Ask Tes Institute: how to structure your Straight to Teaching timetable

Tes Institute Team

How to create a school timetable for better staff and student wellbeing and mental health

Ask Tes Institute: how to structure your Straight to Teaching timetable

The thought of being solely responsible for multiple classes might seem daunting but with the right support offered by your school, you’ll grow in confidence from your current position and will be teaching full classes before you know it!

A vital part of the programme is the school’s support- ensuring that learners are given the necessary opportunities and allowing the learner to increase their teaching time.

Whilst every school may have different ways of increasing the teaching hours of a learner, we’ve compiled a few different things to think about when structuring a learner’s timetable, to gradually build up teaching to 50-80% of a teacher’s full timetable.

Experience across consecutive age ranges

To meet the Teachers’ Standards, you must be able to demonstrate evidenced teaching across two consecutive age ranges, which are:

  • Primary: 3-7, 5-11, 7-11
  • Secondary 11-16, 11-18, 14-19

In order to collect sufficient evidence, it is important that your timetable exposes you to an even spread across your chosen age range.

If you have already collected evidence for teaching in one part of the age range more than the other, your timetable will need to focus more on the age that you are lacking.

Team teaching- a technique used across primary and secondary schools

By allowing the TA/HLTA to work alongside a qualified teacher, the learner is able to build up their whole class teaching time in a supportive environment, where they can develop a daily developmental dialogue with the class teacher.

With the learner taking on more teaching, the class teacher has time to dedicate to pupils in need of extra support and challenge.

Team teaching has been highly beneficial for many of the schools we work with: for the pupils, class teacher and the learner and it's a practice that can be used early on in the learner's development to build confidence. 

Once the learner feels comfortable, they can be given their own timetable and apply what they have learnt through team teaching in their own lessons, which can then be used as evidence towards the Teachers' Standards. 

Second school placement

The second school placement will run in a similar way to the learner’s programme in their employing school and they should aim to be teaching at least 50% of a full-time teacher’s timetable.

The contrasting second school placement is a vital component of the programme and it is the employing school’s role to arrange and ensure the placement is appropriate.

Ideally, you’ll complete the placement in one block, however learners have been known to complete placements in two separate fortnightly blocks or even day/s placements spread over a longer period of time.

This isn’t necessarily recommended though, as spreading placements out over weeks and months makes it difficult for learners to become immersed in school life, assessment and planning.

The logistics of the 20-day placement (an extended placement of 30 days is required if you’re working in an SEN setting) can be tricky, so you’ll need to plan this early on.

 Find out more about arranging a second school placement

Ages during your placement

When arranging the second school placement, it’s important to consider the year groups that the learner needs experience in and to be mindful of timings with SATS and GCSEs. The age ranges should match those that the learner is completing their main teaching experience in.

Placements should be booked as soon as possible, so dates can be secured and year groups discussed.

Further reading:

How to fund your Straight to Teaching programme