Non-teaching time for teachers

All teachers are entitled to time away from the classroom during their working week. Your employment agreement sets out how much time you’re entitled to.

Other names for ‘non-teaching time’

Time away from the classroom during the working week is also called:

  • 'classroom release time' for primary teachers
  • 'non-contact time' for secondary teachers
  • 'maximum teaching hours' for area school teacher

Classroom release time – primary teachers

If you’re a primary teacher you’re entitled to time out of the classroom each term to do other work such as:

  • planning
  • evaluation
  • reporting
  • personal professional development
  • research
  • syndicate meetings.

During your absence your class is taught by another staff member.

Full-time permanent teachers and reliever teachers employed for at least 1 term are entitled to 10 hours of classroom release time each term.

Part-time teachers employed for at least 1 term at 0.8 full-time teaching equivalent are entitled to a proportion of the 10 hours of release time each term. For example, a teacher working 0.8 is entitled to 8 hours of release time, and a teacher working 0.9 is entitled to 9 hours.

Board responsibilities – classroom release time

Your school’s board sets the policy on what classroom release time can be used for. It can delegate the development of the policy to the principal, in consultation with teachers.

The Board needs to approve the final policy and make sure it meets the provisions of the Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement.

Clause 3.28 – Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Guidelines for Classroom Release Time

A Guidelines for Classroom Release Time booklet has been prepared by NZEI, NZSTA and the Ministry of Education to help school boards design their school’s policy for classroom release time entitlement and use.

Classroom Release Time (CRT) and Non-contact time - NZSTA website (external link)

Non-contact time – secondary teachers

If you‘re a secondary teacher you’re entitled to at least 5 hours a week of non-contact time. This means that during the normal scheduled teaching time in your school, you aren’t required to teach in front of the classroom.

Your non-contact time is used for other duties, such as:

  • preparation
  • evaluation
  • assessment
  • attending to the pastoral needs of students.

Full-time teachers have 25 hours of scheduled teaching time a week and at least 5 hours of this is non-contact time.

Clause 5.2.6 of the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement sets out the number of non-contact hours for part-time teachers.

Clause 5.2.6 – Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Board responsibilities – non-contact time

Your school’s board sets the policy on what non-contact time can be used for, as set out in clause 5.1A of the collective agreement.

Clause 5.1A – Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

The board can delegate the development of the policy to the principal, in consultation with teachers. The Board must approve the final policy and make sure it meets the provisions of the Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement.

Clause 5.2 – Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Maximum teaching time – area school teachers

If you’re an area school teacher, you’re entitled to time each week during your school’s scheduled teaching time, where you’re not required to teach in front of the classroom.

These hours are called non-contact time and are used for other duties, such as administrative responsibilities, and attending to the pastoral needs of students.

Full-time teachers who mostly teach years 7-13 (for 80 per cent or more of their teaching time) are entitled to a maximum of 20 hours of timetabled classroom teaching time each week.

Clause 4.2.3 of the Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement sets out the maximum timetabled classroom teaching time for part-time teachers who mostly teach years 7-13.

Clause 4.2.3(d) – Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Full-time teachers who don’t mostly teach years 7-13 are entitled to an average of 24 hours of maximum timetabled classroom teaching time per week.

Clause 4.2.4 of the collective agreement provides that part-time teachers (0.8 full-time teaching equivalent or more) who don’t mostly teach years 7-13 are entitled to an average maximum timetabled classroom teaching time of 0.96 of the hours for which they’re employed.

Clause 4.2.4 – Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement

Board responsibilities – maximum teaching time

Your school’s board is responsible for the policy on what non-contact time can be used for, as set out in clause 4.1 of the collective agreement.

Clause 4.1 – Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement

The Board can delegate the development of the policy to the principal, in consultation with teachers. The Board then needs to approve the final policy and ensure it meets the provisions of the Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement.

Clause 4.2 – Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement

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