Basic guide to :

Non-contact time for primary, special and secondary teachers

March 2017 [download as pdf]

Non-contact time (NCT)

Non-contact time is provided for the purpose of undertaking the planning, preparation and correction necessary to perform the role of a teacher.

The award entitlement to NCT can be used at the teacher’s discretion. The use of NCT in excess of the award entitlement is determined by the school principal.

NCT provided in accordance with the award that is foregone as a consequence of planned school activities should be replaced. How this is achieved is subject to consultation with the relevant teacher

Non-contact time – primary and special school classroom teachers

A full-time primary/special teacher will be provided with a minimum of two hours (120 minutes) of non-contact time per week.  This must be provided in usable blocks of time of no less than 30 minutes.

Non-contact time can be aggregated by agreement so that a minimum amount of non-contact time can occur in one week with the balance banked – however this balance must be provided to teachers prior to the end of each term, e.g. a 0.4 teacher may agree to receive 30 mins of non-contact time a week and bank the remaining 18 minutes, meaning that at the end of 10 weeks they would receive 180 minutes of non-contact time, either in one day or split over two.

Where a teacher has a split fraction, e.g. 0.6 primary specialist and 0.4 primary classroom teacher, they will receive the relevant entitlements of each fraction for each sector.

Face-to-face teaching/contact time – primary and special school classroom teachers

Full-time primary and special school teachers have a maximum 22 hours and 10 minutes (1,330 minutes) rostered face-to-face teaching and associated professional duties per week.

Associated professional duties include times when teachers have contact with students in forums such as assembly, form class, pastoral care, sport etc.

Non-contact time – secondary classroom teachers

A full-time secondary teacher will be provided with a minimum of three hours and 30 minutes (210 minutes) of preparation and correction time per week.  This must be provided in units no less than the length of a regular school lesson.

Non-contact time cannot be aggregated in a secondary school – subsequently preparation and correction time should be rounded up so that it fits into a regular school lesson.  As this is a minimum entitlement to preparation and correction time, the amount cannot be rounded down, e.g. preparation and correction time of 42 minutes may be rounded up to a lesson of 50 minutes in duration but cannot be rounded down to a lesson of 35 minutes duration. If the length of a regular school lesson in a secondary school is 35 minutes, a secondary teacher with an award entitlement to 42 minutes non-contact time per week should receive 2 X 35 minute lessons per week.

Face-to-face teaching/contact time – secondary classroom teachers

Full-time secondary school teachers have a maximum 20 hours and 40 minutes (1,240 minutes) rostered face-to-face teaching and associated professional duties per week.

Associated professional duties include times when teachers have contact with students in forums such as assembly, form class, pastoral care, sport etc. 


 

Basic Guides provide QTU members with information on their entitlements and can be used by school administration to help in timetabling

Basic Guides are issued for general guidance only and do not constitute professional advice. The issues with which they deal are complex and the Basic Guide necessarily deals only with general principles. No reader should rely on the Basic Guides for the purpose of making a decision as to action but should seek the appropriate advice from the Union on the particular circumstances of that reader. The Union accepts no responsibility for the consequences should any person act in reliance on these Basic Guides without obtaining the appropriate advice from the Union.


More information

The QTU produces a number of documents to help members understand their working conditions and entitlements

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