Working time

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) or Ofsted.

How much time am I entitled for school break and lunchtimes?

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.

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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.

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. 

What can I do when strike action is taking place at my school?

Teachers at your school might be about to go on strike and you might be unsure of what to do. In this article, we answer frequently asked questions about striking, what your entitlements are and provide definitions for different terminology.

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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.