1. Colleagues have noticed variations between authorities on SNCT agreement on supply pay during COVID-19. Why have some teachers experienced delays and lack of transparency in this payment and slow responses from Local Authorities to queries?

  2. Why are members reporting of a lack of information from authorities on supply contracts from August, including – non-response or dismissive response to emails? This has caused uncertainty and affected members ability to financially plan while Scot Gov and GTCS publicly asked retired teachers, those out of the labour market etc to “get in touch”. There was a feeling that some schools were indicating at local level that supply requirements will be minimal.

  3. Why are there wide discrepancies in pay between authorities (how many hours paid) and between schools in same authority to EIS members recruited on a short term supply basis?

  4. What is the national position on the recruitment and retention of teachers? There has been concern over variations in practices around recruitment in contradiction of SNCT agreements. For example, supply teachers being excluded from internal recruitment drives, not converted to permanent or not able to apply for permanent posts or given short hour permanent contracts. In some cases, full time probationers who failed interview were offered one-year contracts while supply staff were not able to interview at all.

  5. When should I be issued with a fixed term temporary contract? Members are communicating a widespread failure to issue written contracts for long term work and/or instances of keeping staff on short term supply arrangements when work is clearly long term.

  6. Why am I being forced to re-apply to remain on the supply list with my Council every 6 months? Members have experienced being removed from the supply list and being issued with a P45. This has also been happening during COVID shutdown, with no warning. These members feel this may be a potential breach of the Equality Act in instances where supply staff have been temporarily unavailable due to caring responsibilities.

  7. What arrangements will be in place for shielding/high risk supply teachers in August?

  8. What arrangements will be in place for shielding/high risk supply teachers in August?

  9. What arrangements will be put in place to employ supply teachers in Hubs over the summer holiday period rather than relying on volunteers?

  10. If supply staff are not working in August due to COVID, is this a break in service?

  11. Why have I not been given a Glow password or Council email address? This is making it more difficult to for me to access professional learning, access resources in school and makes it very difficult from August to support blended learning. I also means that I cannot access GLOW or CPD opportunities over summer.

  12. Why are supply staff not being routinely included in or paid for INSET days?

  13. What arrangement have been put in place to ensure that supply teachers or those on fixed term contracts can work in schools after the summer? It has been reported that there are any discrepancies across local authorities. Some NQTS are worried about a precarious future and are angered at the suggestion of recently retired teachers being given work ahead of those on supply list.

  14. What is the professional status of supply teachers or those on fixed term contracts? Sometimes I feel like I have been employed simply to provide childcare.

 

Q1. Colleagues have noticed variations between authorities on SNCT agreement on supply pay during COVID-19. Why have some teachers experienced delays and lack of transparency in this payment and slow responses from Local Authorities to queries?

It is the EIS position that there should have been no delays over the payment to supply teachers under the agreement JS/20/78 Supply Teachers Job Retention Payment. To assist Councils further, the SNCT produced a series of frequently asked questions and published them as JS/20/80 SNCT Supply Teachers Job Retention Payment Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs.

Where local problems emerged, individual cases were pursued by Area Officers supported by EIS HQ Officials and Officers. If you continue to experience issues you must contact your EIS Local Association Secretary in the first instance and raise this as an issue.

 

Q2. Why are members reporting of a lack of information from authorities on supply contracts from August, including – non-response or dismissive response to emails?

This has caused uncertainty and affected members ability to financially plan while Scot Gov and GTCS publicly asked retired teachers, those out of the labour market etc to "get in touch". There was a feeling that some schools were indicating at local level that supply requirements will be minimal.

The situation across Scotland is mixed. The most commonly cited reason for that is the Councils have stressed at every meeting since this pandemic started that there must be "local flexibility" to all aspects of education provision. The result is that the EIS has found it challenging to negotiate national guidance or collective agreements.

 

Q3. Why are there wide discrepancies in pay between authorities (how many hours paid) and between schools in same authority to EIS members recruited on a short term supply basis?

There should be no discrepancies in pay between authorities on how pay is calculated and paid. The rate of pay will be the incremental point on the Main Grade Scale for which the teacher qualifies in accordance with paragraphs 1.19 to 1.26 of the SNCT Handbook. Short-term supply teachers are engaged on periods of work of 2 days or fewer.

Pay is calculated on the hourly rate as defined in paragraph 1.8 and applied to the daily hours worked in accordance with Section 2, paragraph 3.3 of the SNCT Handbook. The hourly rate of pay will be calculated on the basis of 1/1645 (1645 hours = 235 days x 7 hours) of the annual rate of salary. 

 

Q4. What is the national position on the recruitment and retention of teachers? There has been concern over variations in practices around recruitment in contradiction of SNCT agreements.

For example, supply teachers being excluded from internal recruitment drives, not converted to permanent or not able to apply for permanent posts or given short hour permanent contracts. 

In some cases, full time probationers who failed interview were offered one-year contracts while supply staff were not able to interview at all.

Recruitment is not an SNCT matter. The SNCT allows certain devolved matters to be negotiated at local level through Local Negotiating Committees for Teachers (LNCTs).

Three of the most important ones are Appointment procedures, Particulars of employment and Transfer of temporary teachers to permanent staff.  Because these matters are determined and agreed locally, any deviation from agreed practice or any examples of malpractice have to be resolved locally with the EIS Local Association Secretary in the first instance.

The EIS Local Association Secretary sits on the Local Negotiating Committee for Teachers (or JNC) in every authority across Scotland. The LNCT is an essential mechanism that ensures policy is adhered to in each local context. You must contact the LA Secretary for your area and raise these concerns. If you know other colleagues in your area in a similar position, make contact and raise this collectively.

