General Timetabling

Teacher Allocation and the Grid (read time 3 minutes)

The Grid for a school timetable sets up the duration of the lesson periods and the number of these periods each day. This varies greatly from school to school.

Some schools have 40-minute lesson periods, others have 35-minute periods and some have now moved to lessons of 1-hour duration.

Some schools have a mixture of 35 and 40 minute lessons. This can present a difficulty because it is not possible to calculate the total weekly time of a teacher until the timetable has been completed fully. It is only possible to calculate the total weekly time if the lesson periods are of the same duration.

40-minute lesson periods and indeed 1-hour lessons are very useful here because the hours of a permanent teacher are calculated on 22-hours - 1 Whole-Time Teacher Equivalent (1-WTE)

A teacher with 33 lessons of 40-minute duration each will be teaching exactly 22 hours weekly.

A teacher with 27 lessons of 40-minute duration each will be teaching exactly 18 hours weekly. (18 hours is sometimes the maximum hours of an Assistant Principal in a Community or Comprehensive School or College)

Obviously, 22-hours and 18-hours weekly teaching times can easily be arrived at if the school has 1-hour lesson periods.

These totals will ensure that the school is making full use of its allocation. This can not happen where a school is using a mixture of 35-minute and 40-minute lesson periods and you will often find teachers' weekly hours of 21-hours and 35-minutes or times significantly short of 22-hours. When this happens, you cannot normally assign another lesson to that teacher as this extra lesson would result in a weekly teaching time of greater than 22-hours. In a large school, a shortfall like this on numerous teachers' timetables will result in a significant loss of overall teaching time to the school.

Above is an extract from the Timetabling paragraph of

In VSware, we can keep track of a teacher's curriculum very easily using the Teacher Screen (step 7) in Timetable Construction. This screen records accurately the number of lesson assigned to a teacher in the Class Data Screen or using the Teacher Screen.

A very handy PDF of this screen can be created using the Actions button and this can easily be emailed to a colleague for consultation on teacher assignment.

Please Note: The 'Load Taken' column is only accurate if the lesson periods are of equal duration.