Directed time: what's covered and how to organise and allocate it

Understand the rules around directed time and download our directed time calculator to help you organise and allocate the 1,265 hours for your staff during the 2023/24 academic year. Also see examples of directed time budgets from schools.

Last reviewed on 30 October 2023See updates
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 2976
  1. What's directed time and what are the rules?
  2. Use our spreadsheet to calculate directed time allocation
  3. You decide whether to use a directed time budget
  4. Examples of directed time budgets

What's directed time and what are the rules?

Full-time teachers employed under the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) must normally be available to perform any activities or tasks specified by their employer or headteacher for 1,265 hours across the school year on days they're required to be available for work.

This time is known as 'directed time'.

The 1,265 hours limit is pro-rated for part-time teachers.

What's typically included in directed time? 

Any compulsory activity counts as directed time, so in addition to teaching hours: 

  • Meetings, such as staff meetings and performance management meetings
  • Supervisory duties
  • Registration
  • Assembly
  • Planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time
  • Management time for teachers with additional responsibilities 
  • INSET days
  • Parents' evenings and open evenings

You don't have to include optional or voluntary tasks in directed time.

A representative from the DfE confirmed this is a sensible approach to take. 

Teachers must get 1 break of "reasonable length" each day