One Source for Key HR Facts

National Minimum Wage Rates Will Increase from April 2018

The Government has published the new rates that will take effect from 1st April 2018.  You can see the new and current rates on our Key HR Facts pages.Access to Key HR Facts on mobile

Access to Key HR Facts

We have probably all suffered the frustration of trying to find key facts on personnel issues when referred to different sites which do not always have any relevance to our search.  Well, Key HR Facts brings together useful HR facts.  You can access those facts on line by going to the link above.

Alternatively, we can send you an electronic PDF copy of the Key HR Facts sheets.  To receive your copy just sign up in the left hand column to receive alerts to new articles and updates on this blog.

In addition, we shall alert you to the new rates for other statutory payments which come into effect in the new tax year.  To ensure that you receive a copy, simply sign up as below to receive alerts to new articles and updates to be published on this this blog.

Key HR Facts – Mobile Responsive

We are investigating the release of Key HR Facts that are mobile responsive i.e can be read easily on your mobile phone.  When produced, we shall send copies to those individuals who have signed up to receive alerts to our new blog articles and updates.

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Text revised 20/02/2018

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Schools are Affected by Pay Gap Reporting

Note – Editor’s text corrections made 18/01/2018

Do All Schools Have to Publish Gender Pay Gap Reports?

The recent story of a senior BBC employee resigning because of the inequality of her pay hit the headlines and seems to have reinforced the belief that the need to produce a report to show whether or not gender pay gap exists in an organisation is only relevant to higher paid employees.  That is a false view as the requirement applies to schools and many other organisations.

Picture of pay data collection

Collecting pay data for gender pay gap reporting

If a school employs 250 or more employees then the school is likely to be under a duty to collect and report on its pay data to meet the requirements of the Gender Pay Gap Reporting Regulations.

That applies to all forms of schools including:

  • a)  Local Authority maintaned schools – the Governing Body is responsible for collecting and publishing the required data;
  • b)  Pupil Referral Units – the LA is responsible for collecting and publishing the data;
  • c)  Academies and Free schools are within the scope of the regulations and the proprietor is required to collect and publish the data
  • d)  Independent and private schools have to follow the private sector gender pay reporting regulations – the legal employer is responsible.

For schools, 31st March of each year is the reference date on which the data is based.  Publication of the ‘analysed’ data must occur within one year of that date.   For schools in d) above the reference date is 5th April of each year.

First Mandatory Publication Date is in 2018

The first publication date falls in this year so you need to review how prepared you are to produce the required data to publish your school’s report.

The 2018 deadline for publication of your school’s report is 30 March 2018 (which also applies to the majority of public sector organisations) and 4 April 2018  for other organisations.

Remember that Independent and private schools are obliged to publish their report by 4th April 2018.

The Peculiar Situation of a School

Calculating remuneration for the purposes of the regulations is not straight forward for most organisations as specific definitions have to be used when data is calculated.   Schools are likely to encounter some issues with the following types of employees and their contracted hours:

  • Term time only employees such as catering staff;
  • Teaching staff subject to minimum contracted annual hours e.g. required to work a minimum of 1,265 hours over 39 weeks as per the full time hours in the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document;
  • Head Teachers on an unspecified hours contract i.e. they are required to manage their own working time to fulfil their professional duties.

The task has been made easier by the giving of specific examples for the situations above.  Those examples and the principles can be seen on pages 30 and 31 of the revised booklet produced by ACAS, ‘Managing gender pay reporting’.

Diversity/Equality Reports are Different to Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Do not fall into the mistake of thinking that any diversity or equality data that you have published will suffice.  Such data will not meet the definitions required under the regulations for gender pay gap reports.

Help if Puzzled or Stuck

Where can you go to understand the requirements or seek an answer to a query?
The ACAS booklet is a reasonable source of reference and the related publications of ACAS.  Your HR adviser should also be able to advise you.

If you have a query on the requirements and/or publishing your report, please note that for a short while we shall accept queries, without a charge, if they take a short time to answer.  We will advise you, in advance, if the query will  take too long for this service. Please leave a message about your query by using the ‘chat’ pop up button which will appear on the bottom right hand side of this page.

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The Living Wage and the National Wage – hidden costs for employees and employers

This article was updated on 28/12/15

Schools will experience pressures on their salary budgets and other costs in this academic year due to the fall out from:

  • the increase in the current Living Wage;
  • the growing number of employers voluntarily adopting the Living Wage;
  • the introduction of the National Living Wage in April 2016;
  • the implications for the grade structure and differentials for support staff.

