The SQA wrote to Directors of Education recently indicating the introduction of payment for teachers in some subjects for internal marking of projects and assignments that contribute to candidates’ final course award, and the process and timescales for application for payments.

The payments apply to N5, Higher and Advanced Higher in the following subjects:

  • Computing Science
  • Design and Manufacture
  • Engineering Science
  • Graphic Communication

Members who teach these subjects had complained to the EIS at the lack of remuneration for the IACCA marking that they carried out. The EIS subsequently raised these complaints with and applied pressure to the SQA throughout last session.

This resulted in the SQA, early this session, announcing that payments would be made to teachers of these subjects for the duration of the existence of mandatory unit assessment in each subject at each level.

Contractual position

Prior to and since publication of the information to Directors, members have queried the contractual position with regards to carrying out the marking of IACCAs.

The EIS had previously taken legal advice on this, which is summarised as follows:

Although marking of IACCAs is done by teachers for the SQA, the SQA is not the employer, therefore teachers have no contractual relationship with or obligation to the SQA.

If, however, the local authority as the employer of teachers instructs that marking of IACCAs is to be carried out by teachers for the SQA, refusal to comply with those instructions may be deemed as a breach of contract and leave a teacher subject to disciplinary process or docking of salary.

This is irrespective of the reason for the refusal e.g. on a point of principle or because the remuneration is thought to be inadequate.

Whilst the EIS would seek to support members facing punitive action, it would be irresponsible of the Institute to suggest that such a refusal can be exercised without potential consequence for individuals.

All instructions from the employer that carry a workload consequence, however,  must be accounted for within Working Time Agreements. Employers are not entitled to instruct teachers to work beyond the parameters of their contracts as regulated by the WTA.

The SQA view that the payment is for work in teachers’ own time is not one which the EIS shares – indeed the level of remuneration may be deemed as adequate only in the context of being an additional payment, on top of salary.

Secondary EIS members continue to be advised to audit all SQA-related workload and cost it in terms of time within the framework of the WTA. Where the time required to carry out any SQA-related duty, including the marking of IACCAs, cannot be accommodated within the 35-hour week, this should be raised with the management of the school with a view to additional time being allocated through relief from other duties or cover being provided to free up teacher time for the marking of IACCAs within the school day.

EIS members should be clear that it is not reasonable for employers to insist that teachers carry out duties for which sufficient time is not available within the WTA.

It is not acceptable for employers to expect that teachers will mark IACCAs during their own time outwith the 35 hour week- evenings, weekends or holidays. 

Teachers are entitled to refuse to do this and the EIS will support any member who is instructed to carry out such duties beyond the 35-hour week. 

Any EIS member who finds her/himself in this position should seek advice from the EIS Rep in the school or the Local Association Secretary. 

Excluded subjects

Following the initial announcement by the SQA earlier in the session that payment would be made to some Technologies teachers for IACCA marking, EIS members who teach other subjects also complained of marking of projects and assignments that count towards the course award without remuneration.

The EIS sought further information from members on the full range of subjects affected.

Members indicated that the following subjects have been excluded:

  • Hospitality
  • Textiles
  • Modern Languages
  • PE
  • Woodwork
  • Metalwork

The EIS highlighted these omissions to the SQA some months ago. Now that the details of the payments have been agreed between SQA and local authorities for Technologies subjects, the EIS will press for the same arrangements to be made for the subjects listed above.

Any EIS member engaged in the marking of IACCAs for a subject not covered by the above list, should send details immediately to Leigh Meechan in the EIS Education Department.

Back payment

The EIS has raised the matter of back payment for IACCA marking with the SQA and will continue to do so for all relevant subjects. There is little sign that SQA will readily accede to this request, however.