A summary of the current proposals in regard to the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the implications for NASUWT Representatives in discussions with employers

England, Northern Ireland and Wales
Scotland
 

England, Northern Ireland and Wales

England

In England, local authority maintained schools operating according to the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) must open for 195 days.

Of these, a maximum of 190 days involve teaching children and young people. The remaining five days are non-teaching days when teachers may be asked to undertake other duties related to their role as a teacher. These are often known as in-service training (INSET) days. These limits do not apply if you are paid on the leaders range.

Term dates are determined by school employers. The local authority is the employer for community, voluntary-controlled, community special or maintained nursery schools. For foundation, voluntary-aided and foundation special schools, the employer is the governing body.

For the academic year 2021/22, in acknowledgement of the additional Bank Holiday for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the DfE has agreed the following position to assist schools and local authorities in their planning.

‘The Spring Bank Holiday in 2022 will be moved to Thursday 2 June and an additional bank holiday on Friday 3 June will see a four-day weekend to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

‘Many schools will already be on their half-term breaks in the week commencing 31 May, but where the additional bank holiday falls in term time, schools and local authorities (LAs) should observe the bank holidays on 2/3 June and may therefore need to prepare and make any amendments to their published term dates for the academic year 2021/22.

‘We [the DfE] have laid regulations to reduce the minimum number of sessions schools are required to meet in the academic year 2021/2022 and enable everyone to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen on 3 June 2022.

‘The Department will review the necessary legislation and, as far as the STPCD is concerned, make an amendment for the September 21 version that reduces the number of days that teachers need to be available to work from 190 (+5 INSET days) to 189 (+5 INSET days) and will also reduce the number of directed hours by 6.5. The total school year will therefore be 194 days.’

In essence, teachers will teach one less day for the academic year 2021/22, down from 195 to 194 (including INSET days), or down from 190 to 189 (excluding INSET days) across 1,258.5 hours as opposed to 1,265 hours of directed time. An extra day of holiday will therefore need to be allocated and NASUWT Representatives will need to be engaged in discussions with employers on where this should be allocated in the school year, dependent on where the half-term is already accounted for in 2021/22.

The Union is clear that any proposals must be made in consultation with the NASUWT, as well as parents and the local community, recognising the potential impacts on those affected.

Academies, including free schools, set their own term dates and school day. Whilst the overwhelming majority adhere to the provisions set out in the STPCD, some academies operate terms and conditions which do not. As such, they can set a different directed time calendar, specifying working time which may be in excess of the 195 days a year identified in the STPCD.

NASUWT Representatives will therefore need to be cognisant of this when engaging in discussion with such employers, particularly in respect of those teachers who may have transferred into the academy/free school under the terms of the STPCD.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, agreement on teachers’ pay and conditions of service is reached through the Teachers’ Salaries and Conditions of Service Committee (Schools), more commonly known as the Teachers’ Negotiating Committee (TNC).

Teachers in Northern Ireland can only be directed for 195 days per year and 1,265 hours per year. The days that each individual teacher is required to be available should be set out in the time budget at the beginning of the year.

The Union is aware that the Education Authority has written to all schools regarding the situation in respect of the Queen’s Jubilee and the reduction in the days teachers are required to work from 195 to 194. The NASUWT understands that it is for each individual school to decide whether to take the holiday over the weekend of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Wales

In Wales, local authority schools operating according to the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions (Wales) Document (STPCD (Wales)) must open for 195 days.

Of these, a maximum of 190 days involve teaching children and young people. The remaining five days are non-teaching days when teachers may be asked to undertake other duties related to their role as a teacher.

In regard to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022, the NASUWT understands that a reduction of one day is being written into the STPCD (Wales). This would see teachers being required to work 194 days as opposed to 195.

Term dates

NASUWT Representatives will need to engage and discuss with employers to determine how they will ensure that term dates for 2021/22 do not clash with those set by local authorities, in order to avoid situations where there are clashes between the term dates of staff and those of their children attending local authority maintained schools.

Scotland

The SNCT Handbook stipulates under section 3.5 of Part 2 that the working year for teachers shall consist of 195 days, of which 190 will coincide with the school year for pupils with the remaining five days being worked by the individual teachers on duties as planned by the council. These are often known as in-service training (INSET) days.

Term dates are determined by local authorities and vary across Scotland.

While the NASUWT sought to secure a central agreement via SNCT,this has not been agreed and, as took place in 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee, a decision will need to be taken by LNCTs. Unless agreed locally, there is currently therefore no intention to increase the non-working days by an extra day to recognise the additional bank holiday across the whole of Scotland.

The Union understands that some local authorities have already had discussions about the May holidays and in some areas it has been agreed locally that teachers will work 194 days next year as opposed to 195.

Should you require further advice or support in relation to the agreement reached in your local authority, please contact your Local Association Secretary or the Scotland Office.