What employment rights do you have when you work as a part-time teacher?
More and more teachers are choosing to work part-time. Increases in workload, childcare and family commitments or just a desire for a better work-life balance are driving more teachers to ditch the Monday morning to Friday afternoon routine.
If you are considering working part-time as a teacher, or currently work part-time as a teacher, did you know that you have specific rights as a part-time teacher?
NASUWT, the largest teaching union in the United Kingdom, recently found that part-time teachers were routinely being overworked (NASUWT).Part-time teachers are protected under the general Part Time Workers regulations 2000 but many schools are not adhering to these rules.
Read below to find out what you should expect when you go part-time so you can make sure you are not being overworked by your school.
Your pay should be calculated as a percentage of a full-time teacher in your school
The majority of schools will operate under the Schools Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD), though some academies may not so it is worth double checking. This document sets out the statutory requirements for pay and conditions for teachers.
The STPCD sets out that part-time teachers should be paid a pro-rata salary. A full-time teachers pay is calculated using the schools timetabled teaching week (STTW). The STTW is the total number of lessons in a week at your school and the proportion of those that a full-time teacher would be expected to teach.
For example, your school may have 25 lessons a week in total and full-time teachers are expected to teach 23 of these. Therefore a 100% timetable would be 23 lessons.
A part-time teacher will therefore have a contract that will be expressed as a percentage or a decimal, for example 50% or .5 of a full-time contract.
A worked example of a part-time teacher contract is shown below.
- Number of lessons in a week in your school = 25
- Number of lessons the part-time teacher is contracted to be in school (including PPA)= 15
- Contract is 60% or .6 (15/25 x 100)
Remember that you are entitled to PPA (see below) as a part-time teacher (though this will also be pro-rata).
You do not have to go into school on days that you are not timetabled
If your timetable has you teaching, for example, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then you do not have to go into school-for any reason-on Thursday and Friday.
This includes meetings, training, inset days, Ofsted visits, parent’s evenings and school trips.
It is perfectly possible, and perfectly legal, for you to have another job (teaching or otherwise) on days that you are not timetabled at your school.
You and your school may come to an agreement about attending important events on days outside your timetabled hours but this should be a mutual agreement and you are entitled to not attend school on any days you do not normally work. You are also entitled to be paid if you are working additional days to what you are timetabled.
You only need to attend a fraction of the usual meetings
Another point to remember if you are a part-time teacher is that you are only required to attend a percentage of meetings and other additional work commitments (such as inset days).
A full-time teacher has a maximum number of hours that can be worked in a year-currently set at 1265. Non-teaching hours are known as ‘directed time for non-teaching duties’. The number of hours that are left for non-teaching duties is calculated by deducting the number of hours that are timetabled for teaching from 1265.
The same calculation is done for part-time teachers. A worked example is shown below:
- Maximum number of hours for a full-time teacher = 1265
- Maximum number of hours for a part-time teacher working a .6 contract = 759 (60% of 1265)
- Total number of teaching hours in a year for a .6 contract in a 25 lesson week = 570 (15 lessons a week x 38 weeks in a school year)
- Total number of hours for directed time for non-teaching duties for a .6 contract = 189 (759-570)
You are entitled to equivalent PPA time
As a part-time teacher you are still entitled to PPA time, though the amount you receive will be pro-rata. For example, if a full-time teacher in your school is entitled to 2 hours of PPA time a week, then you should have 1 hour of PPA if you have a .5 (50%) contract.
Your PPA may vary each week depending on the total number of lessons your school has each week and the percentage contract you have. It may be easier for your school to calculate your PPA entitlement over a two week period rather than one week.
For example, it may be better to have one hour of PPA every other week than 30 minutes of PPA each week.
Your PPA should be during normal school hours. You are not obliged to have your PPA during times when you are not timetabled to be in school.
Having problems with your part-time teaching contract?
If you think there are any issues with your part-time contract then speak to your union rep. They will be best placed to advise you on what steps you should take next.
If you are taking up a part-time post, or are thinking about moving to part-time hours in your current teaching job, then make sure you discuss the contract fully before you sign-up. Make sure your pro-rata salary has been calculated correctly and discuss what will happen with regards to meetings, inset days etc.
I hope you found this guide to your rights as a part-time teacher useful! If you have any questions or concerns about your current contract then feel free to add them to the comments and I will be happy to help. Remember to share this post before you leave to help other teachers!