What are my employment rights as a part-time teacher?


As a part-time teacher you should be aware of your employment rights. Part-time working can be a good way of balancing work and personal commitments and you should not be penalised for working part-time at your school.

According to the Part-Time Workers Regulations, you have the right not to be treated less favourably than a full-time colleague. Essentially this means you should:

  • Receive the same rates of pay (this includes sick pay, maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay)
  • Not be excluded from training simply because you work part-time
  • Receive holidays pro-rata to comparable full-timers
  • Have any career break schemes, contractual and parental leave made available to you in the same way as full-time members of staff
  • Not be treated less favourably when workers are selected for redundancy

How is my salary calculated as a part-time teacher?

If you are working in a maintained school your pay will be determined by the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD). This explains that part-time teachers must be paid pro-rata to a full-time teacher at the school and that the calculation for determining the proportion to be paid is based on the school’s timetabled teaching week.

In academies, free schools and the independent sector, the principle that should apply is that you should receive salary calculated on a pro-rata basis. Your school’s pay policy should determine how this is calculated.

What can I do if I think I’m being treated less favourably than my full-time colleagues?

If you think you are being treated less favourably than your full-time colleagues you should first discuss the issue with your line manager. If you are not satisfied with the response you can ask for a written statement from the school explaining the reason for the less favourable treatment.

This request should be in writing and the response from the employer should be given within 21 days.

If you are not satisfied with the reason you may be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal. If you feel you have been treated less favourably you can contact us for further advice and support.

What are my rights regarding redundancy as a part-time teacher?

Your rights are the same as those as your full-time colleagues. Redundancy criteria must not discriminate against part-time workers. Any policy that has this effect is likely to be in breach of the regulations. Please see another article on Edapt with information on redundancies.

Can I be directed to attend all staff meetings and INSET days?

Full-time teachers in maintained schools can be required to work under the direction of the headteacher for up to 1,265 hours per year. As a part-time teacher you can only be directed to work for a percentage of these 1,265 hours.

All of your directed time must fall on days when you are normally contracted to work. Your directed time will include:

  • Teaching
  • Planning, preparation and assessment time
  • Non-contact time
  • Registration
  • Assemblies
  • Breaks (except lunchtime, which is  excluded from directed time)
  • INSET training days or sessions
  • Staff meetings
  • Parents’ evenings

If you undertake any of the above duties then they must be accounted for in your proportion of directed time. If the staff meeting or INSET training day falls on a day when you are not normally contracted to work then you may attend with the agreement of your headteacher.

We have published another article which outlines the requirements with attending INSET days.

What about my Teachers’ Pension?

According to the Teachers’ Pension website, if you started working part-time on or after 1 January 2007 you service is automatically pensionable unless you opt out of the scheme.

As a part-time teacher, the Teachers’ Pension Scheme treats you in the same ways as a full-time member. If you are working part-time, the whole period counts towards your qualifying service including the days you do not work.

However, your benefits are based on the pensionable earnings you receive. Edapt has produced another article which provides an overview of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.

Where can I find out more information about part-time teaching and my employment rights?

The TES has a section on its website for part-time teachers.

ACAS can also provide employment advice for part-time members of staff

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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.