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Directed Time FAQ

Answered below are the most frequently asked questions on directed time.

If you require further guidance, please see our other pages on directed time or contact your workplace rep or local branch.

Teachers covered by the School Teachers Pay and Condition Document (STPCD) in England and Wales are contractually required to work for a maximum of 1265 hours over 195 days in a year. You can work out your Directed Time by requesting a breakdown of this (Directed Time Calendar) from Senior Management. If they are not forthcoming you can do your own calculation to present to them in the event that you find you are working more than you are contractually obligated to.

Use the calculator.

Included in Directed Time is all potential teaching time, PPA, registration, mid-session breaks, trapped time, staff meetings, parents’ evenings, INSET days – it essentially includes all time you are directed to be working in the school except for your lunch break.

School reps and members are encouraged to get a school wide Directed Time calendar. This will require management to set out how many hours they are expecting teachers to do various tasks (INSET days, PPA time, timetabled teaching time, performance management, staff meetings, parents’ meetings etc). This will not necessarily be a personalised calendar for every individual, but it is possible to request a personal calendar from a member of the SLT if you feel you are working beyond your contractual 1265 hours.

Although having a workplace rep is the ideal situation, any member of staff can request a Directed Time calendar from management. All the resources to support you in doing this can be found on Directed Time. Of course, if you would like to become a rep, you can find out more – Become a rep.

If you have found that you are working more than you are obligated to, you should first raise this, along with the evidence in your calculations to your line manager or Headteacher. If they do not do anything to rectify the problem, then you should get in touch with your workplace rep or local NEU branch. It is also a good idea to raise your concerns about this with colleagues as they may be facing similar problems in which case the issue could be dealt with collectively.

Those on the Leadership Scale, Headteachers, Support Staff and teachers not covered by STPCD are not contractually required to work for a maximum of 1265 hours over 195 days.

It is, however, the position of the NEU that these staff should also have a directed time calendar because it is good practice and an effective method of ensuring all staff have a reasonable work/life balance and staff workload is manageable. This can mirror the STPCD or be mutually agreed.

Teachers in receipt of a Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR) payment are still covered by 1265, as are teachers on the Upper Pay Range. TLR holders should be allocated a reasonable amount of time during the school day for the purpose of discharging their additional responsibilities.

Part-time teachers’ Directed Time is calculated in much the same way as their pay – by comparing the hours they have worked with the School Timetabled Teaching Week (STTW). For example, a part-time teacher who works 15 teaching hours in a STTW of 25 hours will be entitled to be paid 60% of the appropriate full time pay rate.

That part-time teacher would therefore be expected to be available for work for a maximum of 755.1 hours of directed time (60% of the 1265 hours of ‘directed time’ which a full-time teacher is contractually required to work annually). Of this, there would be a maximum of 585 hours of teaching time (15 hours for 39 weeks of term time) and a maximum of 170.1 hours (755.1 hours-585 hours) for directed time for non-teaching duties.

A part-time teacher cannot be directed to work or attend non-pupil days on days when they do not normally work. They may, however, agree to attend staff/departmental meetings, parents/open evenings and INSET days and other non-pupil days on such days by mutual agreement with the head teacher. Indeed, with regard to INSET days it would be expected that most teachers would welcome any opportunities for useful CPD and should be offered the chance to take part.

The NEU position is that you receive additional payment for this working time. Under the STPCD part time teachers will receive 1/1265 of the appropriate full time pay rate for each hour of additional working time or 1/195 of the full time equivalent annual salary for a full INSET day.

All teachers who teach pupils should have PPA time – included in Directed Time. The STPCD sets PPA time as a minimum of ten per cent of a teacher’s timetabled teaching time. This should be in blocks of time of at least 30 minutes’ duration. Teachers cannot be directed to undertake specific activities (including meetings or cover) during their PPA time. The NEU supports PPA time of 20 per cent.

If you have raised this concern with management and they continue to direct you to undertake other activities during your PPA, please speak to your school rep or contact your local branch or the Adviceline for further advice.

Lunch time is not part of your Directed Time and you should therefore not be directed to undertake any supervision or other lunchtime duties, including management-convened meetings in this time. Any teacher who works for more than one school session on any school day must be given a break of ‘reasonable length’ between sessions or between the hours of 12 noon and 2pm.

Trapped time is when any meeting or activity is scheduled to take place at the end of the school day and there is a gap of time between the end of the school day and the beginning of the meeting. If there isn’t sufficient time between to go home this is trapped time and should be counted towards directed time.

After school activities, breakfast clubs, summer school, extracurricular clubs are not included in the 1265 hours of directed time. Teachers should be paid for the additional work.

Open Evenings, School Productions, Summer Fayres etc. can be included in Directed Time. If they are not teachers cannot be directed to attend. Teachers cannot be directed to work on any Saturday, Sunday or public holiday.

Parent meetings are part of directed time. Teachers should only attend one parental consultation per year for each year group.

Schools may have to open later the following day to allow a sufficient break for staff in accordance with the 1998 Working Time Regulations, which confer the right to a minimum rest period of 11 consecutive hours in a 24 hour period.

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Directed time

How many hours you should be available for work.

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