All schools should have a calendar which clearly sets out the activities which form part of teachers’ directed time – this should be published in the summer term for the whole of the following academic year and should be subject to consultation with staff via trade unions.

Directed time can be a maximum of 1,265 hours per academic year, spread over 195 days, and schools are advised to allow a contingency to cover any unexpected events (though these should be rare and subject to consultation with staff).

Directed time covers: teaching time, PPA time, break times (but not lunchtimes, during which time teachers cannot be required to do work), duties, parents evenings, after school meetings, INSET/CPD and anything else which teachers are “directed” to do and which requires their professional skills. The provisions are covered in the teacher contract (the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document – STPCD).

NEU reps/members should ask their head or leadership team for the directed time calendar and the school’s calculation of directed time during the summer term if it has not been provided and ensure staff are consulted before it is implemented.

How to win on directed time in your workplace:

  1. Organise a meeting of members to discuss directed time
  2. Use our pro forma to calculate the hours you are working
  3. If your hours exceed 1,265 over the year, ask your head teacher for a meeting to discuss directed time
  4. Meet again with members to discuss your head’s response and decide your next steps  
  5. If you need any support, contact your branch secretary (below).

You can get contact details by telling us which local authority you work in:

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