UK schools from Wales, N Ireland, Scotland & England have inset days where all staff members get together for compulsory training on important educational issues.
The school students have time off where teachers, senior leadership, classroom assistants and other school educational support staff sit in training or activities given by management or external organisations.
What is inset day at schools in UK
Education inset days are whole school focused training days for experienced & new teaching assistants, teachers & support staff to deliver important changes in educational information & guidance, improve teaching practice, and to install required training on a range of pupil issues.
What does inset stand for, in education? “In-service education and training” 5 inset days yearly when the school is closed for pupils, where teacher assistants, teachers & support staff attend mandatory training days, if scheduled to work that day. All 5 inset training days are spread out during the academic school year and are compulsory to be held by each council maintained school in England, similar for Wales & Scotland.
UK secondary & primary school training inset days are part of term time only for teaching assistants, teachers & support staff you don’t attend during holidays, school day’s off such as weekends. Office/admin assistants, pastoral head of year, teachers and teaching assistants attend inset days with the same training & information at the start of the school year for compulsory child protection, safeguarding and education policy training.
School inset does bring all staff member together for training on priority issues in relation to students that all employees require to know. Training days are also a time for teachers and teaching assistants to come together to discuss, formulate ideas, plans and receive essential training to improve teaching performance.
Teaching assistant inset day training includes:
- Child protection/Safeguarding
- Health & safety
- Risk assessment & evaluation for school trips, clubs, sports & activities
- Target setting
- Sound write teaching phonics approach for primary school TAs and teachers
- Bulling awareness, identifying and remedies
- Signing knowledge and skills used for SEN school pupils and communication skills for primary school learning
- Team teaching between teachers & teacher assistants
- First aid training
- School pupil wellbeing
- SEN teaching & classroom assistance development
- Improving pupil attainment levels
- Ofsted inspection preparation
- Assessment and feedback
- Curriculum & development
Primary and secondary school leadership team choose & decide what inset day training is required in relation to education department policy, guidelines, compulsory teacher & TA training, and school objectives.
Keeping up to date with department of education changes, curriculum development and teaching practices for class assistants & teachers is part of continued professional development (CPD). You as a primary or specialist secondary TA or HLTA gain valuable skills & knowledge during inset training days to inform & improve you’re pupil support and teaching practice in school classrooms.
Certain inset training is conducted that’s compulsory for all school employees while other training & development is targeted for teachers and classroom assistants. With different sessions being held on the same day teacher assistants can attend inset training that’s relevant for them and get together for other educational & learning TA training.
School inset training time use
Inset time for training doesn’t need being just certain school wide issues; time can also be allocated for department planning & focused training and moderation. Indeed, school management can hold training for all staff on pupil wellbeing & bulling in the morning. 2-3 hours in the afternoon can then be allotted for teacher assistants & teachers in their departments to collaborate, if primary school to incorporate the training or focus on subject department training on assessment, homework and curriculum development.
KS1 & 2 primary school teaching & learning is more team teaching & collaborative between a class teacher and they’re assigned teacher assistant. Inset training sessions time can be used in 1-2 hours slots after school regularly during the year providing teachers & class assistants to work together to develop & learn together.
Regular inset training throughout the academic year also provides the school management to deliver important training & development to the whole school that requires implemented quickly or update on procedures and processes.
Teaching assistant inset days & for part time support staff can be carried out after school from 15.30 to 17.00 occasionally for TAs, teachers who have the day off or different work patterns and miss whole school inset training. Flexibility using hours during the school year allows part time teacher assistants & school staff to attend mandatory & optional training, helping the school and staff members.
External inset training providers
School management and department leaders deliver & conduct the majority of training, although at times an external trainer comes to the school on inset day to deliver extended safeguarding & sign language training. Here teachers and lesson support teaching assistants receive the same input and level of training while working together to learn to implement new learning in the classroom from charities, local council or NSPCC.
School education inset day rules
England school education inset day rules
For schools funded and maintained by England local councils inset day rules apply:
- 5 school inset training days are required to be conducted for teacher assistants, support staff and teachers in council maintained schools.
- Hours can be split over certain days of the academic year conducting the required amount of inset days/hours time each year a school provides for teachers, TAs and support staff to attend.
- Class teacher assistants and teachers are required to attend inset training and work for 5 extra days past pupil’s school year for non teaching duties.
- Policy for TA & teacher training & development is decided by school academies in England as they don’t require following mandatory education inset day rules.
- Compulsory for teaching assistants, other school support staff and teachers to attend regular school inset training on behaviour management, safeguarding/child protection, first aid and health & safety.
Do teaching assistants work on inset days?
Primary & secondary schools conduct inset training days when the majority of staff are available during term time. Teaching assistants work on school inset days, if timetabled to work, otherwise they don’t need to attend training with all teachers, management & other school staff. As inset days are part of term time only training all teaching assistants attend inset days when they are working, where schools arrange after school inset training for part time TAs & support staff that’s flexible.
Do teaching assistants get paid for inset days? Yes, All work & inset training days time should be paid according to timetabled timed hours as part of a teacher assistants contracted hours & terms of working contract of employment.
Are education inset days compulsory? Teacher assistants attend school inset days as its compulsory training on health & safety, safeguarding/child protection, behaviour management, first aid, when they are in school, either as whole school day inset event or after school during the year. Inset days for part time support staff such as class assistants, office based and P/T teachers should have mandatory & optional inset training arranged by the school when they’re scheduled to work in school.