-teaching lesson as unavailable. In these unavailable times, I would not put you on cover or expect you to be in school and attend meetings. You would have 1 duty, and would have to do prep once a term.

If all your three days of working have you teaching 1st and last lessons, then you should have put your foot down. It is bad time tabling. It might be unavoidable because of the other members of staff in the same option blocks. If so, they should really be trying to find a way to fill in some of your trapped time, eg by teaching a couple of lessons in the lower school.

It is very difficult for the school to understand how you are feeling and then begin to resolve it if you are making it difficult to meet with your line manager. You might want to just think about using the hour of trapped time as this is less inconvenient to you than staying very late after school.

I think the reality of teaching an A-level only subject is that your teaching timetable is very part time, eg 8 hours a week. There's not a lot a school can do about this unless you are to teach a second subject or take on management responsibility - or really promote your subject so that you can have two classes.

Have you had a look at the school timetable to see if your students have study periods in the middle of the day, and then switch the lessons yourself? Sometimes it is very easy to break option blocks like this, especially if you have a small number of students.

As for targets, I suggest you write your own. The targets have to be relevant to and achievable by you, so there is no point in your having anything that is only applicable in the lower school.

It is a little bit worrying that you have a large number of managers newly arrived from the state sector, but they will have a lot to offer your school. However, they need to be trained too by you - it works both ways. Keep reminding them that it is all about the individual student.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 10:56:25

4 PPA for 14 lessons?! Blimey.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 11:23:52

You should have said something about the timetable last summer, not half-way through the academic year. Were you not asked to sign your allocation and make timetable requests?

I have done nothing but complain since I saw the timetable. I did not receieve it last summer but the day before I began teaching it. Timetables were not finalised until then. Eevn then I was told there would be changes. The changes made things worse and resulted in a number of clashes which were not of my making and could not be resoloved.

We are never asked to make reqwuests vis timetables. I went to the school on the agreement of a timetable that would fit into two days. That was then widenened into two and a half days and now it is three full days. However, the timetabler constantly says that he cannot timetable the classes ,given all the constraints he has on three days. The problem he claims is part timer workers who have much bigger timetables than I do but who have negotiated ( post maternity leave) to go to part time from full time and they require times to fit with their child care. I have no such priority and so am sidelined.

It is fine for you to say the above but despite what I request, four out of five years this is what I have been given.

And what on earth do you mean " sign for"?? Eh? Never heard of that. smile

If the school want rid of me they are going about it in a funny way because no one would take on my timetable. In fact similar timetables are most probably the cause of certain failed appointments and colleagues leaving.

You could say the timetabler needs shooting - you could be right. Symptomatic of the problems in the school management.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 11:31:46

As you are thinking about retiring, why not get militant with the new SMT line-manager? Or do what a friend also nearing retirement does with her wet-behind the ears, form-ticking asst head line manager, "Now I know you're working on your people-skills, and I don't want to patronise but have you thought about..." and ..."I've told the head how well your people- skills are coming along, especially after that kerfuffle about...." She says he gives her a wide berth

Thanks , I like that. May well do it.

I was thinking of e mailing him with " Hi Guy, as a part time employee contracted to focus on classtime, I am afraid my time is at a premuim and is directed toward pupil teaching and learning, thus I have no available teach time to touch base with you in face time and I suggest you mail me your PM targets" - or similar. I am afraid my management speak is not up to par though..

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 11:37:46

I dunno Ronaldo. I would say you have a worrying facility for it...

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 11:40:55

I am a timetables, and I would have worked hard to avoid trapped time. For 14 teaching lessons, I would give you four PPA and one HOD lesson (so you would be paid for 19 lessons).

