Teachers' Preparation Time Means Detention for Heads

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Byline: By ALED BLAKE Western Mail

Nine out 10 head teachers in Wales say an agreement which is supposed to free up their time has actually increased their workload.

The head teachers' union NAHT Cymru yesterday called for talks with Education Minister Jane Davidson over the mandatory planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time introduced in September.

PPA time means teachers have 10% of their week devoted to paperwork, marking and lesson preparation.

Acting secretary of NAHT Cymru Iwan Guy warned that the PPA time was not working and said his members in the primary school sector were complaining it had actually increased their workload.

He warned that some head teachers would make staff redundant to be able to pay for the PPA.

In a survey of NAHT Cymru primary school head teachers, 92% said the PPA time had increased their workload, with 31% saying they were covering all or some PPA time themselves.

And 14% of schools combine classes to enable teachers to have their PPA time - something Mr Guy said should concern parents across Wales.

The whole system looks threatened, with 75% of head teachers saying they are unlikely to be able to fund the arrangements next school year.

Comments from head teachers surveyed included, 'An absolute nightmare to get it right. Class teachers may have to be made redundant to ensure that the PPA system does not collapse.'

Another said, 'We have experienced more behavioural problems in classes when support staff cover PPA time.'

Mr Guy said last night, 'The results of this survey should be a serious worry for parents and governors of schools in Wales.

'The NAHT has repeatedly warned Government of the shortage of head teachers, it's a time bomb ticking away,' he added.

'The statistical report by the General Teaching Council for Wales shows that 33.1% of all head teachers in Wales are aged over 55 and 82. …