CfE: Working Time Agreements and Development Work

Created on: 23 Jan 2018 | Last modified: 07 Aug 2023


1.1 The 2009 Annual General Meeting approved the following resolution: 

"This AGM calls upon Council to provide advice to Local Associations on working time agreements which will be affected by the introduction of a Curriculum for Excellence."

1.2 The 2009 AGM also approved the following resolution: 

"This AGM instructs Council to issue advice to all schools that all development and work associated with Curriculum for Excellence and curricular reform is managed within the consultative framework of school and departmental improvement planning. Furthermore, this AGM instructs Council to highlight the need for all development work to be managed with regard to adequate allocation of time and resources consistent with 'A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century' agreement."

SNCT Handbook Provisions

2.1 The conditions of service provisions set out in ‘A Teaching Profession for the 21st Century’ are now incorporated into the SNCT Handbook.

2.2 The hours of work of teachers are set out in Part Two, Section 3 of the Handbook.

2.3 Teachers have a 35 hour working week with a maximum of 22.5 hours committed to class contact time. In addition, an allowance of no less than
1/3 of the teacher’s actual class contact time is provided for preparation and correction. This time, 7.5 hours per week, is personal to the teacher
and is not available for collective work.

2.4 The use of remaining time, 5 hours per week, is used for collegiate activities as set out in Appendix 2.7 of the SNCT Handbook. This is appended to this paper (Appendix A).

2.5 In addition to the working time arrangements set out above, all teachers have a contractual requirement to undertake a maximum of 35 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) per annum.

Working Time Agreements

3.1 The Code of Practice on Working Time Arrangements, set out in Appendix 2.7 of the Handbook (Appendix A), requires agreement to be reached
within each educational establishment through the school’s consultative machinery.

3.2 Each Local Negotiating Committee for Teachers (LNCT) will support the consultative machinery within establishments by publishing guidance to
assist the process. In addition, the SNCT has advised all LNCTs to support establishments by monitoring working time agreements.

3.3 Working Time Agreements require account to be taken of school improvement plans and Appendix 2.7 stresses the right of teachers to be fully involved in the development of the plan. This includes staffing and other resources.

3.4 The SNCT has issued advice to LNCTs on the management of workload and further advice will be sent out to LNCTs in the near future, including
reference to CfE, in relation to LNCT advice to schools on Working Time Agreements.

Development Planning

4.1 Institute Policy on School Improvement Planning has recently been updated and is appended (Appendix B).

4.2 This paper establishes guiding principles which underpin improvement planning. The paper emphasises that workload management must form an integral part of discussions as part of the planning process to ensure that the individual and collective work of teachers is capable of being undertaken within the time available.


5.1 This paper should be issued to Local Association Secretaries and school representatives.



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
• Continuing Professional Development.

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 Continuing Professional Development (CPD). An additional contractual 35 hours of CPD 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 CPD activities.

As part of this professional commitment teachers will have a CPD plan that is agreed annually with their line manager, based on assessment of individual need. Teachers are also required to maintain an individual CPD record for professional purposes.

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