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Q In determining the salary of the head, is it possible for the governors to set a figure between the spine points given in the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions of Service document?

A No. The document has statutory force, and heads and teachers generally can only be remunerated in accordance with the scales set out. Although the salaries of heads and deputies have been negotiable within the prescribed ranges since 1991, governors are not allowed to introduce their own variations.

The only way in which an increase, which is effectively less than a full point, can be made is by making a temporary increase of a whole point for a limited period, say for one term. Governors might feel that this could be justified in particular circumstances, such as a major reorganisation or building programme.

Q It is the practice at this school to require the heads of sixth form and Year 11 to come into school during the school holidays to deal with business connected with the publication of exam results. Is this an obligation?

A If this is specified in their job description, it might be reasonable to suggest that this commitment falls within the scope of paragraph 36(1)(f) of the pay document. This states that there are some tasks which fall outside the 1,265 hours of directed time, but which are a necessary part of the job.

As these teachers are probably paid several increments in recognition of their responsibilities, they might feel it would be difficult to do their jobs if they did not regard this work as integral to their posts.

The alternative would be to allocate a set time for this work and include it within directed time. I suspect that, for most conscientious teachers at this level, the issue might have the same relevance as the debate about angels dancing on pinheads.

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