The Living Wage is different from the National Living Wage.  The latter currently has one minimum rate for adults aged 21 and over which is £6.70 per hours.  From April 2016, an additional age band will come into effect.  That applies only to those aged 25 or over and the rate will be £7.20

A Pincer Effect

It is not just a question of affordability as you need to consider:

  • the strain on grade structures and pay differentials from April 2016 when the new National (Living) Wage of £7.20 per hour takes effect for employees of 25 years or older;
  • how you will shape the expectations of employees as some staff are likely to receive a lower net pay increase than anticipated and thus feel disaffected;
  • what are local employers doing about pay in your recruitment area?

Now is the time to consider what actions you can take to contain salary costs and to attract and retain key staff.

Direct Salary Pressures

Some faith schools and Local Authorities have adopted the Living Wage which means their minimum salary rate will now be £9.40 per hour in London and £8.25 per hour elsewhere.  In some instances, the local authority has recommended that schools adopt the Living Wage.  An increasing number of employers are adopting the Living Wage – about 2,000 have signed up to pay the Living Wage.  Those are not all large firms so you need to understand what is happening locally.    If the Living Wage becomes an issue locally, it will lead to a significant increase as additional employer on costs will be incurred compared to the current LA Support staff rates – see later.

In April the National Living Wage of £7.20 will take effect.  That is mandatory so schools will have to pay the minimum rate for those aged 25 or over.  Currently the adult minimum wage for those aged 21 or over is £6.70 per hour.  From April that rate will still apply to those aged 21 and up to and including age 24.

However the rise in the basic pay rates is just one part of the problem.  Pay differentials will be affected especially for support staff in the lower pay grades.

Erosion of Pay Differentials Grades 1 and 2

When the National Living Wage starts in April 2016, those aged 25 or over will be entitled to £7.20 per hour in place of the current minimum wage rate of £6.70 per hour.

This will present problems for roles that are on grades 1 and 2 and potentially grade 3 of the support grades.  The rate of £7.20 would equate to point 9 on grade 2 which is the mid-point of the grade.   That will affect, for example, Mid Day Supervisors, Teaching Assistants (Grade 2).

This will also increase employers’ on costs.  Heads will face an increase of between 6% and 30% depending on whether or not a member of staff is in the Local Government Pension Scheme.

Compression and Inflated Salary Rates 

As the National Living Wage only applies to 25 years olds, Heads should strive to retain flexibility within their pay structure so that they can pay the national minimum wage rate of £6.70 for adults aged between 21 and 25 and the rate of £7.20 for those aged 25 or over.  Simply abolishing the current grade 1 will lead to grade compression and inflation within the grade structure.  Staff on grades 2 and 3 will feel that the differentials are no longer representative of the actual demands of their role compared to ‘lower graded roles’. Some managers will sympathize with that feeling.

Employee Disenchantment –  Shape Expectations

Some staff will experience higher deductions from their pay because their earnings will pass the threshold for auto enrolment into a pension scheme.  That will be felt even more in 2017 when the minimum contribution from employees will rise from 1% to 3%.  [Note the Chancellor has indicated that the increase in contribution rates will be deferred until 6th April 2017  – see note at end].

It is also anticipated that firms will seek to offset the rise in wages by increasing prices.  Any increase in the price of basics, such as food, will erode much of the gain for lower paid staff.

Heads should encourage managers to shape the expectations of employees by forewarning them of the likely effect on their gross and net pay so that they are not taken aback by a smaller net increase in their pay.

Options to Minimise Cost Increases

What will your first reactions be?   Will you gravitate towards the following thoughts:

  • recruit staff under the age of 25 – this solution will eventually become ineffective as the staff age and it may distort the balance of skills and experience required amongst your staff;
  • reduce the number of hours/staff affected by the new salary rates.   However, that may be thwarted by the need to have a minimum number of individuals assigned to specific classes or groups and hence the need to retain individuals;
  • reduce overtime – in many schools overtime is not significant.

Unlike industry, schools do not have much room to improve productivity in ways which will  reduce wage costs.  A more measured approach is required to identify options that will fit with the school’s needs

LA Schools

Local Authorities may try to compress the grade structure, as happened a few years ago. That is likely to leave some staff feeling undervalued as staff in the lower grades receive a boost to their pay which narrows differentials in pay between higher grades.

