Frequently Asked Questions Croke Park Hours

My principal has scheduled a meeting to begin 15 minutes after the school closes and to continue for an hour after that. This means that I have to remain in school for one hour and 15 minutes after school closure time. The principal is stating that this constitutes one hour from the 33 hours, is this correct? 

No. If teachers are required to remain in school for one hour after closing time that constitutes an hour under the terms of the agreement. Your principal cannot ask you to remain in school prior to the commencement of a meeting and not count that time towards the 33 hours.

In relation to 'an agreement of school management and a consensus amongst the staff' on the use of the 33 hours outside the 167 days, how will a 'consensus' or 'general agreement' or 'general support' among staff be determined?

School management must consult with staff about the use of the 33 hours. It is envisaged that a meeting of all teachers and the school management would meet to discuss the calendar prior to the commencement of the new school year (for example in May of the previous school year). This planning meeting could also be used to determine whether or not there was consensus to use any of these hours in blocks of more than two hours or outside the 167 days.

Could school management alone decide to schedule the additional hours outside the 167 days?


Is someone on a job-share expected to do the full 33 hours or just 16.5 hours?

Part-time teachers are required to work the extra hours on a pro-rata basis. This means that a job-sharer on 11 hours would be required to work 16.5 hours. The prioritisation of these hours should be agreed between the principal and the teacher/s.

We hold our open evening for incoming students on a school night generally from 7 to 9 p.m. Can this be considered for part of the 33 hours?

This would depend on whether the open evening could be fairly construed as a planning meeting. If the evening contained large elements of planning for future years and if it was attended by the whole staff, it might be possible to consider it as part of the 33 hours.

Can I, if I choose, do 33 hours S&S to fulfil my obligation to work an extra hour a week?

No. The use of the hour will be set out in a calendar at the beginning of the school year, after consultation with staff. Supervision and Substitution may only be used as a last resort where other activities, designed to protect class contact/tuition time, have been fully utilised.

Can a lunchtime meeting be part of the 33 hours?

It is the ASTI’s view that a lunchtime meeting, the purpose of which meets the criteria under the Outcome of Talks document, can be used as part of the 33 hours.

Could we as a staff come back a day early or work an extra day during the year for meetings, etc. and set the hours off against the 33 extra hours?

Yes. With the agreement of school management and a consensus amongst the staff, the hours may be utilised outside of the 167 days during which the school is open for tuition. Consensus in this case is defined as general support or general agreement. It does not mean simple majority can decide, nor does it give individual teachers or small groups of teachers a veto.

Our entrance assessment test is held on a Saturday morning for 3 hours. Can this be included as part of the 33 hours?

No. It is difficult to see how entrance assessment tests could be comprehended by the list contained in Paragraph 5 of the additional time section of the 'Outcome of Talks' document.

Are school open days and entrance exams part of the 33 hours if every teacher is involved? 

The ASTI 'Outcome of Talks’ document contains the list of activities which may contribute towards the 33 hours additional time (page 4, section 5). The list does not include school open days. However if the whole school is involved, a school open day/night could utilise some of the 33 hours.

My principal claims that since parent-teacher meetings start at 4.15 and end at 6.45 that they will only count for 2½ hours towards the 33. Is this correct?

No. The school closes at 3.45 (15 minutes before normal time) and the teacher is required to wait until 6.45 before going home. This constitutes 3 hours. This, of course, only applies to parent-teacher meetings currently held within school time. Those meetings already outside school time are not counted towards the 33 hours.

Will the three parent-teacher meetings previously required under circular M58/04 be included in the 33 hours?

No. The 33 hours are in addition to hours already worked by teachers. Parent-teacher meetings which currently take place within school time will be counted towards the 33 hours if they are now moved outside.

In relation to staff meetings, at present these are half in/out. Can the hours be used to have these fully ‘out’, and if staff meetings last for 2 hours does this count as just 1 hour from the 33?

Yes, the hours can be used to hold staff meetings fully out of school time. A staff meeting outside school that lasts for two hours will count as just one hour from the 33 on three occasions. If the meeting lasts for three hours, this will count as two from the 33. If, however, there are more than three meetings, all the time taken for the fourth and subsequent meetings will count towards the 33 hours.

If a parent-teacher meeting for 2nd year is due to take place as part of the 33 hours and I have no 2nd year classes, must I make the hours up elsewhere?

No. Where a block of hours from the 33 is allocated on the calendar, it is part of the 33 hours for all teachers. If you are not required to attend you will still be deemed to have used the relevant number of hours from your allocation of 33.

Can the extra hours be used for purposes other than those listed?

Up to 10 of the 33 Croke Park hours are available for planning and development work on other than a whole-school basis. This means that teachers can use up to 10 hours at their own discretion and as approved by school management.

One of the possible activities listed to make up the 33 hours is induction. Does this refer to induction of new staff or students or both?

It refers to induction of new teaching staff.

If the staff agrees by consensus to work a day outside the 167 days and that day runs from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm is that day counted as 6 hours or seven hours?

If the day includes a one hour lunch break then the day counts as 6 hours unless this can be designated as a working lunch in which case 7 hours would be counted.


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