Non-teaching time for teachers

All teachers are entitled to time away from the classroom in their working week. This is set out in the collective agreements and is called classroom release time for primary teachers, maximum teaching hours for area school teachers and non-contact time for secondary teachers. Boards are responsible for setting the policy for what time away from the classroom can be used for.

All teachers are entitled to time away from the classroom in their working week. This is set out in the collective agreements and is described differently in each one:

Classroom release time – primary teachers

Classroom release time allows primary teachers time out of the classroom to do other work such as planning, evaluation, reporting, personal professional development, research, syndicate meetings and assessment. Their class is taught by another staff member.

The Ministry funds the additional staffing to cover classroom release time for teachers paid out of the staffing entitlement. However, you need to plan for the cost of classroom release time from board funds when employing teachers directly.

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

Part-time teachers employed for at least a 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 will get 9 hours of release time.

Board responsibilities

The board is responsible for the policy on what the classroom release time can be used for. You can delegate the development of the policy to your principal, in consultation with teachers.

You then need to approve the final policy and ensure it meets the provisions of clause 3.28 in the Primary Teachers’ Collective Agreement.

Learn more

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

You can also find more information on the New Zealand School Trustees Association (external link) website.

Non-contact time – secondary teachers

Secondary teachers are entitled to at least 5 hours a week of non-contact time, which means, during the normal scheduled teaching time in your school, they are not required to teach in front of the classroom. Non-contact time is used for other duties, such as preparation, evaluation, assessment and 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 has a table showing the non-contact hours for part-time teachers.

Board responsibilities

The board is responsible for the policy on what non-contact time can be used for. (See clause 5.1A of the collective agreement.) You can delegate the development of the policy to your principal, in consultation with teachers.

You then need to approve the final policy and ensure it meets the provisions of clause 5.2 in the collective agreement.

Maximum teaching time – area school teachers

Area school teachers are entitled to time each week when they are not required to teach in front of the classroom, during the scheduled teaching time in your school.

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 predominantly teach years 7 to 13 (for 80% or more of their teaching time) have a maximum of 20 hours of timetabled classroom teaching time each week.

Clause 4.2.3(d) of the Area School Teachers’ Collective Agreement has a table showing the maximum timetabled classroom teaching time for part-time teachers who  predominantly teach years 7 to 13.

Full-time teachers who do not predominantly teach years 7 to 13 have an average of 24 hours of maximum timetabled classroom teaching time per week.

Clause 4.2.4 of the collective agreement sets out that part-time teachers (0.8 full-time teaching equivalent or more) who do not predominantly teach years 7 to 13 have an average maximum timetabled classroom teaching time of 0.96 of the hours for which they are employed.

Board responsibilities

The board is responsible for the policy on what non-contact time can be used for. (See clause 4.1 of the collective agreement.) You can delegate the development of the policy to your principal, in consultation with teachers.

You then need to approve the final policy and ensure it meets the provisions of clause 4.2 in the collective agreement.

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