If you did that there would be very little trapped timeon my timetable over the three days. However, you would have to pay for it. This matter was mentioned a couple of years back by the union. They pointed out that significant trapped time should be paid as it prevents the teacher ( any teacher not just me as therewere several with this problem) taking a second an alternative employment which they should be entitled to do. The school do not want to pay for this time ( I mentioned this back aways - the Bursar drew the line). In fact such a move would increase my salary by virtually half as much again. I would have had no objection to that. The school did not want to fund it.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 11:48:27

It is very difficult for the school to understand how you are feeling and then begin to resolve it if you are making it difficult to meet with your line manager

I have only become uncommunicative sine my line manager was also timetabler refused to take my objections on board and actually got shirty at my mentioning that I had the smallest timetable , which was most specific and it should have been timetabled as a priority not an afterthought. I considered it most reasonable that he had threedays to timetable contacttime that should have been managed in two days ( I worked in a state school which did this quite easitly before going to this school). One member of staff who had been given a two day contract actually left the school in the lurch last year when she was timetabled three days - she claimed they broke her contract.

I have tried to be more ameniable. However, I draw the line at being asked to do things in that time I am not being paid for and which effectively move me from an 0.35 to an 0.6 ( unpaid).

He has now transferred me to a new line manager. The new line manager has nothing to do with timetables and moving me is a part of a redistribution of staff across SMT ( I am not the only one moved ).

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 11:53:25

I think the reality of teaching an A-level only subject is that your teaching timetable is very part time, eg 8 hours a week. There's not a lot a school can do about this unless you are to teach a second subject or take on management responsibility - or really promote your subject so that you can have two classes.

In my time at the school I have more than doubled the numberstaking the subject. In fact the class is one of the largest. I have two thirds of all the sixth form in my classes. In any other school ( or any other time) the clases would have been split and teaching time doubled, but as I said, the school do not want to pay for this.

Part of the trapped time is a result of the school changing its timetable and putting prep and activities into the middle of the day ( it used to be from 4:00 - 5:00 and in most schools that is the way its done. This means two and a half hours a day are of necessity trapped by that timetable move.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 11:59:05

Have you had a look at the school timetable to see if your students have study periods in the middle of the day, and then switch the lessons yourself? Sometimes it is very easy to break option blocks like this, especially if you have a small number of students
Yeah, so did every other teacher as the scambled to get early finishes. That causesdmy timetable to have clashes on it - and those have not been removed. I had agreed the times on the balance that it did not create clashes....... then it did.

The biggest cheek then became that the timetabler and a couple of other teachers actually expected me to agree to take on an extra hour and a half doing tutoring for those in clashed classes and again this was to be unpaid.
They saw the gaps in my timetable and thought I could just do it- no thought for how my contract worked. But if they were asked to do more time they would say no.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 12:06:12

I dunno Ronaldo. I would say you have a worrying facility for it...

You think so? Thanks for that.

I had a bit of practice at it in my lastschool when I got a wet behind the ears clever cloggs. He used to speak to me in his broken record style and I took to sending him memo's reminding him I was doing the school a favour in taking over a troublesome year 11 class as a result of an SMT cock up! The cock up was before his time and he lost sight of the history to it.

Also, many years ago I did a a M Sc in educational management BS. I was a manager back then

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 12:42:38

I ask in all genuineness ( ref post before last) would *you( have been willing to work 28 periods to split the classes and teach to miss classes but only be paid for your original 14 contracted ones?

Is that done in state school? ( It would never have been suggested previously in my school). Where are these state school managers actually coming from in expecting ( even almost demanding) that?

I refused but its been tense ever since.

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 03-Mar-13 12:55:20


We give a PPA for every 4 lesson. 14 lessons would be 3.5, but we round up. smile

We don't really allow PPA to be taken at home as it means you are never available for cover (we cover all our lessons in-house).

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 03-Mar-13 12:59:47

Re your 11.23 post - how come other part time workers were able to make requests and you weren't?

