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4th September 2011

Don't allow anybody to tamper with your conditions of service

The conditions of service under which you are employed, as a teacher, are laid down by law and, in some cases, amplified by local agreement. School teachers'; conditions of service can be found in the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document

You can check on statutory rights over matters such as maternity and sickness absence in the 'burgundy book'. Various local agreements amplify those statutory rights.

What is not acceptable is for any school or development area to decide upon its own alterations to those rights with or without 'consultation'. For example, you cannot be directed to work at lunchtime. You cannot be required to run a lunchtime club, meet at lunchtime, discuss your performance management at lunchtime, or have it included as part of your 1265 hours of directed time. This is the case even if a majority of teachers in your school decide that they wish to meet at lunchtime.

The School Terms and Holidays Working Party meets regularly to discuss and then publicly consult on the schools' holiday pattern. Once agreed, it is legally binding and cannot be altered by discussions within individual schools or development groups. The Leicester City Council School Terms and Holidays Dates deem the last two days of the Summer term as disaggregated or flexible days. This means that the time from those days can be allocated through the school year but you should not be directed to work on those days.

The School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document requires head teachers to "consult with staff and their union representatives on the teaching timetable and an annual calendar which includes staff meetings, parental consultations and other activities". Teachers' Negotiating Committee is currently working on a Worklife Balance Policy which amplifies that right:

Working Time

This school will put in place an annual timetable which will include a calendar of regular meetings at the beginning of each academic year and this will involve consultation with staff*. This school will also provide teaching staff with a breakdown of directed time within the maximum limit of 1265 hours as required by the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions (a statutory requirement).

p.106 paragraph 62.1 and p.168 paragraph 189 in School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document 2010

Sometimes managers in schools, possibly with the best of motives, decide to discuss and agree alterations to our working conditions at a school level. This is never acceptable and teachers ought to alert their trade union as soon as they are aware of this happening. The proper forum for the discussion of our conditions of service is the Teachers' Negotiating Committee in which delegates from all the teaching unions meet regularly with Local Authority Officers.


Related articles

Maternity Rights (25th March 2009)
Sickness Absence - Your Rights (9th October 2018)
Absence Due To Illness (9th September 2009)
Management of Sickness Absence (6th October 2008)
Sickness Absence - Trigger Points Hold Up Agreement (5th February 2007)
Things to check this term (14th June 2010)
It's the Law! (2nd March 2010)
7 Things To Look Out For (8th September 2008)
Consultation on School Holiday Pattern (8th September 2008)
School Terms and Holidays Voting Shambles (2nd February 2004)
LEA Pushes To Change Holiday Pattern (3rd November 2003)
PPA time is yours (4th February 2008)