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Assigned Teachers and the role of Support Staff

The provisions of the National Agreement in relation to assigned teachers introduced in 2003 are related to regulations made under Section 133 of the Education Act 2002.

The section 133 regulations clarify the respective roles of qualified teachers and other staff in schools, and specify circumstances under which certain kinds of staff without qualified teacher status (usually support staff) may carry out ‘specified work’ related to teaching and learning, including requirements for appropriate direction and supervision of support staff by a teacher.

The National Agreement places a duty on Headteachers to ensure that each class or group timetabled for core and foundation subjects and for religious education and each class or group in the foundation stage has a teacher assigned to teach it. The statutory Teacher’s Pay and Conditions Documents states that: ”the assigned teacher is responsible for the progress of the pupils in the class/group over the course of the academic year. Assigned teachers may be assisted in their work by other teachers deployed on the timetable to take that class/group for particular activities or lessons and/or by support staff, some of whom may carry out ‘specified work’”.

The Section 133 regulations also provides guidance on the appointment of instructors – classed as people with special qualifications or experience or both.  It makes it clear that in circumstances where there is no qualified teacher, or trainee on the Graduate, Registered or Overseas-Trained Teacher Programmes available for an appointment, the Governing Body, may appoint an instructor, provided that they have made the necessary judgement as to the instructor’s qualifications and experience.

These regulations have led to the emergence of new support roles and were a necessary part to enable other National Agreement provisions such as PPA and Cover to be delivered.

The DfE have produced a resource kit, designed to help schools best utlise classroom-based support staff as part of the school improvement planning process (see resources below).


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