If you said 2 or 2.5 days, you should have gone to the Head when it turned into 3. If there was absolutely no way to change the timetable, the you should be paid 0.6 and then be first on cover for the extra hours.

noblegiraffe Sun 03-Mar-13 13:11:21

I am 0.6 at a state school and teach all 5 days. Most of my trapped time is single lessons which enables me to get my planning and marking done at school rather than taking it home, which is fine by me. I have a couple of days a fortnight this year where I teach P1 and 2 then not again till P6 giving over 4 hours trapped time. I have to pay childcare for the full day which isn't great. Sometimes in that 4 hours I will stay at school the whole time and do a shed load of planning, sometimes I'll high tail it out the door and go shopping or whatever. The school occasionally asks me to cover a lesson in that time but I'm paid supply and can turn it down. Sometimes if I'm trying to arrange a meeting I might suggest a lesson of tra

noblegiraffe Sun 03-Mar-13 13:13:34

Sorry... A lesson of unpaid trapped time for the meeting but that's my choice and usually it's a meeting that's useful to me.
As I'm in every day, technically I could do meetings and insets every day, but I only do 3 out of 5 insets (0.6) and I don't attend after school meetings where I have an afternoon off. I do attend parents evenings and open evenings where I have an afternoon off.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 13:23:03

Re your 11.23 post - how come other part time workers were able to make requests and you weren't?

The only reason I can ascertain, and its the only one I have been given directly by the esteemed timetabler is that those who got their timetable requests were all mums and needed to accommodate child care needs.

I do not and so my timetable had to be moved for their ( greater?) needs.

I am not the only one. As I said. Oneteacher walked out when her two days weremoved into three.

I complained.

Three others ( similar position, slightly more periods - 15/16 - ended up in the same position pretty well as I have - with lessons start and end of day and a lot of trapped time.

If you said 2 or 2.5 days, you should have gone to the Head when it turned into 3. If there was absolutely no way to change the timetable, the you should be paid 0.6 and then be first on cover for the extra hours

I did Thats why the HT tells him to back off every time he tries to use my trapped time for meetings or asks me to do things for free ( and in goodwill). I am on the list for doing paid supply ( DH and HT do the cover lists) . I did not ask this. The HT felt it would compensate with additional pay for the time he could not justify paying me for otherwise.

The school does do all its supply and cover in house. However, there are a number of full time teachers with light timetables who do cover/supply by first choice because it is unpaid.

One thing I suggested when I was told asked to split classes and teach additional time for free to miss clashes was that a subject teacher who was specialist in the area with a light timetable but not teaching the A level might do extra classes to avoid the clashes.

I have large classes. Those lessons wherestudents have clashes usually have around three or four pupils in them ( I have 22 in L6 and 20 in U6 - and I am not allowed to split)

A bit of a muggers buddle really.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 13:24:38

The /.5 timetable waswhat I was originally contracted on before the school day changed in September. It worked quite well. Now it seems no one can be timetabled in less than three full days. I still think we need to shoot the timetabler!

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 13:25:04

2/2.5 days

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 03-Mar-13 13:33:14

22 hours is ridiculous for an A-level lesson. This should be split into two classes.

Are all students full fee payers?

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 03-Mar-13 13:34:59

From the students' point of view, it is better for all their lessons in a given subject to be over three days rather than over two.

noblegiraffe Sun 03-Mar-13 13:46:04

Would you prefer to have the trapped time unpaid and be free to do what you like, or for the trapped time to be filled with paid activities (essentially for your contract to increase)? If they can't fix the trapped time, then those are really the two only acceptable options.
If you don't want the trapped time at all, then I think you will have to quit. My school says that timetables will be arranged to suit the school and students rather than part time teachers. Obviously it's shit that other part timers have a better deal with their timetables than you, but if they teach more than just sixth form, then that would be a lot easier to timetable.

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 03-Mar-13 13:50:50

I agree Noble. The timetable has to suit the students first. It should not be built around part-time staff, although frequently is.

Arisbottle Sun 03-Mar-13 13:57:37

We would not allow a situation to happen where an A Level class have all theri weekly lessons compacted into two days. As Knowabitabouteducation says it is not fair on the students and while the school has to take into consideration your requrst for part time working they have to put the students first.

