National Agreement – Reducing Workload and Raising Standards
Back in 2003, the National Workload Agreement was signed, which was a breakthrough in laying down legal entitlements for teachers to enjoy reductions in workload as well as establishing the principle that standards will rise when this actually happens. Phased in over 3 years, all aspects of the agreement should now be in place:
1. PPA Time (Planning, preparation and assessment)
Entitlement to at least 10% of your timetabled teaching time protected as PPA time. This has to be marked on your timetable and you cannot be directed to use it for anything else, for example meetings or cover. It is your time, not the school’s.
Teachers must not be used for invigilation of external exams, or internal exams where the timetable is changed to accommodate them, eg mock GCSEs.
As from this September, teachers can only be required to ‘rarely cover’. Rarely means exactly that – it will have to be very exceptional circumstances. Last term should have seen consultation with staff and unions on a rarely cover policy. This consultation has to take place and should be with a view to reaching agreement. Contact the office for a copy of the regulations and guidance.
4. Administrative Tasks
There is a list of over 20 clerical and administrative tasks that teachers cannot be required to do. These include inputting pupil data, chasing absences, collecting money, collating reports, etc.
5. Leadership and Management Time/Dedicated Headship Time
Schools must allow those with leadership/management responsibilities, and heads with significant teaching loads, reasonable time during school sessions to carry out their duties.
6. Work/Life Balance
This is not easy to quantify, but your contract says that all teachers and headteachers should enjoy a reasonable work/life balance and there should be downward pressure on working hours.
All these are your contractual entitlements and any school not following this is breaking the law. This is a fact and even the Government has said the same.
Contact the office if your school is breaking the law.