Directed time

What is ‘directed time’?

Teachers employed under the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (aka, the STPCD) on a full-time basis, must be available to perform any activities or tasks specified by their headteacher for 1265 hours across the school year, on the days they are required to be available for work. This time is known as ‘directed time’.

In practical terms, this means that a head teacher can direct full-time teachers to perform such duties, at such times and at such places, for 1265 hours, and these hours should be reasonably allocated across the 195 dedicated school days.

Head teachers can direct teachers according to their ‘professional responsibilities’.

Your responsibilities as a leader

  • You must ensure that directed time does not exceed the 1265 limit.
  • In addition to this, you and the governing body should have regard to the STPCD to the need for the headteacher and teachers at the school to be able to achieve a satisfactory balance between the time required to discharge their professional duties and the time required to pursue their personal interests outside work.
  • Additionally, governing bodies and headteachers should ensure that they adhere to the working time limits set out in the Working Time Regulations 1998.
  • In order to comply with the Working Time Regulations 1998 and the STPCD, school leaders should keep appropriate records to demonstrate that they have met these obligations.

What’s included in directed time?

Any compulsory or reasonable activity amounts to directed time, so, in addition to teaching hours, these activities would include:

  • meetings, such as staff meetings and appraisal meetings
  • supervisory duties and management time for teachers with additional responsibilities
  • registration and assembly
  • planning preparation and assessment (PPA) time
  • INSET days, open days and parents’ evenings.

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