Working to Contract – Advice from the SSTA

This advice sets out the context for working for contract and should answer all but the most complicated questions. If you have a query not answered by this information please do not hesitate to contact the Association at 

The Legal Position – Informing the Employer

The Association has complied with the legal requirement to inform employers:

  • Results of the ballot
  • A list of the workplaces where affected employees work
  • The total number of affected employees
  • Information about the type of action planned

There is no need for any member to add to that information.

The Contractual Position (SNCT)

3.6 Teachers (other than short term supply teachers) shall have a 35 hr working week. The working week shall apply on a pro rata basis to teachers on part time contracts

3.7 within the 35 hr week, a maximum of 22.5 hrs will be devoted to class contact, except for those teachers on the national induction scheme.

3.9 An allowance of no less than one third of the teacher's actual class contact commitment is provided for preparation and correction. The use of the remaining time will be subject to agreement at school level based on the Code of Practice on Working Time Agreements,

Our Advice

Members should always exercise caution when deciding which work is extraneous to contract. As a guide we suggest the following as core duties, neglect of which deem a member to be in breach of contract

  1. Teaching of assigned classes to a maximum of 22.5 hrs per week
  2. Preparation for assigned classed and correction of the work of assigned classes
  3. Covering for absent colleagues within the same maximum of 22.5 hrs per week
  4. Matters agreed in the school Working Time Agreement. This is an agreement binding on all signatories and will be either an annual or a weekly plan. Key events identified in the agreed calendar must be honoured.

If a member is asked to undertake any additional duty, not included in the above, the deciding factor is the 35 hr working week. If you have available time (due to a reduced timetable for example) it is appropriate to undertake the work. If the requested work would cause you to exceed the 35 hr week then you should agree a priority for the duties with your line manager.

Voluntary activities are just that. If you are involved in a club or activity on an entirely voluntary basis and wish to continue that is entirely your decision. If the activity is not voluntary it should stop unless it forms part of your agreed 35 hr working week.

Planned events, particularly those where pupils have contributed towards the cost, should go ahead but no new events should be planned during the course of this action.

A PDF version of this advice is available to download from here