Appendix 2.7

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The working hours and duties of teachers are negotiated nationally and form part of the agreed conditions of service for teachers. This Code of Practice has been drawn up to describe in more detail the rights and responsibilities involved in translating national conditions of service into practice.

The Code of Practice will operate within the context of national and local negotiating arrangements.

For the duration of the transitional period, individual contracts will contain an additional condition that working time arrangements will operate in accordance with the Code of practice.

The Code of Practice will be kept under review during the transitional period.

It shall inform discussions on working conditions at local level and will require to be supported by effective consultative arrangements at establishment level that ensure full participation by all staff in key decisions affecting their establishment. Discussions will be led by the headteacher as overall manager and the person ultimately accountable for the activities of the school.

With these mechanisms in place, it should be possible to resolve disputes, which may be individual or collective, without recourse to grievance procedures. This would not affect a teacher’s existing right to resort to formal grievance procedures.

It is also intended that the Code of Practice will help teachers to manage their workload more effectively. Effective planning procedures should assist with the management of workload.

In terms of assisting with local planning and with the control of teacher workload, national priorities will be set. These will be few in number and will normally be constant over a reasonable period of time. Teachers have a right and an obligation to contribute to the process by which national and local priorities are determined. Programmes of change will require the full participation of staff at establishment level in decisions about the pace of change.

Each educational establishment will prepare a school plan in accordance with the Standards in Scotland’s Schools etc Act 2000. The plan will reflect establishment, local and national priorities. Plans will take account of staffing and other resources required. All teachers will have the right to be fully involved in the development of the plan and to be consulted on their contribution to the plan, and the responsibility for realising the school’s development priorities. If a plan requires to be reviewed to take account of individual or collective circumstances, staff will be involved in any review as appropriate.

Teachers have a responsibility to work co-operatively with colleagues and others to pursue the overall objectives of the service. Each educational establishment will prepare an annual programme of activities, which require the involvement of teachers. In each school, teachers will agree the range of collective activities contributing to the wider life of the school on a collegiate basis. The use of the remaining time (that is, time beyond the combined class contact and preparation/correction allowance) will be subject to agreement at school level and will be planned to include a range of activities, such as:

  • additional time for preparation and correction;
  • parents meetings;
  • staff meetings;
  • preparation of reports, records etc;
  • forward planning;
  • formal assessment;
  • professional review and development;
  • curriculum development;
  • additional supervised pupil activity; and
  • Career-Long Professional Learning.

The individual and collective work of teachers should be capable of being undertaken within the 35 hour working week.

Each education establishment will put effective mechanisms in place to assist the process of reaching agreement on collective time. These mechanisms will be determined at local authority level and will reflect local circumstances. The negotiating machinery at local authority level and at national level will monitor the effectiveness of school mechanisms in ensuring agreement on, and prioritisation of, teachers’ working time.

Individual teachers will use their professional judgement in relation to the prioritisation of tasks. In exercising their professional judgement, teachers will require to take account of objectives determined at school, local authority and national levels.

For most teachers, preparation and correction will be the most time-consuming activities outside class contact time. This needs to be reflected in the way that a teacher’s working time is deployed. In terms of the remaining time, teachers will be available for meetings and other collective activities during the course of the 35 hour working week. If a teacher is not required to be on the school premises for certain duties, for example preparation and correction, these may be undertaken at a time and place of the teacher’s own choosing. Teachers will be expected to notify the appropriate line manager of their intentions in this respect.

Teachers have a right and a responsibility to contribute to the development of a quality service. They have a professional commitment to develop their skills and expertise in classroom practice and other related matters through an agreed programme of Career-Long Professional Learning (CLPL). An additional contractual 35 hours of CLPL per annum will be introduced as a maximum for all teachers, which shall consist of an appropriate balance of personal professional development, small scale school based activity, attendance at nationally accredited courses or other CLPL activities. As part of this professional commitment teachers will have a CLPL plan that is agreed annually with their line manager, based on assessment of individual need. Teachers are also required to maintain an individual CLPL record for professional purposes.

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