What Are Inset Days?

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There is a lot of planning put into the school year. If you are currently in school, you will know that every now and then you will get an inset day. It seems great to have an extra day off school for the students and can sometimes mean an extra day added to their holiday! However, you may have also wondered what exactly teachers need inset days for.

An inset day, or sometimes referred to as a teacher training day is actually an abbreviation for ‘in-service training day’. On this day, pupils do not attend school, but teachers will still attend. The day is used for training teachers, getting them up to date on anything new, planning other things and any other duties that the school and teachers may have.

In the rest of this article, we will be further discussing inset days, including going into more depth to what teachers do and how many there are. You should read on to find out more.

What are inset days for school?

An inset day is an abbreviation of ‘in-service training day’ but students also commonly refer to it as teacher training days. For good reason too, as that is exactly what the day is.

They are days allocated by the school for teachers to develop their necessary skills or the educate teachers on other parts of school. Sometimes, the teachers also get the day to catch up on admin work.

There will also usually be an inset day to assess the curriculum the school is teaching. If there are any issues or concerns, they are raised. These are usually around the summertime, for any changes to take place in the next academic year. To find out more, you can click here to go to an article by The School Run on inset days.

What do schools do on an inset day?

There is a lot of time to get things done during a school day, so the schools will want to ensure that as much is completed. Schools may bring in external specialists to get the best outcome.

Sometimes all staff do it, or sometimes only a certain group will. Or sometimes there is a carousel, workshop system. All of these are designed to ensure that teachers throughout the day get the best

Listed below are a few common things that schools may do.


Schools may hold a ‘teacher assembly’. This could contain updates on things happening on the school site, or any procedures that are changing. It could be risk assessments of common tasks carried out, and how to manage other things of school life.

Continuing professional development

An important one is CPD. This is pretty much teaching the teachers. It uses certain techniques to help teachers manage their own development, and teaching. It allows for all workers, not only teachers, to ensure that they are efficient and competent at their job, while building up their own skills constantly throughout the year.

Safeguarding and technology training

It is the roles of teachers to keep students safe in school. As a result, on inset days the school may run a refresher safeguarding training course to ensure the safety of students. If there are any concerns for a student’s wellbeing, all the teachers will know what to help. This includes spotting and stopping bullying.

This may also include specialist advice on Special Educational Needs students. It is important for all teachers to be aware of how to react for students with special needs, and the best way to teach and support them where needed.

There is also a requirement by the government for all teachers to carry out the ‘Prevent’ strategy. This is put in place to be able to spot and counteract any places of extremism taking place. It is also a responsibility for teachers to educate and prevent students from being drawn towards forms of extremism.

You can find out about this by clicking here to go to the document released by the government on the prevent strategy.

Believe it or not, even teachers need teaching. One of these things may be technology, especially if there is a new system being introduced. Teachers will get a tutorial of sorts to maximise their use.

Teacher admin

Finally, this time is used for teachers to catch up on their own teaching. This could be departmental meetings, marking, planning lessons, or gathering resources for future lessons.

They also have time to plan more teaching for the rest of the school year. This could be events, charity fundraising, extracurricular clubs or anything that may involve the planning of the next year.

Apart from the things listed above, here are other things that The School Run says may happen:

  • Preparing for Ofsted inspections
  • Target setting
  • Newly qualified teacher (NQT) development
  • Revision skills
  • Building pupils’ resilience
  • Spotting and dealing with bullying
  • Improving boys’ attainment
  • Successful assemblies

How many inset days are there per year?

All schools must have up to five mandatory inset days. This means that out of 195 school days, students will be in school for 190 days. The school will choose the dates that they want. Sometimes academies choose to have more than five, as they do not need to follow local regulations.

You can find out more about academies, by clicking here to a Think Student article.

Do teaching assistants attend inset days?

This one is a bit tricky. Teaching assistants can attend teacher training days if they want. However, they do not need to attend, if they don’t normally work on that day. If the teacher is being paid to work on that day, and that day is an inset day, then they must attend.

In this article, we have discussed inset, or teacher training days. This includes what they are, how many there are and what happens during the day. Thanks for reading!

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