The Contractual Position

Until the advent of jobsizing, promoted postholders' duties were determined by their written statement of particulars, which might have included a job description and by the general terms of the former Scheme of Conditions (the "Yellow Book"). These terms are now incorporated in the Handbook of Conditions of Service. Since jobsizing, however, another source of conditions of employment may have been added, the jobsizing return.

The jobsizing return was not provided specifically to identify conditions but rather to determine salary. However, this does not prevent the jobsizing return being a relevant document in determining duties.

Where any member is asked to carry out any duty which was not included in the job sizing return, the member should question the request. If there is a dispute as to whether the task does represent a non-contractual item, members should contact the General Secretary for advice.

There are two obvious reasons why a responsibility was not included in the jobsizing return:

1. The teacher was told that it could not be included or

2. There was a genuine error in the completion of the return.

In the first of these cases, the employer has effectively admitted that it will not pay the teacher to carry out any responsibility which relates to the disputed box on the jobsizing return (which the authority caused to be left blank).

If there has been a genuine error (and this is agreed with the authority), the teacher should ask for the error to be corrected by having the original return amended. It is not necessary that the criteria for re-jobsizing as contained in SNCT Circular 28 are met for this to be undertaken in these circumstances.

Any member who is completing a job sizing questionnaire and who is in dispute with the authority over an entry on the questionnaire should immediately write to the General Secretary giving full details.

Members should always retain a copy of the completed questionnaire. Those who did not do so should ask that a copy be provided.

There is separate advice available to members on rejobsizing.

Some Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the purpose of Job Sizing?

A. It is the mechanism whereby PTs, DHTs and HTs have their salary assessed.

Q2. Are there other implications?

A. Since the exercise assesses salary, it is also a statement of contractual conditions. This may require to be stressed on occasions. Any significant task which could or should be entered as part of a teacher's remit/duties in the job sizing questionnaire is a task which constitutes a contractual obligation.

Q3. How far can this requirement be taken?

A. The important word is "significant". Just because a task has not been mentioned in the job sizing exercise does not mean that the task is not a contractual duty. Job sizing is not intended to produce an exhaustive list of duties. It provides a broad description of remit not a detailed task list. The distinction is most important. The link between job sizing and contractual obligation must not be overstated.

Q4. How often is job sizing to be carried out? Is it an annual exercise?

A. It is not an annual arrangement. Only where a significant change to remit/duties occurs, should the job sizing exercise be repeated. This is most likely to occur (and should occur) where there are changes to the remits of DHTs and where promoted posts disappear. The SNCT has provided additional guidance on this matter in Circular SNCT/28 (now incorporated in the Handbook of Conditions and available via the SSTA website).

Q5. What information is required to permit job sizing?

A. It is all contained in the questionnaire and accompanying notes. Nothing else is used.

Q6. Who carries out the processing of the data?

A. It is carried out by local authorities using software developed by PricewaterhouseCooper.

Q7. What training is available for teachers to assist in completing the questionnaire?

A. In the initial stages all local authorities should have provided the necessary training. Further advice can be given by the Teachers' Job Sizing coordinator. The General Secretary may also advise.

Q8. What is the role of the headteacher?

A. The headteacher signs the questionnaire to certify the accuracy of the information.

Q9. Can the result of the job sizing be disputed?

A. Generally, only if there is a palpable error. It is not possible to say that the scale point is an inaccurate representation of duties. There is also an appeal mechanism.

Q10. Is the amount of management time available relevant?

A. No but it should be noted that all work is expected to be capable of being completed in the 35 hour week. The amount of teaching time is, however, an entry on the questionnaire.

Q11. Are there other posts available which are "promoted" but not PT posts?

A. Unequivocally, no. Any member (especially an ex-APT/ST) who is offered such a post should contact the General Secretary for advice.

Q12. What happens if the PT is offered additional "management time" to carry out the work previously performed by an APT/ST?

A. Job sizing takes little or no account of the time available to carry out the work. (Clearly this must be within the 35 hour week.) If the additional duties are assigned to any PT, this can only happen after the PT has been job sized again. It should be pointed out that if a PT is allocated additional management time, this can only be done at the expense of heavier workloads for his/her colleagues.

Q13. A headteacher may claim that a PT always had "responsibility" for the work of an APT/ST and hence now must undertake the work when the APT/ST stops carrying out the duties. What approach should be taken?

A. This is a matter which impinges on the extent to which an employer can vary the term of an employee's contract. Members in this position should seek advice when the matter arises.

Q14. What happens where there is a dispute between a postholder and a headteacher as to the completion of the questionnaire?

A. There is a dispute resolution procedure but it may be useful to attempt to resolve the matter by examination of the teacher's "contract". This will be a combination of the letter of appointment/statement of written particulars/National Agreements made in SNCT following the post-McCrone agreement.

Q15. Can a post be rejobsized?

A. It can. There is separate guidance on this issue.

Q16. What information should be given to a teacher appointed to an existing promoted post which has already been jobsized?

A. Since jobsizing relates to contractual conditions the post holder is entitled to receive a copy of the completed questionnaire which should make clear the duties attached to the post.

Further advice relating to any aspect of this advice note is obtainable from the General Secretary.