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PPA Time


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I know this has been discussed before but thought a new topic was appropriate!

 

Have heard today of a school where the LSAs are going to take some sort of assessment in Maths and English to ascertain their competency to cover for the teacher in PPA time. If they do not meet the required standards they are going to be offered some courses, I believe.

 

Anyone else doing this?

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Ok Ive just heard (?) that TAs are no longer able to cover PPA time (ours have been doing so quite successfully) on a regular basis. They can cover a lesson on an ad hoc basis eg if a tecaher had an SEN review or an appoitment but not on a regular planned session.

Has anyone else been made aware of this , literally in the last week?

 

We are now having to lok at our model again.

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We have been told that our TA's are to cover for PPA time and an unqualified TA put with them for support while the teacher is not there. As the NNEB's have declined the training for HTLA they will not be paid any extra, as our HT says that they have to have the higher qualification to be elligible for the higher pay when they are covering!!! Terrible I think. I think their union should be looking at this.

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We are advertising for a TA to do exactly this at the moment. How can schools be expected to implement this if the powers that be dont put the resources in? (especially smaller schools) I would be interested to know how creative schools are in managing this.

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And on the news tonight they are saying that some heads are threatening to close schools on a Friday afternoon to allow PPA time as they can afford the extra cover. Personally I think thats the best idea of all anyway and then all staff can be involved in the PPA!

 

And there was I hoping Supply work might pick up. :o

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Nursery Nurses are able to cover in the nursery and reception but we are having qualified teacher to cover the other years- I was under the impression that it was done to the school itself

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We are a big school and taking on 3 new members of staff to cover PPA time. They will lead each phase and not have a class but will do all the cover. The problem is that teachers are still accountable for planning and activites going on in the classroom while on PPA time. Our head was unhappy about TAs covering while we would be accountable.

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I'm part of the Remodelling Team at my school. We are currently brainstorming how we are going to manage the PPA in September (3-form entry school).

 

As far as planning for the PPA time is concerned, the teacher is not supposed to plan for their PPA time as it is then a waste of PPA time - if you get my drift! The idea is that PPA is a time when the teacher is free to do just that, but if s/he is expected to plan for the time when she is out of class, then it is putting more work on their shoulders - therefore it is not something that teachers are expected to do. Whoever covers is to plan - that is why HLTAs are going to be used in some instances as in order to achieve their status, they have to provide evidence that they can plan and deliver lessons.

 

This is probably why TAs are currently unable to deliver long term cover as they have not been validated as to whether they are currently capable of doing so - my advice to anyone currently using TAs would be to encourage them to go for HLTA status (portfolio of work needed) and this would solve their problem of not being allowed to cover regularly.

 

My long standing NN has been airing her annoyance at having to apply for HLTA status because of her years of experience at doing her job!! However, it is the way forward. It is a shame, but our headteacher has unofficially suggested to all NNs and TAs that it is professionally in their best interests to consider doing HLTA training - as that is what the future holds.

 

Hope this helps . . . . or not!!!!

 

D xxx

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Dear Gater

I understand what you are saying but if you are still accountable as it states on dfes site then you still need to be involved. You can't say oh I left this person to do it. How do you get around that.

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As I understand it, TA's are not allowed to deliver lessons and the planning is the responsibility of the class teacher (who may of course invovle the TA, as we do). TA's can supervise classes, though. Also, the HLTA is purely a staus and does not come with any increase in salary, which I think is really bad - why would TAs want to do all that work if they don't really reap any rewards? They are badly paid as it is!

Right, off my soap box now :o

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HLTAs are eligible for enhanced pay to provide cover for PPA time. This only applies when they are responsible for the planning of this cover. When it is the class teacher doing the planning, then there is not a requirement to pay them for any 'additional' responsibilities as they are simply 'monitoring' the lesson that the teacher has planned for, prepared for, and will assess when the work is collected in. The enhanced pay for HLTAs is because they have provided evidence that they can plan, deliver and often assess the lessons they deliver. Yes I know the HLTA is a status - but it is a status that shows that the person is capable of providing a cover that is not just 'observing the lesson and monitoring the children's behaviour'. They are delivering a lesson.

 

I am only reporting what we discussed in detail at the Remodelling Meeting!! Don't shoot me! You see, as a big school, we have to analyse the viability of doing anything coz it will cost huge amounts to cover the amount of classes we have. This issue was raised as a means to reduce the amount of money it will cost. Some teachers were saying that they were happy to plan for the lessons they were released for as it provided continuity in the lessons etc. This was when it was brought to our attentions that the covers would not then be given enhanced pay as they wouldn't have been responsible for the 'over and above' workings.

 

Others then spoke of the fact that what was the point of PPA time if you actually had to spend the time then planning for the time you were out of lessons. This was then greeted with the fact that HLTAs would be provided with enhanced pay - and in some cases, so would NNs - because they would then be solely responsible for the planning and delivery of the lesson.

 

It also was added by the Head that schools have to provide PPA time by law and it was up to individual schools to manage this. Money is available in schools budgets, it is simply up to the schools to manage it appropriately. Hard he accepted, but required, nonetheless.

 

If therefore, you school is using TAs, then the teacher is required to plan for the lessons etc. If there is a great burning desire not to have any responsibility for what goes on in their classes for their PPA time, then HLTAs/cover supervisors/supply teachers etc can be used - but obviously HLTAs are deserving of an enhanced pay as they have class responsibilty - more than when they are carrying out TA duties - so they should be paid as such.

