The National Agreement: Raising Standards and Tackling Workload introduced from September 2004 a 38-hour annual limit on the amount of cover that teachers could undertake. From 1 September 2009 there will no longer be an annual limit and teachers should only 'rarely cover' for absent colleagues.
It is up to schools to determine the best cover solution for each individual circumstance and schools should develop a robust cover management policy.
Annex A of the guidance gives advice for the deployment of support staff to cover for absent teachers.
ATL's factsheet, Mythbusters: rarely cover aims to dispell some of the myths that have grown up around rarely cover.
Need further advice?
Your first point of contact is your ATL rep in your school or college. Your local ATL branch is also available to help with queries, or you can contact ATL's member advisors on tel: 020 7930 6441 or email us. Please have your membership number to hand when telephoning and include it with any correspondence - this will help us to answer your query more quickly.