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Collaborate and you will be all over PPA cover

For once I disagree with Mike Kent. Ten years ago, I was hauled in to teach a Year 1 class for a couple of terms. The school had funding for PPA time. A retired teacher who had previously worked at the school was brought in to provide cover. My PPA time was on Wednesday afternoons. We discussed our preferred subjects; she was keen on my least favoured ones, music and PE. Hence she did those, including preparation. I had no extra work, she taught the subjects she enjoyed and the pupils expected to have her on Wednesday afternoons. All were happy. All that is required for successful PPA time is a consistent cover who can do their own lessons in agreement with the teacher. And, Mike, 40 years ago I was dropped, as a non-trained teacher, into an African secondary school and given 40 lessons a week for classes of 40-plus, and was handed more responsibility besides. I hit the ground running and liked it. However, in today's educational climate in Britain, well-organised PPA time is important.

Jane Giffould, Retired supply teacher, Essex.

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