SSTA Members’ Bulletin - 17 June 2021

SSTA Members’ Bulletin - 17 June 2021

£400 Alternative Certification Model Payment

The SSTA welcomes the one-off exceptional £400 payment for teachers supporting the delivery of the Alternative Certification Model for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher qualifications in 2020/2021.

Key points


  • Teachers in education authority schools, independent schools and grant aided schools, involved in delivery of the ACM, will receive a maximum taxable payment of £400.
  • Funded by a Scottish Government grant to employers, schools must claim on behalf of relevant staff.
  • Payment will be made to teachers through normal payroll arrangements.


  • Schools can start processing details immediately.  The final deadline for submission of forms is 30 September 2021.
  • Staff with concerns about receiving the payment (e.g. because of a possible impact on benefits such as Universal Credit, Tax Credits, Legacy Benefits, Council Tax Reduction, Pension credit, Carer’s Allowance) should speak to their employer as soon as possible.

Eligibility criteria

  • Teachers must have:
    • supported the delivery of one or more of the following functions: assessing, marking or quality assuring National 5, Higher or Advanced Higher courses in academic session 2020/2021.
    • been employed between 1 January 2021 and 25 June 2021 for the initial window and, where relevant, between the start of the new school year in August and 3 September 2021.
  • Teachers who work full-time or part-time and are subject to a permanent or temporary contract are eligible.
  • Those who were shielding; on sick leave; on maternity, paternity, adoption leave; or furloughed are not precluded from qualifying for this payment if they have had a role in supporting the delivery of the ACM.
  • Those who have since left or retired are also eligible and should contact their former employer.

Calculation of payment

  • For eligible staff, the payment will be based on average contracted hours and reflect the degree to which the employee’s individual work has supported the delivery of the ACM. This will require a judgement on the part of the headteacher.  The SSTA expects headteachers to approach this in an open-handed way, taking account of individual teachers’ varied workloads.
  • Teachers with multiple employers should ensure that each of their employers is aware of the proportion of their pro-rata payment to ensure that the maximum they receive is £400.


  • Teachers who believe that they have not received the correct payment should discuss the matter with their Headteacher in the first instance.  They may contact for advice before doing so.

More information