Working time

Compassionate leave: what do I need to know?

In the unfortunate event that one of your relatives has passed away you will want to know how much time you can take time off school. You will want to check to see if your school has a compassionate leave policy outlining specific details for time off, paid leave and attending funerals.

Do I have to go into school when it snows?

In the winter months you will be keeping a close watch on the weather forecast to see if there will be impending snow and how it might affect your travel into school. In this article, we look at if you are required to attend school in poor weather conditions, whether you are paid on snow days, and if you have to make up any additional teaching days.

How can I make a request for flexible working?

Flexible working will enable you to change the normal hours you work in school. It might be impracticable for you to work set hours because of personal circumstances at home, caring for children or other factors. This article outlines what flexible working is, how you can request it and what happens if your application is refused.

How can I request leave for exceptional circumstances?

During term time you may have to request leave from school due to unexpected circumstances. This may be due to a range of reasons from attending jury service, going to a graduation ceremony to attending a wedding. Your school may have a special or exceptional staff leave policy which you will need to consult before requesting leave. In addition, your local authority or academy trust, might have a policy outlining details on requesting leave under exceptional circumstances.

How much lesson planning am I required to do?

You might feel you are required to complete too many lesson plans, are being asked to upload plans onto the share drive each weekend or are unsure of what lesson planning expectations are from the Department for Education (DfE).

How much time am I entitled for school break times?

Teachers’ working hours can feel complicated. You are often expected to work as much as is reasonable to be able to effectively discharge your professional duties. With planning, marking, parents’ evenings, open days, revision sessions and after school activities, it is important teachers are able to manage their working time in such a way that allows them to perform well and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

INSET days: what are my requirements to attend?

You might be heading back to school from the summer holidays and wondering about the amount of INSET days you will have to attend this academic year. You might think you are being asked to attend an excessive amount of days, or you are attending additional training outside your normal working hours.

Jack’s Law: what does it mean for teachers?

The government has announced that parents who suffer the devastating loss of a child will be entitled to 2 weeks’ statutory leave. The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations, which will be known as Jack’s Law in memory of Jack Herd whose mother Lucy campaigned tirelessly on the issue,

Job sharing in schools

You might be looking at job sharing in your school so you can balance demanding priorities. It can be a useful way to achieve an effective work/life balance with an increasing number of teachers, senior leaders and headteachers job sharing throughout the UK.

Lesson observations: how many times can I be observed?

You may be unsure of how often members of SLT at your school can carry out lesson observations while you are teaching. Observations could have an impact on your workload, well-being and you might be worried about raising a concern with your school. 

Marking expectations for teachers

As a teacher you might think if there are set marking expectations for the marking of pupils’ work? Is there a specific expectation for the type, depth or quality of marking from the Department of Education (DfE), Ofsted or even set by your school?

Teaching out of subject specialism

You might be asked by your school to teach outside your subject specialism for a temporary period of time. This might be because of staff shortages or restructuring taking place within your school or Trust.

What is a fixed-term contract?

You might be employed on a fixed-term contract at your school and want to know what your employment rights are. Sometimes fixed-term contracts are issued to cover maternity leave, long-term sick leave or for a specific time-limited task.

What should I do if I have a concern with my teaching timetable?

You might have joined a different school, starting a new school year or have been allocated new classes half-way through the school year. You may be confused about your new timetable, how much ‘planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time is allocated to you or concerned about teaching a particular class during period six.