If the school want rid of me they are going about it in a funny way because no one would take on my timetable. In fact similar timetables are most probably the cause of certain failed appointments and colleagues leaving.

I do think your school is trying to move you on and that whoever replaces you ( if you move on) will not have the same timetable. As you say the others who have left have all had similar timetables and left - maybe they are having a clear out of staff intentionally and waiting for you to jump. I have seen this happen again and again.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 13:58:54

I teach 7 periods ( around 4 and a bit hours) for AS and 7 lessons A2. Normally the class would have been split into two - around 10 in each but I guess someone thinks we need to tighten the belt.

I would have had no objection to taking two groups ( and working 5 days for that if need be. That would have been a near full timetable anyway.

But that isnt what has happened. I was not asked to do that. Last year it was mooted to me that numbers for my course were large and would it be possible if the class needed splitting - and I had said yes. But that didnt happen. I had 10 in U6 and 20 in L6 ( yes 100% take up at A2 from AS and A8 -C in grades with half on A*A as well - and no, its not a mickey mouse subject).

Yes, I think they are all full fee payers. I dont have the scholarship kids in the class. They dont usually go for this course. Although I have two overseas pupils on government funding and one lad who I think may have a 10% reduction, minor academic. My class sizes are used to subsidise those subjects where we run with just one or two students. The rest are middle rankers academically.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 14:03:13

Thanks arisbottle. Glad you think that. I was thinking that but the Ht told me straight it was not the case and that he was bending backwards to make sure things were working for me ( like giving me additional pay for cover to alleviate the issue of trapped time.

I guess they think I am just too old. I will put muy notice in on Monday. I am not one to stay where I am not wanted. Mind made up.

I might just ask if I can leave Easter.

I suspect the school is on its uppers and may not last more than a year anyway.

Arisbottle Sun 03-Mar-13 14:04:46

How may hours a week do your A Level students get contact time for a sibject. Do they have one teacher for the whole A level or do they do different units with different members of staff?

I think your school are outragous to charge fees for A Level classes of 22, theyw would get a much better service in the state sector.

I am not sure thay my concscience would allow me to carry on working at this school.

Arisbottle Sun 03-Mar-13 14:08:26

But if it is such a well known school, I had always imagined you in one of the top public schools , surely it is not about to close.

Mind you I have noticed a rather well known girls independent school which is always advertising for multiple members of staff and they have just had a new head, and that always makes me wonder what is going on.

I think leaving so quickly sounds quite drastic! Of course the head cannot bluntly say he is trying to force you out but I suspect his manner may give him away.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 14:09:08

I think there is some confusion. The lessons in my school are 35 mins not hours. Therefore I teach just over 4 hours for As and same for A2.

That can work very well on a three day ( especially since its science and we have practicals). It would happily work as a 3 periods AS and 2 periods A2 and vice versa. And then 2 periods AS and 2 periods A2 on day three ( making it a lunchtime finish).

In my last school ( state) I taught 2 doubles ( i hour lessons 2 ) and they were arranged back to back. This was the pattern for all A level classes there. I was also give two " free " periods in that school to complete two full days and an 0.4 contract.

Its not hard and its not hard on the students. In fact it works very very well.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 14:10:54

You might well be surprised Arisbottle as to what is going on behind many closed doors in well known schools.

We just dont say it. I am here saying it now of course. But I have made a point of being positive and silent about things to date ( because I know some people have been fishing for where I work).

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 14:36:39

How may hours a week do your A Level students get contact time for a sibject. Do they have one teacher for the whole A level or do they do different units with different members of staff?

In my school it is policy ( and has always been successful by tradition) to have the top most qualified master and subject specialist to teach A level. This has always been the HoD and they have always had a 40% timetable and non contact for the rest of the timetable.

