INSET days: what are my requirements to attend?

Overview

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 or are attending additional training outside your directed hours. 

In this article, we explain what INSET days are, your requirements to attend and what to do if you think you are attending too many.

What are INSET days?

INSET (INSErvice Training days) were introduced in 1988 by the then education secretary Ken Baker so teachers could take part in professional development outside of their standardised 190 days.

Schools can decide how to spread out INSET days across the academic year, so you might attend two at the beginning of the school year, one before Easter and two at the end of the school year. Pupils do not attend school on INSET days.

Content during INSET days can range from all-staff briefings about your school’s priorities and objectives, safeguarding training, planning lessons and schemes of work to setting up your classroom. Headteachers can decide on the content to be included during INSET days and it can vary from school to school.

What are my requirements to attend INSET days?

If you are a teacher in a maintained school and your school follows the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) your school must designate five days per year for purposes other than teaching. Each of the five days should be allocated six hours of directed time, even if teachers do not undertake activities for all of that time.

There are examples of schools which use all five INSET days in one week or schools which try and coincide INSET days with elections to reduce school closures. 

Headteachers must ensure these five days are used for training purposes, as otherwise it would be depriving teachers from their right to continuing professional development.

Academies that do not follow the STPCD can decide how many INSET days to hold each year.

We have a selection of articles which look at the topic of directed time in school.

What should I do if I have questions about INSET days?

Your INSET days should be communicated to you in advance and included in the school calendar. If you think you are being asked to attend too many INSET days you contact us for advice and guidance.

If you are unable to attend an INSET day because you are unwell you will have to inform your school in the morning. We have written another article which looks at the topic of sick leave in schools.

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
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