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Home or away?

However well prepared you are, there are bound to be problems in the first year of your teaching career. Whatever it is that's keeping you awake at night or sobbing on the school secretary's shoulder, our experts can lend a hand

Q: Can a headteacher tell staff they must stay on-site for their planning, preparation and assessment time if staff generally all do their planning at home? Our head is currently planning to insist that all staff stay in school and work in an allocated area with internetcomputer access. Many of us would rather do our planning at home.

A: Planning, preparation and assessment time is time away from teaching, not from your place of employment. A head can tell staff to be on-site, perhaps in case of an emergency. However, if custom and practice has already determined some local variation that has allowed teachers to work at home at various times then there may be an issue. But, if the school has the same rules for everyone, you will have to abide by them. The head seems to have made sensible provision with computers and internet access to allow you to use the time away from teaching effectively.

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