PPA time (planning, preparation and assessment) is a phrase which all teachers will be familiar with. Catching up with lesson planning and assessment is a vital part of a teacher’s role.
The School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) explains that all teachers who participate in the teaching of pupils are entitled to reasonable periods of PPA time as part of the 1265 hours or pro rata equivalent to enable the discharge of the professional responsibilities of teaching and assessment.
If you work in a maintained school, the STPCD sets out the statutory requirements of the use of your working time.
Your employment contract should make clear what time is ‘directed time’, ‘PPA time’, ‘teaching time’, ‘time for meetings’ or ‘CPD’, and what responsibilities outside of your contract may be eligible for additional pay.
We have published another article on directed time here.
How long can PPA time last for?
The STPCD explains that PPA time must be provided in units of not less than half an hour during the school’s timetabled teaching week and must amount to not less than 10% of the teacher’s timetabled teaching time.
A teacher must not be required to carry out any other duties during the teacher’s PPA time.
PPA time: how is it practically implemented by schools?
Granby Primary School in Leicester has a PPA policy. It explains that the school will not:
“… direct staff to undertake particular tasks such as covering for a colleague, attending a course or meeting. Granby may ask staff in extenuating circumstances but the school cannot require it. In the interests of goodwill, smooth running of the school, the welfare of children or simply because it suits teachers, they might wish to swap PPA time with another teacher or defer the PPA time to another occasion, that is up to the teacher; but PPA time is an entitlement, guaranteed by the STPCD, it is not a benefit or privilege. Covering for an absent colleague is specifically mentioned in the STPCD as being unacceptable.”
At Damers First School in Dorset the school explains:
“PPA time is time set aside for teachers during their timetabled teaching day to allow them to carry out planning, preparation and assessment activities. Teachers are entitled to a minimum of 10 per cent of the time they spend teaching their class, as PPA time.
Stanwick Primary Academy in Northamptonshire has a PPA policy. It explains what will happen in exceptional circumstances:
“The academy will, under all normal circumstances, guarantee the appropriate PPA allocations to all teachers employed by the academy. However, in some exceptional circumstances, the academy may need to suspend the allocation of PPA to ensure the safety and well-being of pupils attending the academy, e.g. when severe weather conditions result in a significant percentage of staff being unable to reach the academy or during a pandemic where staffing may be low. The academy will only take a decision to suspend PPA in exceptional circumstances and in consultation with staff.”
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