Whether your LA changes the grade structure or not, one potential solution is to consider the role of MDS v TAs for dinner times.  Some schools claim that the use of TAs to supervise the lunch break leads to the children settling down quicker after being active during the lunch break.   Recruiting staff as TAs on grade 2 or 3 (depending on your LA’s role descriptions) may provide a more flexible solution as TAs should be employed for both lunch break and classroom duties i.e. employed for a morning or afternoon spanning the lunch time.  TA grade 3 may be more appropriate if the number of issues to be dealt with at break times falls within the grade 3 rather than grade 2 role definition.

Heads may also consider developing the skills of their support staff so that any increase in pay is matched by a more flexible set of skills – read more about this option below.   Heads will need to consider the implications of the LA grading structure for such an option and whether the LA grading and role descriptions will hinder or prevent that as a way forward.

Academy Schools

Academy Schools have a wider range of solutions open to them as they are not restricted by the local authority’s support staff pay structure.   Heads would be wise to check whether, in the TUPE consultations, any agreements were made to follow the LA terms and if those, in practice, have become contractual terms for their support staff.

New ways can be introduced, for example:

  • Increasing the skills and versatility of individuals so that as the pressure on pay rates grow, staff will be encouraged and expected to apply a wider range of skills and carry out wider duties – which should help to contain costs;
  • Focused skill bonus payments which are paid periodically e.g. quarterly or annually as the skills become evident – these bonuses would not form part of the basic pay rate and so would not lock the school into higher, on-going rates of pay;
  • Market rate supplements that can be reduced, stopped or increased to match the pressures on recruiting and retaining key individuals.

Thought will need to be given to the wording of the terms for such new options to ensure that the Head/Governing body retains flexibility on costs etc.

If you have concerns about your reward structure and/or salary levels or you
wish to explore new approaches, please feel free to contact
the author, Jim Harrington, by e-mail at this address..

Related  Blog Articles: Read more about the ripple effect and options to address salary pressures in our blog article  – Living Wage has Hidden Costs for Employees and Employers.

This article is an extended version of an earlier article published on 16 November 2015 and has additional material added because of the interest shown in the topics. Note that the increase in employee and employer contributions to 3% and 2% respectively has been postponed from October 2017 until 6th April 2018.

© 2015 HR Management Dimensions Ltd.

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HR Management Dimensions blog  – for CEOs and senior managers

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Managing An Additional School – Rewarding the Head and Other Affected Teachers *

What options does a Governing Body have to reward their Head Teacher for leading an additional school? This is the second in our series of articles about the changes introduced in the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document 2014 (STPCD).

The options differ according to whether the change is a:

  • Permanent arrangement;
  • Temporary arrangement e.g. to evaluate whether a permanent federation or collaboration would be beneficial for both schools;
  • Secondment to a school causing concern.

Maintained schools are obliged to apply the terms of STPCD 2014 but academies have the freedom to create their own reward packages which could differ from the points below.

Leading an Additional School on a Permanent Basis

If the second or additional school is a permanent responsibility then the Governors should recalculate the Individual School Range to take account of the total number of pupils at both (all) schools. The method of calculation is set out in sections 6 and 7 of the STPCD 2014.

That should enable the Governors to set a pay range that reflects the demands of the Head Teacher’s role. See our earlier article about the freedom that Governors have to set the actual pay range. {Editor’s note – link to be updated}

Leading an Additional School for a Temporary period

This may arise when the Governing Body is considering a future federation or formal collaboration arrangement with a second or additional school. The Head may be asked to lead the second school for a fixed period so that the Governors, of both schools, can evaluate whether such an arrangement would be beneficial on a permanent basis.

In a temporary situation, the ISR is not changed as the Governing Body may award a temporary allowance to the Head Teacher of up to 25% of the Head’s annual salary.

The payment of the allowance is subject to several conditions:

  • Responsibility for the additional school must not have been taken into account in any salary or allowance increase previously;
  • The 25% cap does not have to take into account specific allowances paid to the Head Teacher – a residential allowance or an allowance for relocation or housing which relate solely to the personal circumstances of the Head.
  • The overall salary and allowances of the head teacher must not exceed 25% above the maximum of the head teacher group unless there are exceptional circumstances. If the Governing Body believe that this limit does not provide an appropriate reward for the Head’s role, the Governors are required to obtain external, independent advice before producing a business case for the full Governing Body to approve.