The school ( now) allows 4 hours and 10 mins per AS level and same for A2. We used to get 5 hoursbut that changed a while ago. As a result of this all those teaching A levels ( all subjects) are senior teachers. All are HoDs. That means that nearly all only teach A level as their management duties are non contact time and their teaching time amounts to the same as mine in most cases. A few might teach the odd GCSE class as well.

In a few A level only subjects ( there are about three or four of us) we are specially employed to teach just A level part time. Its cost effective for the school and has allowed the school to recruit students who might have left for other schools - so bums on seats and dosh in the coffers.

Its always been that way. I was happy with it and so were the school. One specialist teacher taught A level and they werer esponsible for getting the top results - and heads on block if you dont.

Then around two years ago, the flash ' arries from state schools arrived in SMT ( some of our SMT retired , they got past retirement age!) We had a change in governing body around then and I thinktheseflash jobs came with that although I am not 100% sure. This year the governors have changedagainand the ones responsible for the recent changes have popped their cloggs off so this may not last ( as some staff tell me).

With this came a number of changes, result of or otherwise I dont know. At the same time we reduced a proportion of staff from full time to part time contracts ( instead of redundancy) I was not in this bunch. I have always been contracted so that if I have a class I have a job. No class , no job. Jence no additional PPA - it wascost effective that way. There are three of us who work that way - school led.

Many teachers were re deployed in other subjects. eg history teaching RE or geog. Biology teachers doing physics and maths - we have too many biologists and no physicists to mention. ( parents are not told this!).

Then added to the mix were those new mums. To accommodate them it seemed reasonable ( I think this was the reasoning) that they would teach A level + whatever odd clases fitted timetables. Since most were wanting 0.6 -thats A level + five lessons really across three days.

Thats when the mess in timetables started. But there is no policy in the school for having team teaching on A level. The responsibility has to lie with one teach er firmly and squarely and that teacher takes the rap if the results belly up. Results are everything in a schoollike mine. Its what ) amongst a few other things, like a liberal education and an edge in competition fortheir offspring) parents are paying mega time for.


Arisbottle Sun 03-Mar-13 14:48:47

Gosh a 40% timetable is generous. I am not a HOD so not sure what they are on, but I do not think it is as generous as that. Our contact time is similar to yours 9 hours over a fortnight. Our staff allocation is also quite similar, so someone like me really only teaches exam classes.

I cannot think of a single A Level teacher , teaching outside of his specialism. I have taught two A Level subjects before but I have two degrees. You are lucky to be overrun with phsyicists though! Many state schools are trying to atract them.

Do your A Level students not want to see you outside of contact time. Most weeks I will have arranged something with an A Level student? So although I say our students have 9 hours contact time a fortnight for most it is about 10 in reality.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 14:50:47

I think your school are outragous to charge fees for A Level classes of 22, theyw would get a much better service in the state sector

Well most of the comparative state provision around me has around 35 per class ( they wont run with less than 25! Something to do with viability of classes and LEA funding. ) Also, alot of the state schools have behaviour issues in their A level classes. I was shocked to hear it but it seems its commonplace now. We also have much better A level grades and send a whole tip load of pupils to Oxford , Cambridge and LSE etc every year.

So, if you can afford it you pay ( orat least until the parents getwind of what the changes arethat aregoing on now). In lwer school they already have and we have a falling roll although by retaining teachers we show asurface that says we are OK. Rember those teachers are on short time in many cases.

However, 22 is big. It should have a cut off at 16 and we always have up until now The argument went some would leave or drop out but what happened is that they didnt change out ( a couple came in).

There are three groups where this happens and all are top performers . Up take is because of the passrates and reputation of the teachers amongst the pupils.

Getting rid of me as a teacher will not help the school. I cant be replaced by one of those with light timetables as they couldnt teach my subject. neither can other staff.

The irony so far in my school has been that nearly all the teachers that have left have been ones who have been difficult to replace and who had to be replaced. It was not possible to get a member of staff to take their jobs over.

