Pay and Conditions for Part-time Teachers

Suffolk NUT Briefing Note

General employment legislation (UK and European) stipulates that pay and conditions must not be any less favourable for part-timers than for full-timers. This means that part-timers should be paid and expected to work days and hours "pro rata" to the full-time equivalent. Schools must not discriminate against part timers by imposing any condition which is less favourable, pro rata, than would apply to a full-time teacher doing similar work.

Since 2009, the STP&CD has spelt this out, stating that for "a teacher employed part-time" "the number of hours the teacher must be available for work in any school year must be that proportion of 1265 hours which corresponds to the proportion of total remuneration the teacher is entitled to be paid pursuant to paragraph 46" (i.e. full time)

Ways of calculating pay and working hours should therefore be the same as for calculating a full day, week or year. The only exception is in the number of days on which a part-timer can be expected to work: 0.5 fte cannot be achieved in half of 195 days, because 0.5 requires the teacher to work during three separate days a week (as 2 full days is only 0.4fte).

This, too, has now been clarified, and the STP&C Document makes it clear that a part timer cannot be directed to do any work on a day or part of a day when they do not work for that school.  However, the regulations still require a teacher to stay for say, a, staff meeting in the afternoon, even if they are only employed for that morning.  This can cause problems for those who work elsewhere in an afternoon and members should contact the Union for advice if they experience this difficulty. 

The relevant clauses in the (2009) STP&CD are: 74.4                A teacher employed full-time must be available to perform such duties at such times and such places as may be specified bythe head teacher (or, where the teacher is not assigned to any one school, by the employer or the head teacher of any school in which the teacher may for the time being be required to work as such) for 1265 hours in any school year, those hours to be allocated reasonably throughout those days in the school year on which the teacher is required to be available for work.


74.6                Sub-paragraph 4 applies to a teacher employed part-time, except that the number of hours the teacher must be available for work in any school year must be that proportion of 1265 hours which corresponds to the proportion of total remuneration the teacher is entitled to be paid pursuant to paragraph 46.

74.7                Subject to sub-paragraph 8, no teacher employed part-time may be required to be available for work on any day of the week or part of any day of the week that the teacher is not normally required to be available for work under their contract of employment (whether it is for the purposes of teaching pupils and performing other duties or for the sole purpose of performing other duties).

Calculating hours and salary:

Suffolk CC Personnel Manual (Section C page 11, para. 2.9) says: "Qualified teachers in regular part-time service are paid a proportion of the salary and allowances that would be appropriate if they were employed full time." This means that part-time teachers are paid on the same point of the Main Scale or Upper Pay Spine, etc., as they would have been paid had they been full time.  The method of calculation of part-time teachers’ pay in the current Suffolk CC Personnel Manual part E is wrong, because it refers only to "contact time" and not the full working time. That would discriminate against part-timers and therefore be illegal. The NUT has pointed this out to the LEA who have not yet corrected their guidance to schools.

The Government and RIG partners tried to alter the method of calculation of part-timer's pay in Sept 2009, but this has proved impracticel and is being ignored by SCC.

Part-timer's actual pay should be calculated as the proportion of the pupil week (pupil session times including morning and afternoon breaks, but not lunch break) that the teacher has to be on the premises. This includes registration time and any "trapped" non-teaching time.  Normally, part-timers should be paid in complete day / morning / afternoon pupil sessions, where 1 whole day = 0.2 full time. See details below.


Part-timers can be paid an SEN point or TLR allowance.  The STP&CD says these are added to the full-time equivalent salary before calculating the full-time equivalent pro rata salary for the part-time: under the "no less favourable treatment" provisions of UK law, this is only acceptable if the part-time postholder is sharing the responsibility with another part-timer in a job share.  (E.g. one partner works 0.6 fte and has 0.6 of the duties and allowance; the other has 0.4 fte and 0.4 of the duties and allowance.)

Where, such as in subject coordination, the part-timer is responsible for all the work of a TLR, for example, the whole annual value of that TLR should be paid to the part-timer.  This can be done by increasing the part-timer's hours to ensure that the total annual salary includes the total annual TLR payment.   This is explained in detail  by a circular to NUT representatives, November 2006: Part Time TLRs .

Calculation of pay

Part-time teachers’ pay should be calculated in accordance with the statutory SSP&CD: "The proportion shall correspond to the proportion of the school week that the authority deem the teacher to be normally employed as a school teacher (breaks between school sessions being excluded)". Note that here, "the Authority" means the LEA, in all situations including Aided and Foundation Schools. Conditions of Service issues are a matter for the LEA and have not been delegated to Governing Bodies. Schools must therefore abide by the LEA policy in this regard.

The calculation should therefore be as follows:

Total amount of working time** during the pupil week = full time  
The full pupil week*   equivalent

* The full pupil week is the total time of the published 5 morning and 5 afternoon sessions for pupils (or equivalent in a "continental-style day"). ** The total amount of working time during the pupil day includes morning break, and non-teaching time.

