Frequently Asked Questions
Sometimes, the questions that Kirklees NASUWT members want answered are complex and not always straight forward. In these instances, consult with your school representative or ring the Kirklees office for further advice and support. For the more straight forward answers though, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions that are commonly asked by members ringing the Kirklees office:
- Q: Open evenings – do I have to go?
- A: No, but if you do attend, the time can and should be counted against directed time.
- Q: Part-time hours – do I have to attend meetings on a day
I’m not contracted?
- A: No, but you can come to an agreement with your headteacher in advance to attend the meeting and be paid for it.
- Q: Notice period – how much do I have to give?
- Q: Sick Pay – how much am I entitled to? A: It depends on your length of service, but after 4 years you are entitled to 100 days on full pay followed by 100 days at half pay.
- Q: PPA time – how much should I get? Can it be used for
meetings? A: You should receive at least 10% of your allocated teaching time (in at least half hour blocks). PPA time should not be used for meetings unless you choose to do so.
- Q: Directed time calendar – does the school have to have one? A: Yes, all schools should have one and consult with staff about it as it is vital for cover, PPA and part-time issues.
- Q: Sacked for being ill – is this possible? A: Unfortunately yes it is. Members can be dismissed on medical grounds if their employer deems that they are no longer medically capable to fulfil their role as a teacher: see the sickness absence policy.
- Q: Claiming tax on my NASUWT subs – can I? A: Yes, for the past 7 years, download sample letter.
- Q: Teacher-governor – do I have to leave a meeting when pay is discussed? A: No, not unless you have a pecuniary interest.
- Q: Pensions – can I retire at 55? A: Not necessarily , an application for early retirement has to be made and will usually mean forfeiting some of your pension.
- Q: UPS – do I have to apply for UPS2 or UPS3? A: No, there is no application process, a pay progression recommendation should be made to the governing body by your headteacher after two consecutive successful performance management reviews.
- Q: School rep – can I get time off for training? A: Yes, you have an entitlement to time off for training as do union health and safety and learning representatives.
- Q: Maternity – can I automatically go part-time on returning to work? A: No, not automatically, you have the right to request under flexible working for part-time hours and your employer has to have a 'good business reason' to turn the request down.
- Q: Observation – what is the limit on the number of observations? A: There is no limit on number but the maximum amount of time allowed for observations is 3 hours per year.
- Q: Curriculum responsibilities – can I be given them if I
am not paid? A: No. Responsibilities for a curriculum area and leading staff attract a TLR even in Primary schools.
- Q: CRB – do I need a CRB check? A: Yes, but if you have been in the same school since 2002, a new CRB should not need to be carried out.
- Q: ISA – what is it and will it affect me? A: ISA is the INdependent Safeguarding Authority that undertakes vetting and barring under the new safeguarding laws and will affect all teachers and employees who work with young people.
- Q: Assaults – should the pupil be excluded if I am assaulted
(including verbally)? A: Yes, in the first instance at least, see the assaults policy.
- Q: Swimming – can I be directed to walk pupils to the baths
and teach them to swim? A: No, escorting pupils to swimming baths is not a teacher's job and you cannot teach pupils to swim unless you are suitably qualified.
- Q: Disability – what is a reasonable adjustment? A: An adjustment (within reason) that your employer has to put in place to accommodate your needs if you have a registered disability that comes under the DDA.
- Q: Racial abuse – does the school have to report incidents? A: Yes, all racial abuse has to be reported to the LA.
- Q: Behaviour – can I refuse to teach a badly behaved pupil? A: No, but if the situation is extreme a ballot of members can be taken, contact the office for further advice.
- Q: Counselling service - is there one? A: Yes, Kirklees use an independent provider; Care First who offer a free counselling service.
- Q: Debt problems – what should I do? A: The NASUWT has a benevolence fund, contact the office for further support or you can also visit PayPlan.
- Q: Legal problems – what do I do? A: If work related, contact the office, or for non-employment issues, use the free service available from Thompson's Solicitors.
- Q: Bullying – I am being bullied in school, what do I do? A: Keep a record of all incidents and contact the Kirklees office.
- Q: Assaulted in school – should I report it to the police? A: The NASUWT always advises members to report incidents of assault to the police straight away.
- Q: Trust – I work in a trust school so does the Blue Book apply? A: Yes it does.
- Q: Academy – I work in an academy school so does the Blue Book apply? A: Some academies do adopt the Blue Book and others don't. Watch out for applying for jobs in academies where they do not follow the STPC Document.