Someone put it succinctly before leaving himself. The school is trying hard to get rid of staff so it becomes more viable. Its top heavy in some subjects but unfortuately the staff who are leaving are the ones it does not need to lose

The ones we all know the school needs to let go, are not going.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 14:58:57

Do your A Level students not want to see you outside of contact time. Most weeks I will have arranged something with an A Level student? So although I say our students have 9 hours contact time a fortnight for most it is about 10 in reality

My A level students invariably want to see me outside class time. I accommodate them in my trapped time. We=hen I didnt have trappedtime I would stay on for them. I have always put aside an hour per year group where I run a tutordrop in lesson for them. Where any issues they have can be addressed and they can bring problems.

I also get like today - a lot of students who e mail me freely during weekends and nights and holidays with questions and additional work for me to mark.

I currently have 10 e mails ( four students) with work. In addition, three others gave me pen drives on Thursday before I left. All will be marked before tonight and returned viia e mail. The kids are keen and I will do what it takes for them.

PM meetings with flash bulls hitters are not my forte.

I mark it and send it back to them within the day. Its not part of what I am paid to do. I do it for the students. They appreciate it and until the flash'arries, the school did too.

Arisbottle Sun 03-Mar-13 15:04:17

Well most of the comparative state provision around me has around 35 per class ( they wont run with less than 25! Something to do with viability of classes and LEA funding. )

Even at key stage three state classrooms do not go above 30. We have a cap of 15. We will teach with any size of class the other way, it has happened before with one or two - although that is not ideal either. We are not a particularly well funded school either because we are on paper quite a middle class type catchment.

You sound like a very good A Level teacher - mine never get their essays back the same day! You will be a loss.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 15:13:32

Even at key stage three state classrooms do not go above 30. We have a cap of 15. We will teach with any size of class the other way, it has happened before with one or two - although that is not ideal either. We are not a particularly well funded school either because we are on paper quite a middle class type catchment

INteresting. Ours is the other way round. I think 15 is minimum to run a class. Often chools start courses in sixth form and then stopthem because of drop out No schools will run on one or two pupils. My school will.

Similarly with sixth form sizes. Most sixth forms have to be 200 pupils and over to be viable. SDome schools have had to close sixth forms and amalgamate because they didnt have enough students entering sixth form.

My school will run on quite small numbers in sixth formoverall. Weusually have around 100 but have dropped to as few as 30 in one year. The school is a relatively small one. Sells itself on that too.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 15:13:46

Blimey again. I am Head of Science, and I teach 39 hours out of 50 a fortnight. Actually, now I teach 42, because we are short staffed, but I am expected to teach 39. We don't employ people who are not qualified to teach A level (and completely competent to do so), and currently most of us do (but then we are badly understaffed at the moment!).

40% timetable. How marvellous <wistful>

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 15:14:54

Normal classes in my school ( KS 3 as you call it - we still call it third year) will be around 9 or 10.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 15:16:31

I didnt say that any of our teachers were not qwualifed or poor teachers or not qualified to teach A level . All of them can but it is always the senior master ( HoD_ who takes that responsibility.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 15:17:48

Well it is an independent school Madonna. Thats one of the perks or was - for how long now?

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 15:19:16


I think it's pretty important for the HoD to teach other groups too, and if I taught all the A level in my subjects, well - I'd have more than a 40% timetable just for that!

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 03-Mar-13 15:23:11

That is so much, TFM!

Our standard allocation is 32/50. A HOD would be 28 or 30 depending on the size of dept.

I am on 25/50.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 15:25:41

Tell me about it.

I am actually struggling quite a bit at the moment. Not least because I have to set and mark work for all those missing staff as well as my own classes, in my princely 8 frees a fortnight!!

Like Ronaldo, I am considering my position...

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 15:26:06

To dispel a mythdespite my being rather negative right now. I have heardmany times that suppodely independent school teachersare not qualified or not good teachers or some equal foolishnes.

