Make sure that your school is preparing to meet its obligations.
Current recommended cover levels are not more than 3.5 hours per year in primary and not more than 11 hours per year in secondary. If this limit is being breached in your school, contact your NUT school rep.
The Union’s view is that head teachers should establish a cover strategy to deal with planned and unplanned absences of teachers.
No HLTA should be actively teaching other than under the supervision of a teacher. Cover supervisors should not be doing any active teaching. Where you are aware that teaching assistants are being requested to go beyond the proper limits of their role, you should inform your NUT school rep or division/association secretary.
From 1 September 2009 you should only rarely be asked to take pupils from a class that has been split.
We are concerned that some local authorities are seeking to introduce a revised fixed cover limit from 1 September 2009.
Christine Blower, Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said:
“The Union will strongly resist the retention of a fixed hours limit. Any new limit, however low, would quickly be seen as a justified cover level within schools. The Union will oppose any changes to the current provisions which might weaken your contractual right to ‘only rarely’ cover from September 2009.”