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Teachers' lunchtimes

(16 Posts)
Meredusoleil Mon 14-Sep-20 08:37:15

Just wanted to find out what the situation is with all you other (primary) school teachers since the return this academic year.

I have been told I will get 30 minutes for lunch. Plus I have to supervise the children every day whilst they eat their lunch in class ie non-official lunch duty. Lus I have to go outside with them before they eat their lunch. Every day I think it is (only work part time though, so 3 days).

None of this was discussed or agreed beforehand and obviously no extra pay.

I know TAs have been doing this kind of thing for awhile, but they are paid for the hours they work. As a teacher, I thought we were supposed to have at least 1 hour break altogether per day and that any lunchtime supervision is purely voluntary and should be paid extra?

Has all that gone now due to this awful virus?!?

OP’s posts: |
echt Mon 14-Sep-20 09:23:52

Unless you work in an academy, who may have different rules, no teacher can be obliged to to do a lunch duty at all. This form the NEU but is not an interpretation, it is fact:

Can any teacher be required to undertake mid-day supervision?

No teacher can be required to do this under their STPCD contract of employment as a teacher. However, if a teacher volunteers to do so, they are entitled to a free school meal. Some schools also offer to pay teachers undertaking lunch duties on a separate contract. Please check your contract of employment if you are a teacher in an academy, independent school or other establishment. The NEU’s position is that no teacher should be required to undertake mid-day supervision. If you are required to do so please contact your school rep or local officer.

echt Mon 14-Sep-20 09:27:57

neu.org.uk/advice/workload-and-working-time

It is hard, but just say no. They're trying it on in a Covid-stylee.

Do not say it but put it in writing: I have been advised that cut and paste

It doesn't matter if you're not in the union, hence the "I am advised" as it could be a union, echt or a QC.

Meredusoleil Mon 14-Sep-20 09:41:26

echt

neu.org.uk/advice/workload-and-working-time

It is hard, but just say no. They're trying it on in a Covid-stylee.

Do not say it but put it in writing: I have been advised that cut and paste

It doesn't matter if you're not in the union, hence the "I am advised" as it could be a union, echt or a QC.

Thanks. Will do that. My school is an LA school. What's an ehct?

OP’s posts: |
Meredusoleil Mon 14-Sep-20 09:43:20

What about only having 30 minutes for lunch?

OP’s posts: |
echt Mon 14-Sep-20 10:57:52

What's an ehct?

Me. Typo.blush

It only says a reasonable length, but whatever is left is till yours. They can't give you duty.

Meredusoleil Mon 14-Sep-20 11:20:30

echt

What's an ehct?

Me. Typo.blush

It only says a reasonable length, but whatever is left is till yours. They can't give you duty.

Thanks for the heads up.

So would you say both going out on the playground AND supervising the kids eating in class would constitute duty? The thing is, I'm being used as support staff to provide cover instead of having my usual classes, due to the bubble restriction.

OP’s posts: |
noblegiraffe Mon 14-Sep-20 14:46:47

Lunchtime is unpaid therefore non-directed time and you can't be told to do anything in it, you can literally walk off site on the bell. Break time is directed time which is why they can make you do duties in it.

If they are asking you to do stuff in your unpaid lunch break then you can say no.

Subordinateclause Mon 14-Sep-20 21:28:31

Our primary head has been very careful to ensure teaching staff aren't covering lunch, even though it means she's had to put herself on the rota. I worked 8 til 5.30 today with a 15 min break to eat, using the rest of my time for marking/prepping - I don't have time to supervise lunch too! If I did, something else would have to give and I'd be having that conversation. It's too easy in teaching to be given more and more duties without anyone stopping to consider how possible it is to physically get the tasks done in the hours of the day available.

cassgate Mon 14-Sep-20 21:45:36

Sounds similar to my school. Teachers supervise children eating lunch for 30 minutes while TA has lunch, TA then takes over and supervises outside play while teacher has 30 minute lunch. Teachers at my school tended to stay in class for first 1/2 hour of lunch anyway to mark books or prep for the afternoon so not much different. All our TA’s do lunch duty anyway and then have 1/2 hour lunch so again not much difference.

wasgoingmadinthecountry Mon 14-Sep-20 22:40:04

It was mentioned (by me and possibly others) to our EHT that we would quickly burn out if we did loads of lunch duties so she has nobly taken nearly all of them on. We have 1 session a week each which is doable. In fact I have some of my class for 10 mins or so every day while the TA cleans a different classroom. I get paid for a management role and it is OK so far. Usually about 12 well behaved Year 5/6s eating sandwiches quietly. I'm waiting to see how the plan works when it rains...

Msgiggles30 Tue 15-Sep-20 15:15:30

We've only ever had 30 mins for lunch hmm

RaraRachael Tue 15-Sep-20 18:11:45

I'm in Scotland and we have never done any form of supervision thankfully including breaktimes.

At the moment we have 45 minutes for lunch. The children go out to play for 25 minutes, then eat their packed lunches in the classroom supervised by 2 P7s to each class with PSAs patrolling the corridors checking in on them.

SeasonFinale Tue 15-Sep-20 19:06:41

Actually my friend who is a TA is not paid for the hours she works. She too is being asked to give up her own time to do playground and lunchtime duties.

phlebasconsidered Tue 15-Sep-20 21:11:50

I'm getting 20 minutes after 20 minutes supervising my class eat in my room, after which i'm wiping down.

I contacted my union but as I am an academy the response was basically 'sorry'. Nothing to be done.

At the moment I am just sticking Deadly 60 on, telling them to eat and sod off to my class outside bit while I keep a weather eye and try to mark so I don't have to take the covidy books home. The minute my slt tell me to do "quality games" they will get an earful. Actually, they would hate it anyway. They just want to play, even in year 6. I've given them big chalks and they're tagging the outside walls.

I'm also doing EVERY break. When I need a piss I holler and my fellow teachers stand in the corridor and "supervise".

Ellle Tue 15-Sep-20 21:32:08

At our school we are all getting one hour lunch breaks (teachers and TAs).

Teachers still have it from 12 to 1, but some TAs will either start their break half an hour earlier or later so that one of them covers half an hour of playtime and the other half an hour of lunch time. This is done together with the lunch supervisor who is present from 12 to 1, so that there are always two adults present.

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