In fact in my experience, all my colleagues in an independent school have been of the utmost professional standing and top drawer academically.
They have all been qualified teachers. Most have been experienced too. They could all teach. You cant get by in an independent school without being able to teach.

Never ,until recently have I begun to meet the type ofteacher who is characterising our SMT now. All theseteachers are ex state school - and frankly they might be better off back there.

Independent schools like mine are ( or have been ) classy, not brassy. The ethjos has been one of Brooklands or Devon School or even Mallory Towers rather than Bash Streetor Grange Hill. Its probably that which parents pay for , although most would be quiet about saying it.

You will notice I declined to put my own DS in my own school - now you know why.

Arisbottle Sun 03-Mar-13 15:26:41

I think there is a balance to be had, most of our A Level classes are shared bewteen two teachers which means the A level teaching gets shared amongst the department. However that does not mean that everyone amongst the department teaches A Level and it would be quite unusual that the HOD does not. I teach very ittle key stage three, there was a year when I only taught key stage four and five. I am not a HOD but a senior member of staff , I think it is important that teachers are spread across the year groups.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 15:26:59

And our standard allocation is 45/50. 10% PPA.

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 03-Mar-13 15:27:40

I hope your colleagues all pull together with dept admin, and not leave it all up to you!

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 15:29:21

In my last school ( state) the manners and generalprofessionalattitude of the SMT and a large number of the staff too sometimes was disrespectful and often plain ignorant. I think target clture and management speak are symptomatic of this kind of very bad manners.

Arisbottle Sun 03-Mar-13 15:29:31

No one on this thread has said that independent school teachers are not qualified or not very good teachers.

I suspect that you would call me brassy but I am very highly qualified and certainly can teach - despite being in the state sector.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 15:31:13

Like I said, most of them are doing 45/50 themselves, plus all the extra directed time that has been thrust upon us. I can't fault my colleagues. But I don't currently have enough of them!

Ronaldo - steady on with the state school stuff. Not sure we want the management bollocks either...

Arisbottle Sun 03-Mar-13 15:31:30

Ronaldo this thread is dominated by state school teachers who are trying to help you, we have all been polite and asked thoughtful questions. Now you are telling us that we are likely to be disrespectful and ignorant. I am going to get back to my marking.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 15:32:49

x post with you making it even worse...

I think you've had a lot of support on this thread from state school teachers.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 15:45:06

I appreciate that. I am sorry if I offended anyone. You have to remember I have been on the receiving end of these flash all new ideas from state sector bods for sometime now.

For us it doesnt seem to work. The whole ethos is wrong. As many have said here, if parents want a stateschool ethos they could easily go and find that in the local comp. They pay us for something different I think.

Its not just class size ( and it isnt just snobbiness as some oft think )

I know I am not paying for target driven KS levelling, jump through hoops education for my DS either.

Maybe I should say that we seem to have attraced staff who are not suited to our school but I should add I suspect may have left state schools under some cloud too. Too often that tends to be the case.

Interesting how you all seem to see a HoD as a " big job". In my school at least half the HoDs are little more than one man bands ( in subjects which dont run to A level ) or who are in charge of one or two other teachers.

Most depts can run on one and a half teachers in my school. We may have more than that ( languages for example have one teacher per language). Maths Science and English have two or three staff in depts. Music and Drama areone man bands - and they teach from ist yeat to sixth form withn a couple of peri teachers coming in for instrument s and LAMBDA

A couple of depts even run with just two part timers. There are differences of scale.

TheFallenMadonna Sun 03-Mar-13 15:50:09

And a third blimey from me. My department, fully staffed, would be 12 FT teachers.

And yes, a big job...

EvilTwins Sun 03-Mar-13 17:09:18

I'm head of 6th form and a HoD. My dept is me, plus on part timer. I teach 38/50 per fortnight. Am envy of this 40% thing...

