We are often asked when teaching staff may be asked to cover lessons. The following information should provide assistance, however, please contact the member hotline if you have any additional queries.
For teaching staff who are subject to the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD), the contractual obligations are clear.
As part of their duties listed under paragraph 51 the STPCD states that teachers may be required to:
“Subject to paragraph 53.7 supervise and so far as practicable teach any pupils where the person timetabled to take the class is not available to do so.”
However, paragraph 53.7 makes clear that:
“Teachers should be required to provide cover in accordance with paragraph 51.7 only rarely, and only in circumstances that are not foreseeable (this does not apply to teachers who are employed wholly or mainly for the purpose of providing such cover).”
Therefore, schools cannot use these teachers to routinely cover during gained time or to cover absences that could have been foreseen, such as maternity.
For staff not covered by the STPCD, the employer would need to check the contract to see what was permissible under its terms.