14th March 1997 at 00:00
Q. We have a year head who has become disaffected and announced that he intends to work strictly to his contract of 1,265 hours. This means that many pastoral cases are being neglected. Can we take any action about this?

A If your year head has a job description which sets out what he is expected to do, his notion of working to contract must include the duties which have been set down. Even if no job description does exist, it might be that one could be reasonably inferred from the long-standing customs and practice established in the school.

However, the limitation of 1,265 hours is not absolute. The School Teachers' Pay and Conditions of Service document allows for duties which may have to be completed outside that time-frame. This stipulation is normally taken as a reference to lesson preparation and marking,but it could also refer to those duties taken on as part of a promoted post, such as year head.

Therefore, if your year head is failing to carry out specified duties, he can be instructed to do them and, if he refuses, disciplinary action could be taken against him.

His defence can only be that the direction he has been given is unreasonable, either because it is outside his contractual obligations, or because he believes it is excessive.

It would be for the governors to determine the outcome of this case, whether that is through disciplinary or grievance procedures.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today