As for goodwill- it has to go both ways. I am happy to give up Sundays and evenings for something like a school play because I choose to. If SLT started insisting I give up time for things, though, my goodwill would wane.

Arisbottle Sun 03-Mar-13 18:51:32

Head of sixth form and head of department is huge, I do not envy that workload at all.

FelicityWasCold Sun 03-Mar-13 19:34:50

This doesn't ring entirely true. No top drawer independents are running a level classes of 25, that's just ridiculous. And with 30-50 in a year group, you can't be offering many options to get 25 in a class?

The rudeness about state is a bit a lot much as well OP.

Knowsabitabouteducation Sun 03-Mar-13 19:35:15

I can't imagine preparing students for UCAS and writing references with basically no extra time.

And a department with 12 teachers must mean you have one or two NQTs at any one time, who will need to be observed and supported. It is hard to do observations if you are teaching all the time yourself.

It puts "trapped time" into perspective.

EvilTwins Sun 03-Mar-13 19:57:55

knowsabit The 6th form job takes all my frees and then some... It means I do all my dept stuff at home. Only a small (and nion-core) dept but even so. We have a new deputy so I made a point of telling her on Friday that I'm basically doing the dept job on no time. All our HoY have 12 frees. Heads of small depts get 10. I do both jobs on 12. angry

Arisbottle Sun 03-Mar-13 20:00:54

I know of a well known grammar school that has A Level classes of 25.

You are getting a tough deal Evil, I hope they appreciate you. My responsibilty takes up most of my frees and so my teaching workload all takes place at home and that is tough. I cannot imagine having to run a department in that time, particularly when it involves running school shows.

Ronaldo Sun 03-Mar-13 20:12:40

This doesn't ring entirely true. No top drawer independents are running a level classes of 25, that's just ridiculous. And with 30-50 in a year group, you can't be offering many options to get 25 in a class?

Oh dear, why does someone always have to suggest another poster is lying. I get tired of this.
Where did I say I had 25 in a class? I have 22 in my L6 - and that is too big - and as I said, until a couple of yearsago, it would have been split. Times change though. There are very big uptakes in a small number of subjects and then very small numbers in most of the rest.

We offer many options but pupils pick what they think they can do well in. Many base their selections on previous track records of the courses. So, yes I get a large up take because I have a top track record. You also need to remember most are taking at least 4 subjects. We dont actually prevent any subject combinations (unlike some state schools which block options and that redistributes the classes more evenly).

But , whatever I say you will continue to suggest I am lying. Itts such a shame some posters have to do this. It means one cannot get advice or help or support. I did think twice before writing because I know the track record here. I told it as it is. Very often no one really knows what is going on in insitiutions . Indi schools especially are good at covering.

I thank everyone for their help. I will mull it over. However,I think the track is set. You have helped me get my thoughts in order. Thanks again.

Signing off.

ProphetOfDoom Sun 03-Mar-13 20:45:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Arisbottle Sun 03-Mar-13 20:45:27

I hope that this resolves itself, education is clearly something you have strong views on and whether we agree or not , education needs passionate people.

FelicityWasCold Sun 03-Mar-13 22:58:44

hmm it isn't something I make a habit of. And my opinion is hardly reason to flounce or decry the advice you are being given.

I find myself unable to offer advice because your posts don't seem to hang together and they don't sound like the independent system I know.

However, I'm just as likely to be in the wrong as you so I'd just ignore me if you like.

Arisbottle Sun 03-Mar-13 23:27:55

But just as state schools differ so will indepedents.

Ronaldo is of the view that the independent sector is superior in every way and therefore I do think it is unlikely that he would make this up.

Ronaldo Sat 16-Mar-13 17:31:23

Arisbottle, I thought I would ipdate this. It seems management were working on redundancies and have now issued a whole clutch of them around staff. I am not on the hit list, so I guess they are not trying to get rid of me. smile Still clearly the matter signals how they want to procede - more hours and moreadditional gratia working and reduced pay effectively.

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