 

We have HLTAs in training at the minute and it is accepted by tem that they will be paid their normal TA wage. When they cover PPA time, they will get it enhanced - for the time they cover, and then revert. It's one way on the cards that we are working on using the money in the budget.

 

Hope this clarifies!

 

D xxx

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Gater, that's really interesting - I shall have to raise this with my Head! At the mo we only have one person doing HLTA and they have just finished the course...

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PPA is a big issue, HLTA and single status is a big issue. Introducing them both together is a nightmare!

Our head's understanding is that staff with HTLA can't be paid at two different rates so they can't be paid at TA rate for 'normal' duties and HLTA for PPA cover- it has to be one or the other. There does seem to be a lot of confusion about these issues and lots of conflicting advice and information.

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Hi there, we have just started the PPA at our school and at present it looks something like this:

 

I have PPA time Monday morning (I teach Reception) and an HLTA teaches my class. She is also my part-time TA and the head has brought in a pre-school staff member to assist. She has my full-time TA in there as well.

Monday afternoon - I teach music to Reception (my class), Y1 & Y2. A carousel of activities runs - ICT taught by an HLTA with TA help and Games taught by another HLTA again with TA help.

KS2 haven't got theirs up & running yet but have enlisted a football coach to do some of it.

 

It seems to be working well so far. For games the HLTA has taken our various Val Sabin schemes and is planning from those. ICT has to have plans written.

The HLTAs get paid slightly more for the times they operate like this (I think it's something like 60p!!! Criminal I know)

Does that help the discussion?

Heyjude

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Hi All

 

I have been following this thread with interest but have not contributed as I work in a pre-school and therefore not involved with PPA.

 

However, maybe there is a 'knock on effect'( for want of a better description) I am now in the process of discussing changing the days I work in order to assist another member of pre-school staff. She has been informed that it is 'likely' her children's school will close at lunch time on Fridays from September. All school staff will have the rest of the day for their PPA. This leaves my colleague with childcare problems for Friday afternoons.

 

Just wondered if anyone else is in the same boat - any other schools solving the problem of PPA by closing???

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Again not affected unless schools decide to close and yes we would too have staffing problems/childcare issues.

 

just wondering...

is there a legal requirement of the number of hours a child must attend school in a week, or year....

number of days I believe has a minimum but if they are four and a half days rather than five in a week is this OK?

 

Inge

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  • 3 months later...
As I understand it, TA's are not allowed to deliver lessons and the planning is the responsibility of the class teacher (who may of course invovle the TA, as we do). TA's can supervise classes, though. Also, the HLTA is purely a staus and does not come with any increase in salary, which I think is really bad - why would TAs want to do all that work if they don't really reap any rewards? They are badly paid as it is!

Right, off my soap box now  :o

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Hi,

 

I understood that under the restructured TA pay scale at level 4 a TA could now earn up to £27,000. However, Heads rarely pay this. In our school the Head has decided, in her wisdom, that teachers may take 30mins PPA time each day while remaining in the class with the TA taking a story (in reception) or setting homework in later years. Therefore no TA will be paid beyond level 2 as she says they are not doing additional work. I have argued strongly against PPA time having to be taken in class, especially that teachers are not to be expected to deal with immediate disciplinary issues, as stated in the NUT guidelines, as would ovbiously happen. But as a VA church school the LEA has lesser powers as to how PPA time is implemented. Has anyone else heard of such a situation? I would be extremely grateful for feedback.

 

Fountain.

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I would say it is unreasonable to expect you to take PPA time in this way - quite apart from your own worries, half an hour slots are too short to get your teeth into anything! Also, how are you going to be able to do team planning if you are expected to stay in your classroom? Our head told us that theoretically we could take our PPA time outside school e.g. if we wanted to visit another setting etc...

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  • 1 month later...

What team planning!

 

Well it's October now and the reality is that I don't really get PPA time. Year 2 and above at least get an hours sports coaching time to allow them some proper PPA time.

 

I am now actively looking for another job!

 

When I actually leave should I make some representation to the Governors of our VA school to let them know how unreasonable I found the arrangements? Presumably I would have already had my reference from the Head then.

Edited by fountain
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you are entitled to PPA time and there should be no excuses. Even an hour for the other staff is not enough. Please talk to your Head and then bring in the union.

 

If you are leaving a school because of feeling disgruntled, you could put that in your resignation letter and copy it to the LEA/governors/anyone who will listen.

 

However you do run the risk of bad feeling and as you say a poor reference. Better to sort it out if you can (yes I know that isnt easy, Im having my own managmenet battles at the moment)

 

Good luck with the job hunting!

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The union and the LEA are involved but the Head says she has provided for PPA time, albeit in class for 30 minutes. This, and I quote the LEA, 'is not in the spirit of the thing,' but The NUT has advised it is not illegal. The LEA have lesser powers of persausion in a VA school. Believe me I have argued. My Head has stated that observations are assessments (I am in Year 1 at present) and therefore I can observe the children during their story time.

 

The Head says this is the only way she can budget for curriculum leadership time. I have contact with many teachers from schools local to me and since the introduction of PPA time many don't get subject leadership time. So much for work/life balance.

 

Must dash. I have planning and assessing that needs my urgent attention by Monday morning!!

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