 

Q5. When should I be issued with a fixed term temporary contract? Members are communicating a widespread failure to issue written contracts for long term work and/or instances of keeping staff on short term supply arrangements when work is clearly long term.

Where it is known at the outset that the requirement for cover is likely to extend beyond 2 days, a fixed term temporary contract (in accordance with the SNCT Code of Practice on the Use of Fixed Term Temporary Contracts) and any relevant LNCT Agreements should be issued.

A fixed term temporary contract will have a clear end date which relates to:

  • a specified expiry date;
  • the completion of a specified task;
  • the occurrence of a supervening event;

The use of a fixed term temporary appointment may be made in a number of circumstances including the following:

  • maternity leave;
  • parental leave;
  • adoption leave;
  • career break;
  • long term sickness absence;
  • secondment;
  • sabbaticals
  • staffing from time limited funding; and
  • pattern of recurrent work

 

Q6. Why am I being forced to re-apply to remain on the supply list with my Council every 6 months? Members have experienced being removed from the supply list and being issued with a P45.

This has also been happening during COVID shutdown, with no warning. These members feel this may be a potential breach of the Equality Act in instances where supply staff have been temporarily unavailable due to caring responsibilities.

The EIS would require  would need further information on such instances so they can be considered on a case by case basis. However, as outlined in the answer to question four above, this is a local matter, thus requiring a local solution.

 

Q7. What arrangements will be in place for shielding/high risk supply teachers in August?

There are no arrangements in place for shielding high risk/moderate risk adults or young people beyond 31 July 2020.  It is hoped that Health Protection Scotland and/or NHS Inform will release additional guidance in the middle of July which will outline the arrangements which will be in place in August.

 

Q8. For probationer teachers following the flexible route, can the completion period be extended if this is affected by the COVID pandemic and school closures?

The completion period does not appear to have been extended. However, GTC Scotland’s current position is that it will accept 140 satisfactorily completed days for Teacher Induction Scheme probationers and 200 satisfactorily completed days for Flexible Route probationers.

It may be necessary for the GTCS to review these figures should circumstances change significantly in the coming weeks and months. For further information, please contact the GTCS directly or visit its website

 

Q9. What arrangements will be put in place to employ supply teachers in Hubs over the summer holiday period rather than relying on volunteers?

Hubs opening in Summer 2020 are providing childcare for children of key workers and for vulnerable children. Currently, the hubs will not be providing education during this time. The majority of Local Authorities are using non-teaching staff such as active schools' coordinators to staff hubs over the summer or in some cases outsourcing hub provision to third sector organistations.

 

Q10. If supply staff are not working in August due to COVID, is this a break in service

Continuity of qualifying service is deemed to be broken where a break exceeds two weeks.

Unless you are on the permanent supply contract with a Local Authority, each period of short term supply or each short-term contract you finish working will mark an end to your contractual rights and responsibilities, thus if there is more than a two week break between your short-term contracts this will be deemed a break in service – such is the nature of this type of employment. 

The Institute understands this is particularly difficult during Covid-19 where there is uncertainty for those members who typically work contract to contract and also for Newly Qualified Teachers who are trying to find employment at the beginning of their career 

 

Q11. Why have I not been given a Glow password or Council email address? This is making it more difficult to for me to access professional learning, access resources in school and makes it very difficult from August to support blended learning. I also means that I cannot access GLOW or CPD opportunities over summer.

This matter has to be raised locally as access to Glow accounts and Council intranets and email systems vary across the 32 Councils. Speak to the EIS Rep if you are based within a school in the first instance or raise with the Local Association Secretary for the Authority you are working in.   

 

Q12 Why are supply staff not being routinely included in or paid for INSET days?

This matter should also be raised locally as procedures will vary across the 32 Councils. However, as a rule, supply staff or staff on fixed term or temporary contracts should not be routinely excluded from staff development, INSET days or CLPL opportunities owing solely to their contractual status with their employer. 

Raise this in the first instance with the school rep who will support you in advocating participation in inset days with the Head Teacher or Senior Leadership Team in the school.

 

Q13 What arrangement have been put in place to ensure that supply teachers or those on fixed term contracts can work in schools after the summer? It has been reported that there are any discrepancies across local authorities.

Some NQTS are worried about a precarious future and are angered at the suggestion of recently retired teachers being given work ahead of those on supply list.

Discussions on staffing schools from August are not at an advanced stage. No decisions have been taken on the appointment of recently retired teachers. Much work needs to be done and recruitment practices will be continuously monitored by the EIS at national and local level.

The General Secretary of the EIS, Larry Flanagan, used his annual report to a special online meeting of the EIS Council on 19 June to call for the recruitment of more teaching staff.  He said, "This is about supporting the educational recovery of Scotland's children. The focus for everyone should be on supporting educational recovery, for the good of our young people." 

He added, "On blended learning, we need additional resources, and additional staff, if this is to be an effective model of education for young people."

 

Q14. What is the professional status of supply teachers or those on fixed term contracts? Sometimes I feel like I have been employed simply to provide childcare.

The SNCT recognises that Councils may need a teacher to work other than on a permanent basis. It is for these reasons that the SNCT has produced a Code of Practice on the use of fixed term temporary contract (Appendix 2.8 of the SNCT Handbook) and a Code of Practice on the Engagement of Short Term Supply Teachers (Appendix 2.8A of the SNCT Handbook).

The purpose of both these Codes of Practice is to enhance the principles of a professional service by helping Councils to manage their staffing requirements in a co-ordinated and structured way.  Any deviations from these Codes of Practice should be reported, in the first instance, to the EIS local association secretary.