Non-teaching time:

Part-timers should enjoy, pro rata, the same entitlement to timetabled non-teaching time for PPA (Planning Preparation and Assessment Time), leadership and management, etc. as applies to full timers in the school. SCC Personnel Manual Guidance Note AP2 says: "The effective integration of part-time teachers unto a school’s integration requires a degree of flexibility on the part of the teacher and of the school. .... It is important to balance the needs of your school and the resources against the wishes, rights and reasonable expectations of part-time teachers."   This means that details are negotiable.   Provided that proper notice has been given, part-time teachers can reasonably expect the school to honour a request to be employed for full days and/or full sessions. Part-timers must have the pro rata equivalent of non-teaching time (non-teaching periods) that would apply if full-time, (fractions of lessons being rounded up, as to round down would discriminate). Sometimes headteachers seek to deduct from paid working time an "extra" non-teaching period which falls at the beginning or end of a school session. Similarly, heads sometimes seek to deduct from working time registration time, if the part-timer does not have a registration group. Suffolk NUT considers this practice to be discriminatory, because such deductions would not be made in the case of a full-time teacher who had an "extra" non-teaching period at the end of a session, or who is not required to take a tutor/registration group. However, where it suits a part-time teacher to be able to leave early or arrive late in a session, this can be negotiated as part of the individual arrangement, with the agreement of the part-time teacher. It should not be imposed.

PD Days, Meetings, etc.

Once the regular pro rata working time and salary is determined, through negotiation, the headteacher should indicate well in advance, preferably in writing, which PD days and which calendared meetings of staff, parental consultations, etc., the part-time teacher will be directed to attend. This should be within the maximum of the fraction of 1265 hours which applies, pro rata. So, a teacher on 0.4 fte can only be directed to attend 2 PD days a year, for example. Beyond this "directed" time, attendance at extra meetings is at the teacher’s professional discretion.  Headteachers can pay "overtime" for attendance by the part-timer at times and for sessions during which that teacher is not contracted to work for the school.  

As part-timers have a right to be employed elsewhere at times when they are not contracted to work for the school, the headteacher cannot direct a part-time teacher to undertake work for the school at a time when they are not contacted to that school. For example, a part-timer who does not work at school A on a Wednesday, cannot be required to attend a staff meeting at school A on Wednesdays, because that teacher may be working for school B on Wednesdays and be contracted to fulfil his/her duties in school B that day.

So, if all PD Days are on a day when a part-timer does not work, there must be discussion and negotiation to arrive at an amical resolution.  Your local NUT Secretary will be pleased to assist.  If part-time teachers are committed elsewhere on the days set down for PD Days and cannot therefore be directed to attend, the Head might consider changing the date of the PD Days so that they are not always on the same day of the week (e.g. Monday).

Changes to the contract or hours:

Suffolk County Council favours flexible part-time contracts in bands of .25 fte equivalence (normally 0.01-0.25; 0.25-0.49; 0.50-0.74; 0.75-0.99). This means that contracts do not have to be re-issued every year if there are minor alterations to the hours worked. The letter of appointment (or contract) must stipulate:

The existence of the "flexibility" clause in a contract does not remove the need to consult the part-time teacher and pursue negotiations about proposed changes. Section E of the Personnel Manual says: "Variations in hours of work should be made according to operational need. Variations should not normally be made more than once per year which should be sufficient to cope with most changes coming about in the new academic year. Any proposed variation should be discussed with the teacher concerned well in advance of the change being made. For example, changes proposed from 1st September should be discussed with the teacher concerned in the early part of the summer term and notice given of the variation by 31st May to coincide with teachers’ notice periods. Changes must be notified to the Area Office which will confirm them in writing. The greater the proposed variation , the greater the need for discussion with the teacher before any change is made." Reductions greater than .25fte could be considered to be redundancy, and the school must consult the LEA and the teacher should consult the Union. The requirement to indicate such reductions before 31st May is to allow time for the part-time teacher to consider resigning in favour of a better contract elsewhere.

Employment Rights:

Part-time teachers have exactly the same employment rights as full-time staff, regarding periods of notice, sick pay, leave of absence, etc. Part time teachers have the same rights as full-time staff re:

It is a (widely-held) myth that part-time employment is always "temporary" or "fixed term". This is not so and it would be illegal for a part-time contract to be made "temporary" when filling a permanent vacancy (which would have been a permanent post if full time).

Pensionable Service:

Part-timers and supply teachers used to have to opt in to the pensions scheme. Many part-time and supply teachers did not realise until some time later that they stopped paying into the pension scheme when they ceased to be full-time.   Although this has now changed and teachers now going into part time service are automatically included in the pension scheme, those who went part time some time ago still need to check whether they are paying into the pension scheme.

Suffolk NUT, up-dated Jan 2010