Teachers' unions agree deal on cover
A new agreement between the National Employers Organisation for School Teachers and the teaching unions addresses the issue of excessive workloads by setting guidelines on covering for absent teachers and unfilled vacancies.The agreement formalises many of the advances made in response to the no-cover action conducted by the NASUWT and NUT earlier this year. The key provisions are:
* no cover beyond that defined in the Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document;
* where it may be necessary to consider requesting teachers to provide additional cover, the time will be recorded, banked and paid back within a four-week period;
* if all appropriate strategies for providing cover have been exhausted then as a last resort changes to the teaching day which result in pupils attending school for shorter periods of time may be made;
* a 'no detriment' statement to ensure that there are no change if better arrangements are already in place;
* further national discussions will consider supplementary payments for teachers providing additional cover; and
* all the provisions of the agreement apply equally to teachers who are asked to provide cover by taking pupils into their own class.
Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of NASUWT said: "If the terms of the agreement are implemented efficiently and promptly it will provide protection for teachers in schools facing staffing difficulties in ways which are mutually acceptable to employees and employers."