Directed time artwork

Directed time

Directed time is when teachers are directed by their head teacher to be available for work. 

Ensuring a directed time calendar, negotiated by NEU members, is in place is the first step towards tackling teacher workload at your school.  A directed time calendar is important to ensure teachers’ hours are reasonable and is standard practice within the profession.

What is directed time?

Directed time is when teachers are directed by their head teacher to be available for work. 

  • This is a maximum of 1,265 hours per academic year, spread over 195 days. 
  • Teachers can be required to teach on 190 days, the maximum length of the pupil year.
  • Teachers can be required to work a further five non-teaching (usually inset) days. These hours count towards the 1,265 hour limit. 
  • Part-time teachers work the prorated equivalent according to the fraction of full-time pay they receive (see below). 

Act now to win a directed time calendar in your workplace

  1. Organise a meeting of members to discuss directed time – A maximum of 1265 directed hours is a contractual right for teachers and there should be an annual discussion about the calendar that sets out the details of teaching staff working time in the forthcoming academic year. If this is something that doesn’t usually happen at your school, use the members meeting to agree that the rep/s will speak to the head about a DT calendar. A proforma template with examples on how directed time can be calculated is available.
  2. Meet with the head to ensure that a DT calendar with a maximum 1265 hours will be issued following consultation and any areas of concern will be discussed fully with the union. 
  3. Meet again with members to discuss your head’s response and decide your next steps.
  4. If you have concerns about the calendar, use the Excel pro forma to calculate the hours of you and your colleagues. 
  5. If you need any support, contact your branch secretary.

Use the posters below when you call a meeting and share your stories with us via [email protected].

Reps directed time letters

Template letters to request for meeting to discuss workload, follow up and final letter if there's no response.

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