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Question for primary school teachers

(11 Posts)
newteacherintown Thu 22-Sep-11 17:02:11

Hello, I am a newly qualified teacher and have just started at my local village school. It is a very small school, with only 3 teachers, head teacher, admin person and caretaker.

My question is that since I have started I get one 30 minute lunch break but no other breaks at all. During the morning and afternoon break I have to supervise the children and also during most of the lunch break. I queried this with the head teacher who says that this is normal practice at small schools. Is this indeed the case?

Also, I need to do a lot of lesson preparation, but only get paid for one hour lesson preparation a week outside the normal teaching hours. I was told once I get more experienced I should be able to fit all my preparation in. At the moment, I spend more like 1.5 hour a day, tidying classroom, getting everything ready for next day and preparing material, putting letter together for parents etc. I have reception, year 1 and year 2 children. Again is this normal practice to get so little (paid) time for preparation and should I be able to fit it into 1 hour?

Thank you very much for your help.

GiganticusBottomus Thu 22-Sep-11 17:08:26

I am absolutely sure you are entitled to a full morning of NQT time - as I have covered it for several teachers over the years. The school is legally required to give it to you. I believe you are also entitled to a mid morning break of 15 minutes and 1 hour for lunch (not as a teacher, just generally - although I might be wrong on that). If you want to find out for sure contact your union. I think it sounds like they are taking advantage of your inexperience TBH.

IndigoBell Thu 22-Sep-11 17:17:57

An NQT should get a whole day PPA!

GiganticusBottomus Thu 22-Sep-11 17:18:10

Guidance here here

You should have 10% extra time on top of the 10% PPA that all teachers get.

hocuspontas Thu 22-Sep-11 17:23:51

Also PPA is 10% which should be 2 hours if you teach 20 hours a week. Staff at my school don't get a mid-morning break - but you should be entitled to a 'toilet' break at least! Do the other teachers supervise breaks and lunch and is there no support staff? Could you discuss your reservations with your mentor? It sounds quite demanding.

DownbytheRiverside Thu 22-Sep-11 17:25:14

I agree, you are not getting the appropriate time and support. There should be a named person at the LEA who is responsible for all NQTs in the area.
She is your go to person if you don't think the school are aware, or that they care, about their responsibilities to you.
It is a legal failing, and something OFSTED would check on too, so it is important all round that you get what you are entitled to.

mrz Thu 22-Sep-11 17:26:44

You are entitled to 10% of your teaching time as PPA and an additional 10% as an NQT.

As a teacher you are legally entitled to a lunch break of reasonable length (OK most of us grab a sandwich but you are entitled to it.) The NUT’s view of the “break of reasonable length” is that teachers should have an entitlement of at least one hour when they cannot be required to undertake duties, attend meetings or remain on school premises. The lunch break cannot be included in the 1265 hours of directed time.

The STPCD states that teachers cannot be required, under their contract of employment as a teacher, to undertake midday supervision and “must be allowed a break of reasonable length either between school sessions or between the hours of 12 noon and 2pm”.

newteacherintown Thu 22-Sep-11 17:33:04

Thanks for all the responses and links.
The other teachers also supervise breaks but they share because their years have a different playground. My ones are on the playground for reception, y1-3 but we have no year 3 this year. One of them supervises my group during my 30 minute lunch, but they alternate between the two of them. The head teacher does not supervise any breaks. I am generally very happy at the school but I was just a bit surprised about the lack of breaks/preparation time because at the school where I trained I actually got morning break, full lunch hour and afternoon break. I don't want to make a big fuss, because it is my first job and I do enjoy it. Also, it is a very small C of E school and they don't have money for lunch time supervisors/other support.

Helo Thu 22-Sep-11 17:42:45

I am an NQT, I get a whole day (today!) for my PPA and NQT time. I had an NQT induction meeting yesterday and they explained it all then, have you been to one yet?

mrz Thu 22-Sep-11 17:44:39

In other small schools the head and deputy head do lunch duty and teachers do morning and afternoon breaks.

piellabakewell Thu 22-Sep-11 18:36:28

newteacherintown, if you have not already done so, please join a teachers' union immediately. They all do special deals for NQTs eg here. Then contact your branch secretary or the members helpline and they can help you to start getting the working hours you are entitled to.

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