What are inset days and why do UK schools have them? | The Sun

What are inset days and why do UK schools have them? | The Sun

ANY reason for a child to not have to go to school can come as music to their ears, much to the annoyance of many parents.

Inset days are commonplace in the UK nowadays, but the reasons for schools being devoid of pupils is a mystery to many.

What are inset days?

These were introduced into the education system in 1988 to allow teachers and support staff to take part in professional development.

Generally these are days where no pupils attend school to allow focus on other aspects of the role such as training, development and planning.

While popular with pupils, they can become awkward for working parents as they have to find childcare to enable them to do their daily job.

This said, they are integral to the schools as it is difficult to focus on the issues they address on these days with a classroom full of children.


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What does inset day mean?

Their full title is In-Service Training Days, shortened to inset days.

When they first came into being they were referred to as "Baker Days" after the Conservative MP, Kenneth Baker, who brought the idea in as part of education reforms the government were making at the time.

Some refer to them as "TD days" or "PD days" which refer to teacher or professional development days.

What happens on an inset day?

Schools across the UK are allocated five inset days each year.

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With curriculums and education constantly evolving, these days are geared towards professional training so that teachers and support staff can keep up-to-date with their knowledge and skillset.

It is all about enabling them to learn, develop and improve.

This then ensures that children are given the best level of education that is possible to give them the skills they need to thrive in adult life.

Different schools will have varying focusses on these days but generally they are used for strategic planning for the term ahead to ensure that they meet the criteria expected of them by the curriculum.

Depending on when the inset day, generally dictates what the focus will be from the aspect of the individual school.

This can range from safeguarding training, time management, collecting data, how to close the gap, changes to the curriculum and team planning.

It allows both teachers and support staff to develop resources together, such as new techniques in supporting children with additional needs.

Without these days, it would be difficult for teachers and support staff to keep abreast of new policy and approaches, which would in turn begin to affect the level of education provided by the individual schools.

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