planning and assessment time

The Teaching Service Agreement provides for dedicated time for planning and assessment – have you got yours?

We have fielded a number of member queries on the workplace-based issue of sufficient time provision for preparation and assessment tasks. The answer, in large part, is contained in the Teachers Agreement – Teaching Service Salaries and Conditions of Employment Agreement 2014 – which legislates many conditions of employment including planning, preparation and assessment time guarantees.

Clause 10 of the Teaching Service Salaries and Conditions of Employment Agreement 2014 states: ‘In formulating a school’s timetable of activities, time for teachers to plan, prepare and assess students work should be made available within the 70 hours’ attendance time each fortnight. Provided that 2.5 hours per week, or 5 hours per fortnight (no cumulative), shall be allowed for Primary teachers for planning, preparation and assessment with the 35 hours per week or 70 hours per fortnight.

It is therefore clear that, for Primary teachers, 2.5 hours per week or 5 hours per fortnight (for full time and pro rata for part time) must be set as designated time for these activities and for Secondary and College teachers there must be an allocation – which obviously needs to be adequate time for the purpose.  This time should be discrete and free from other activities that take Duties other Than Teaching (DoTT) time which is the on-site required time (70 hours per fortnight) other than instructional time. So this DoTT is a minimum of 15 hours per week/30 hours per fortnight for full time Secondary /College teachers who have maximums of 20 hours per week/40 hours per fortnight instructional load, and 13 hours per week /26 hours per fortnight for full time Primary teachers who have maximums of 22 hours per week/44 hours per fortnight for instructional load.

This DoTT time is commonly taken up with duty, meetings, team discussions, supervision of students, the ½ hour before first class requirement. These activities must occur separately from the required provision of planning, preparation and assessment time.

If you have concerns about the application/provision of such time or other queries relating to DoTT or instructional loads, then contact the AEU office for further advice so that such provision can be acknowledged as included in your on-site DoTT activities. This could be an item for discussion at an AEU workplace sub-branch meeting.