SSTA Guidance - Action Short of Strike Action - Phase 3

SSTA Guidance - Action Short of Strike Action Phase 3 - March 2017

SQA Payments for Marking Coursework in Technical and Computing Studies Courses

SSTA members are continuing to take industrial action to reduce teacher workload and SSTA wishes to support members by clarify the situation regarding the proposal ‘SQA Payments for Marking Coursework in Technical and Computing Studies Courses’.

The Marking of coursework in Technical and Computing Studies Courses is an issue SSTA has raised on a number of occasions in relation to the ‘unfairness’ of additional responsibility passed to teachers who teach these courses.

The SQA confirmed the following arrangements for this year:

“That for certain National Qualifications, payments will be made to teachers who are required to assess students’ work as part of the coursework arrangements.  As you will be aware the decision to make these payments was agreed at national level and is expected to be a temporary requirement pending the Revision of the assessment arrangements for National Qualifications.

Given the tight timescales, SQA suggested to implement a process that was put in place to allow payment of teachers for undertaking assessment duties under the previous Standard Grade examination arrangements.  SQA has been in communication with members of the ADES (Association of Directors of Education Scotland) Resources Network since late October last year, and they have indicated their agreement to SQA’s proposal to resurrect that process.  

The forms and guidance associated with that process have been updated and schools will download the necessary form from SQA’s website. The head of department or teacher responsible for the course(s) concerned, will complete the information required on the form, and then submit to the Local Authority to process the authorised payments to the Teachers through the normal payroll procedure” (highlighted by SSTA)

SSTA view
The SQA is unable to require teachers to undertake this task as SQA is not the employer. These arrangements were not agreed through the SNCT and ADES has no power to negotiate on behalf of teachers.

Most importantly, teachers are not ‘required’ by the duties specified by SNCT Handbook of Conditions of Service (see Appendix below).

SSTA advice

  • Any member who wishes to decline this task even if sufficient time or payment provided will be fully supported by the Association
  • It is important that the member informs the Headteacher of their intention at the earliest opportunity

SSTA advice to teachers who voluntarily undertake this task

  • Should seek sufficient time within the school day to perform this function
  • The work normally undertaken during this time should be undertaken by the person allocated this duty (this includes preparation and correction of work)
  • A supply teacher should be engaged to undertake this work. It is not a reasonable request  for other colleagues in the school to undertake such duties
  • If a teacher agrees to be paid for undertaking such a task outside of school hours the appropriate payment as specified within the SNCT Conditions of Service handbook (see below) should be made

Appendix - Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers (SNCT)

SNCT is a tripartite body comprising members from teaching organisations, Local Authorities, and the Scottish Government

The Pay and Conditions of Service for teachers and associated professionals employed by Scottish Councils is set out in the SNCT Handbook of Conditions of Service (Extracts below)


1.8 The daily rate of pay for teachers and music instructors will be 1/235(1) of the annual rate of salary. The hourly rate of pay will be calculated on the basis of 1/1645(2) of the annual rate of salary.

Footnotes:     (1) 235 days = 195 working days + 40 days annual leave
(2) 1645 hours = 235 days x 7 hours


2.5 The duties of all teachers should be undertaken with due regard to workload and contractual obligations in order to allow them time to focus on their core role as leaders of learning.

2.6 Teachers will not be expected to undertake the duties generally undertaken by administrative and support staff

Teachers / Chartered Teachers

2.8 Subject to the policies and practice of the school and the Council, the duties of teachers are to:
a)    manage and organise classes through planning and preparing for teaching and learning.
b)    assess, record and report on the work of pupils’ progress to inform a range of teaching and learning approaches
c)    prepare pupils for examinations and where required, assist with their administration.
d)    contribute towards good order and the wider needs of the school
e)    develop the school curriculum
f)    contribute to the school and council planning and improvement processes.
g)    maintain and develop knowledge and skills and contribute to the professional development of colleagues including probationary and student teachers.

SSTA Guidance - Action Short of Strike Action Phase 3 - March 2017