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Fairness in timetabling(7 Posts)
I've seen my timetable for next year. It's correct in so far as numbers of teaching periods but it doesn't look fair. Certain staff have lots of top set classes - not me. I have maybe one top set group and that's in ks3.
Anyone else in the same boat? Anything I can do?
You are unlikely to be able to do anything about this. I would speak to my HoD and try to get some recognition and agreement that you have been dealt shitty cards, and a) you would like to understand whether there is any logic behind it (for example, do they think you need more training to be able to teach top sets? I know, I know, but you have to play the game) and b) you would like it taken into account when timetabling is done next year, and things rebalanced.
It's worth mentioning it to your HoD. Sometimes it's hard to get a feel for individual's timetables, especially in a big department. Are your classes blocked - if eg half of year 10 are taught at the same time could you swap to a different set to balance things out?
It might just be that it's your 'turn' to have an unbalanced timetable but I'd be concerned if it happened every year. I didn't mind a timetable like that sometimes, I found you'd have a lot less visitors being brought to your class and you rarely got a trainee teacher so you could just get on with your own teaching! Of course, they might turn out to be lovely groups that you enjoy teaching.
I also don’t think you can do anything about it now, but next year from Feb onwards mention intermittently to hod that you were shafted last year so it’s your “turn” for decent classes this year.
I also don't think you will be able to do much at this stage.
I would say though, don't assume bottom of lower sets are necessarily difficult.
A colleague of ours has a bottom set Y8 group (set 5/5) and I have covered them while he was on paternity leave. I can honestly say they are absolutely delightful.
A small class, really well behaved and polite and worked really hard. Yes they need a slower pace/scaffolding/support but they were lovely to teach.
In the other hand, I taught a top set last year who were quite difficult to be honest - could be lazy, assumed that knew it all and we're at times quite arrogant.
Next year, I have a bottom set Y11 and I know there are some potential characters in it but I am planning to make sure the seating plan is well thought out and go in with a positive attitude. Sometimes, bottom sets pick up on the fact that staff don't look forward to having them.
It's hard, but try to see some positives and approach it as positively as you can - they may well be fine.
Surely there can only be 5 top sets in an 11-16 school? (One per year group)
Also, while it’s lovely doing the actual teaching of top sets, I find the planning and marking more onerous (they write loads, for one thing!).
I don't get the timetable fairness thing when it's just people not getting what they want.
I'd have sympathy if one person got 3 groups every year that are known for poor behaviour, but otherwise who cares? That's not being goady by the way. I really don't see feeling unfairness because someone else has a higher set. All students deserve a good teacher and top sets aren't the golden ticket, easy classes (or they shouldn't be if you're doing it right).
Then again, I also think staff should be placed where their strengths are and for the good of the whole department. E.g. there's 3 or 4 people in my team who are ace at high ability at ks4 so they'll tend to roughly get the higher groups year to year, others are great with KS4 SEND groups, some are good with boisterous ks3, needy ks3, getting great value added at middle ability ks4, experienced staff in the department tend to take the tougher classes to allow new staff and NQTs to have an easier ride. People will get a mix across the board but some staff are clearly placed to target certain classes.
I don't think you can do anything at this stage and I also think complaining about it sounds petty.
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