Gained time

During the academic year, especially during the summer term, teachers are released from some of their timetabled teaching commitments as a result of pupils being on study leave, examination leave or when pupils meet their year group tutor. This time is known as gained time.

There are activities directly relevant to teaching and learning for which it would be appropriate to use gained time and which would be reasonable for a head teacher to direct teachers to undertake. They are:

  • developing or revising department/subject curriculum materials, schemes of work, lesson plans and policies in preparation for the new academic year - including identifying appropriate materials for use by supply staff and/or cover supervisors

  • assisting colleagues in appropriate planned team teaching activities

  • taking groups of pupils to provide additional learning support

  • supporting selected pupils with coursework

  • undertaking planned activities with pupils transferring between year groups or from primary school

  • CPD during school session, where a school has a policy allowing this.

If teachers are directed to cover during gained time, it must count towards the 38-hour limit - see the cover section of this website.

Workload campaign

ATL's workload campaign - It's about time - aims to empower our members and colleagues to find ways to tackle the issue, to reduce hours, to reduce unnecessary workload and to give professionals the time and trust back to make the maximum impact on pupils' learning.

  • Use our work-life tracker to get a sense of the drivers of workload for you and in your workplace, and how these and your work-life balance can change over time.
  • Explore the help and advice on offer.
  • Find out how you can work with colleagues to deal with the specific workload issues that cause problems in your place of work.

Need further advice?

Your first point of contact is your ATL rep in your school or college. Your local ATL branch is also available to help with queries, or you can contact ATL's member advisors on tel: 020 7930 6441 or email us. Please have your membership number to hand when telephoning and include it with any correspondence - this will help us to answer your query more quickly.


My role

My sector

My location

Find my branch