Work-life Balance

The School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document specifies that all teachers and head teachers should enjoy a reasonable work-life balance.
From the STPCD:-

 

“Implementing and monitoring work-life balance

25. Work-life balance is about helping teachers combine work with their personal interests outside work. It can help to recruit and retain better motivated staff through giving them greater control of their working lives and a stronger sense of ownership. A school that is committed to work-life balance:
(a) recognises that effective practices to promote work-life balance will benefit both teachers and pupils;
(b) highlights the joint responsibility to discuss workable solutions and encourages a partnership between individual teachers and their line managers;
(c) develops, monitors and evaluates appropriate policies and practical responses that meet the specific needs of the school, having regard to fairness and consistency; valuing teachers for their contribution to raising standards, not their working pattern;
(d) communicates its commitment to work-life balance to its staff; and
(e) demonstrates leadership and encourages senior managers to lead by example.

26. Employers have a duty to employees at common law and a legal duty under health and safety legislation, including the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and related legislation and the Working Time Regulations 1998.”

Administrative and Clerical Tasks

The School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document also specifies that teachers are not required routinely ‘to undertake tasks of a clerical or administrative nature which do not call for the exercise of a teacher’s professional skills and judgment’.   Such tasks are not part of the professional duties of a teacher.
A list of such tasks is set out in the STPCD and reproduced below. This list is indicative only. Teachers cannot be routinely required to undertake any clerical tasks, not just those on the list of examples set out below. A requirement to undertake a task may be routine even if it is undertaken only annually.

1. Collecting money from pupils and parents.
2. Investigating a pupil’s absence.
3. Bulk photocopying.
4. Typing or making word-processed versions of manuscript material and producing revisions of such versions.
5. Word-processing, copying and distributing bulk communications, including standard letters, to parents and pupils.
6. Producing class lists on the basis of information provided by teachers.
7. Keeping and filing records, including records based on data supplied by teachers.
8. Preparing, setting up and taking down classroom displays in accordance with decisions taken by teachers.
9. Producing analyses of attendance figures.
10. Producing analyses of examination results.
11. Collating pupil reports.
12. Administration of work experience (but not selecting placements and supporting pupils by advice or visits).
13. Administration of public and internal examinations.
14. Administration of cover for absent teachers.
15. Ordering, setting up and maintaining ICT equipment and software.
16. Ordering supplies and equipment.
17. Cataloguing, preparing, issuing and maintaining materials and equipment and stocktaking the same.
18. Taking verbatim notes or producing formal minutes of meetings.
19. Co-ordinating and submitting bids (for funding, school status and the like) using contributions by teachers and others.
20. Transferring manual data about pupils not covered by the above into computerised school management systems.
21. Managing the data in school management systems.

 

NUT advice is that teachers should exercise their professional judgment in deciding whether a particular task requires their input. For example, it is up to individual teachers to decide whether putting up and maintaining displays is a task which involves their professional skills and judgment, or whether it is an administrative task that should be transferred to support staff. The time saved by the transfer of administrative and clerical tasks should not be replaced by additional teaching time.