Do teachers need to teach through the summer holidays?

Overview

You might be concerned that your school might ask you to come in during the summer holidays to teach. You might have already made plans and are concerned that your school could potentially ask you to teach at short notice.

At the moment there are no confirmed plans for schools to be open over the traditional summer break, which starts in England in July.

However, the Prime Minister has raised speculation this could happen after saying the Government will be unveiling a ‘massive summer catch-up operation’ aimed at helping children get up to speed ahead of planned re-opening of school in September.

In this article, we look at if schools can legally ask teachers to attend school during the summer holidays and practical issues to consider.

Can schools ask staff to work during the summer holidays?

Forbes Solicitors explains that for full-time teaching staff contracted under the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) there is a maximum of 190 days schools can require staff to be available for teaching and a maximum of 1265 hours in a school year. 

Under the STPCD the school year is defined as September to the end of August.

We have published another article which looks at The Working Time Regulations and the STPCD. 

Therefore there is no prohibition on requiring teachers to teach during the summer holiday period provided they have not taught for 190 days or 1265 hours of teaching during the school year.

However, Forbes Solicitors explains, it would recommend schools take a sympathetic approach where possible and seek agreement for staff who are required to work rather than forcing staff members to work during the summer holidays. 

Practically, schools might be minded to put in place rota systems to ensure that requests for staff to work over the summer break are fair and reasonable whilst at the same time maintaining their ability to provide care for those children who need it most.

Was this article helpful?

The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.