Teachers we need to defend Directed Time protections as Gove is after those too

Directed time is another area under attack by Gove and so is another thing that we have to defend

What is Directed Time?

This is a limit to the amount of hours you can be directed to work it includes teaching hours/meetings/parents evening. It doesn’t include additional planning and preparation etc that you have to do beyond PPA time, which can often confuse and be used to sometimes extend directed working hours behind the 1265 hours per year limit.

The limit is 1265 hours per year and these hours shoud have been organised and set down last July as a directed time calendar. This is best practice but rarely happens so it is incumbent on members to manage their own workload.

How should it work

The 1265 hours should be planned and spread out though the ŷear. It should be planned/agreed in the July before a new schools year starts thus allowing teachers to have some semblance of control over of working time and a work-life balance. The 1265 is a maximum and schools should not plan for every hour but leave a cushion for those unforeseen events. The NUT view is that this time should not be completely directed but used by teachers, since as professionals teachers know best how to use their time. There was no directed time until recently it is a recent idea based on the idea that teachers HAVE to be directed… scrutinised … micro-managed to do things.

How it works – poor practice

Poor practice either to have no directed time breakdown or to fill every hour up at the beginning of the year thus allowing No flexibility for those events which crop up in a busy school year.

Best practice/How it can be used?

Keep a log of directed time individually and collectively. Have an idea of what the total directed time should be by e.g. February and work out when the 1265 will be reached. Since when the maximum is reached then you can refuse to attend any meetings etc – but as always this is best done collectively.

We have already seen locally that in ARK academies (Globe/Walworth/All Saints) new teachers have had an increase to 1635 hours, equating to an 8-5 working day. The idea being that teachers could stay and not take work home …These additional hours were filled up with extra classes and meetings with members still taking work home!

Gove wants no limits to directed time so …How directed time can be defended?

Through strong collective action nationally over pay

Through strong school action over workload

Through keeping an eye on directed time individually and collectively and through making sure that you have been given a directed time breakdown


Directed time calculator – work out the hours you have done so far

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2 Responses to Teachers we need to defend Directed Time protections as Gove is after those too

  1. peter bloom says:

    Compare your life with that in any independent school and recognise that 8:00 to 21:00 days are the norm – and that’s for day-pupils, whilst boarding-house staff work from 7:30am to 11:30pm.

    And, having spent 35 years as a classroom teacher – repeatedly graded ‘1’ by OFSTED and as ‘inspirational and charismatic’ by my last Head in his reference, I also take exception to the frequently spouted rubbish about working at weekends and in the holidays: I certainly never undertook so much as a single hour of educational work in my holidays, and only very rarely worked on a Sunday (Saturday was a full school day).

    During my many years in the State sector, I never had it so easy, in terms of contact time and days off during term-time, since I had every weekend 100% free of educational activities.

    And I’ve never, ever, taken a single day off work for sickness.

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