PPA time

The Workload Agreement guarantees teachers in maintained schools in England and Wales ten per cent of their timetabled teaching to be set aside as preparation, planning and assessment (PPA) time during the school day.

The aim of this allocation of time is to encourage collaborative professional activity in the preparation of high quality lessons and to increase the work/life balance of teachers.

Who does it apply to?

The statutory entitlement to PPA applies to all teachers who come within the remit of the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD). This includes teachers in the following schools: community, community special, foundation, trust, voluntary-aided and PRUs, as well as LEA centrally-employed staff.

Members in independent schools and academies will be entitled to PPA if their contracts of employment entitle them to the pay and working conditions of the STPCD.

The McCrone Agreement guarantees teachers in Scotland an allowance of personal time for preparation and marking, which should be no less than one third of actual class contact time.

Advice for schools

When the new rules were introduced in 2005, schools were encouraged to put together a sustainable staffing plan. They were also advised to make PPA time explicit and integral in the timetable, and to protect it from all other demands, including cover.

Where teachers had little or no existing non-contact time in their timetables, schools were advised to employ a number of strategies to ensure the minimum ten per cent time. These strategies include maximising the existing teaching resource, and timetabling additional resources - perhaps by re-allocating, reducing or discarding pastoral care, parent liaison or administration duties.

Schools were also advised to deploy additional staff such as higher level teaching assistants, specialist staff or other teachers to release enough timetabled PPA time for each teacher.

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.


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