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Playground duty

(26 Posts)
ThisIsNotARealAvo Mon 08-May-17 22:30:07

Does anyone know whether you legally have to have a teacher outside during playtime? My school says you legally have to at morning and afternoon playtime but only TAs and lunchtime supervisors at lunchtime.

I understand that you can be directed to do break duty and there's lots of info on the NUT website about that, but I can't find anything that says you legally have to have a teacher out there.

calzone Mon 08-May-17 22:31:30

Apparently not.

At both the schools I have worked in, it's TAs only break and lunches.

ThisIsNotARealAvo Mon 08-May-17 22:37:04

Thank you!

LornaD40 Mon 08-May-17 22:41:40

Definitely not. We have pastoral staff and SLT.

calzone Tue 09-May-17 07:45:54

SLT on break duty?????

🤣🤣🤣🤣 ours would never do that in a million years!!!!

SarahMused Tue 09-May-17 07:52:28

Breaktime is part of teachers' directed time and they are paid for this. Lunchtime, however is not and is unpaid. The school may pay you to do a lunch duty if you are a teacher like they do at my school but can not require you to do it. Although most teachers work through their lunchtimes they are perfectly entitled to leave the school site if they wish to. It is perfectly normal to have non teaching staff on duty at lunchtime although you would expect a member of senior staff to be on call in case any serious issues come up.

YoniFucker Tue 09-May-17 07:54:24

SLT on break duty?????

Our head teacher (secondary) is out on the fields at every single break and lunch time. It's one of the (many) things I hugely respect about him.

ThisIsNotARealAvo Tue 09-May-17 08:03:35

I know that you can be directed to do break duty and it's part of directed time. I'm looking for some guidelines as to whether there legally has to be a teacher outside, for example if there was an accident at playtime and there was no teacher outside, just support staff, would the school be liable?

phlebasconsidered Tue 09-May-17 08:05:52

My old head and Deputy used to be out at breaks and lunchtimes. The kids loved it, we all respected it. They were both very visible and not above covering a lesson either.

New head never comes out of her office except to complain and observe. I doubt she's done a playground duty in ten years.

Guess which leaders were most effective.

I know duties can be a pain but it's a time I can get to see my class with other eyes and observe some very good and very bad behaviours! I find it very important in backing up my behaviour strategy.

AdmiralSirArchibald Tue 09-May-17 08:09:32

I'm SLT in secondary and do lunch and break duty and late detention everyday. I don't think it has to be teaching staff at break.

YoniFucker Tue 09-May-17 08:24:10

Op - try calling NUT?

MissEliza Tue 09-May-17 08:37:36

I'm a 1:1 LSA so have to be out at break but in my current school, all the teachers go out on morning break duty (including the deputy head) and the TAs head for the staff room.

MissEliza Tue 09-May-17 08:56:18

Just want to add while I think it's really hard work for the teaching staff, it means they get to see how the children interact outside of lessons so they really know what's going on.

LockedOutOfMN Tue 09-May-17 21:18:09

We have to do three duties a week (secondary school) at lunch and break times. It's in our contracts. We don't have TAs. All duties are done by teachers.

EveningShadows Tue 09-May-17 21:22:04

MissEliza, all the teachers do every break?! We have a rota and do one break duty a week.

EveningShadows Tue 09-May-17 21:22:17

I'm a teacher.

Emphasise Tue 09-May-17 21:26:06

From having worked in a variety of schools, I'd say all the best ones have slt doing break duty - and being on the playground before and after school so they're available to parents.

No legal requirement to have a teacher on the playground at break, but I'd take a dim view of a teacher who was trying to demonstrate they needn't take their turn

ThisIsNotARealAvo Tue 09-May-17 21:35:51

Basically we have loads of issues with absence which means that if a ta is covering a teacher, which happens a lot, we are told that the ta can't cover the break duty so one of us has to as we legally need a teacher outside. Some weeks I've been out every morning which means it's hard to set up for the next lesson. I was just wondering whether we legally had to have a teacher out there or whether it is ok to just have TAs. It wasn't meant to be a post about whether or not teachers should have to do playground duty.

DanyellasDonkey Tue 09-May-17 22:16:32

I'm in Scotland and teachers never have to do playground or lunchtime supervision, so I don't know if it's differently legally up here. As far as I was told by our union rep, you are entitled to an hour's break and don't even still need to be on the premises.

MissEliza Tue 09-May-17 22:53:43

Yes Evening all teachers except the head (and she does dip in and out to give her credit) are out at morning break. I can see the benefits in terms of discipline in the playground but I really admire how hardworking the teaching staff are.

Whileweareonthesubject Tue 09-May-17 22:58:11

Not sure about the legal requirements, but at our school support staff are not paid for breaks, so it would cost more to send us out than the teachers. Given the state of the budgets, it's unlikely to happen.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Tue 09-May-17 23:29:18

I do playground duty at my dds school. I am a parent volunteer and am not trained in any first aid or anything. It's usually me and another couple of volunteers on a rota basis with a couple of TA's. Very rarely do you see a teacher outside, if ever. If they're not getting paid for it I don't blame them, I think they do enough.

EveningShadows Wed 10-May-17 00:02:08

That is hard - I use my break time to get the next lesson's resources out and ready so I can hit the ground running, daily break duty would be hard!

Nix32 Sun 14-May-17 06:54:06

We don't have set break times - teachers take their classes when they feel it is appropriate, so if lessons need to run on or be cut short they can be - so all of our teachers go through the morning without a break. It just means all preparation has to be done before school.

BeingATwatItsABingThing Sun 14-May-17 07:07:30

I do one break a week like the rest of the teachers. The teaching SLT in my school do break but the head DHead and AHead don't. The DHead does stand in the corridor to ensure the children come in nicely.

If the teacher covering is out, it's expected that break times will be swapped. I don't object to doing it to be honest. I chat to some of the kids I'd otherwise never speak to and my class show me the dance routines, etc. that we never have time for in lesson.

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