Governors should note that:

  • The temporary arrangement should not be for more than two years and
  • If the arrangement proves unsatisfactory or expire, neither Governing Body will be required to protect the ‘higher’ allowance/salary as the salary safeguarding provisions do not apply in this type of temporary situation.

Two years can pass rapidly so the Governing Body should consider establishing progress indicators and reviews during the temporary period. Those will help with the final decision as to whether to become a federation etc. and also help to ensure that sufficient time is allowed for the formalities to be concluded by the end of the temporary period.

Rewarding Other Teachers if a Second or Additional School is Taken On

When a Head takes on the the leadership of another school, that may require other teachers to take on additional responsibilities for the same temporary period. Depending on the staffing structure, it may be preferable to adjust the Deputy Head Teacher’s pay range temporarily to take account of the increased responsibilities in the absence of the headteacher.

In some cases, teachers may be required to perform additional obligations. Those teachers may be paid an allowance on a temporary basis but that will depend on the particular circumstances. Such allowances should only be provided to teaching posts which are affected significantly by the change. Section 11 of the Management Notes states, “This will be based on any additional responsibilities attached to the post (not the teacher), which should be recorded. An increase in remuneration should only be agreed where the post accrues extra responsibilities as a result of the head teacher’s enlarged role; it is not automatic.”

Such an allowance for a teacher would not attract salary safeguarding when the temporary period finishes.

Temporary Secondment of Head Teacher to a School Causing Concern

This is the third scenario and the STPCD is gradually reflecting the various situations that arise in the leadership arrangements of schools.

The Head Teacher may be rewarded by the payment of a lump sum. That is subject to an overall cap as the head’s total salary and allowances must not exceed 25% of the salary maximum. Note that this is defined as 25% of the head teacher’s pay group of the school to which the secondment is made.

Payment of the lump sum is conditional on the sum being awarded to recognise, “sustained high quality of performance throughout the secondments” (Section 24.1 of the STPCD).

A variation to the terms of employment of the Head should be produced and set out what will happen at the end of the temporary period i.e the head will return to his former substantive role and also deal with the other issues that often arise in secondments.

© 2014 HR Management Dimensions

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Revising a School’s Pay Structure

[Content revised 28/08/2014]

Where do you start with the need to have a pay policy for your school?  The poly should refer to:

  • Salary progression;
  • Performance related pay;
  • Links to the Teachers’ Standards;
  • Improved outcomes for the children;
  • Motivating staff;
  • The issue of affordability.

Reinforcing the School’s Key Goals

The starting point is not writing your pay policy. The first step is to consider the bigger picture as your pay structure should help to reinforce the service needs of your school and therefore should be designed for that context. Ask yourself what improvements does the school need to accomplish over the next three years, especially in outcomes for pupils? The picture below shows the key elements in the design of a pay structure that reinforces the key goals and recognises the interdependence of the key elements.

Designing a Pay/Reward Structure

Designing a Pay/Reward Structure 

Identifying the key goals of the school has two major benefits:

  • It will be easier for you to extract core objectives that the majority of your teachers will need to focus on.
  • Through their involvement, the Governors should be able to track progress against the important goals and know what measures are appropriate for that purpose. This will help to demonstrate effective governance to Ofsted but also ensure that the school is continuously improving

The Governors and Head Teacher should be involved closely in this so they and the Senior Leadership Team are clear about the future direction; what has to be achieved in each year and how progress will be measured.

Objectives for Staff

The core goals that are essential to meet the service needs should be broken down into manageable objectives and sub objectives for the appropriate year. Those objectives will often be complemented with particular objectives for an individual which together will form the teacher’s personal set of objectives.

Staff appraisal is a topic in itself. This article is focused on designing the pay structure and determining an individual’s pay. However, in a a performance related pay structure you should bear in mind the following;

  • When setting objectives you are legitimising certain behaviours to achieve those ends. Does it matter how staff go about achieving those? If it does, you should consider adding qualitative measures to the objectives to minimise any adverse behavioural outcomes.
  • Are there specific performance measures that every teacher must meet to be assessed as effective? That might, for example, refer to a certain level of improvement of learning outcomes across the school.
  • Be careful about using emotional and inflationary terms such as ‘good’ performance. Organisations find that terms such as ‘effective’ are better.
  • Linking back to the Teachers’ Standards is a requirement but that will require you to consider:
    • What expectations do you have of a teacher in say the first half of the Main Pay Range compared to the second half?
    • What expectations do you have of a teacher at the lower end of the Upper Pay range compared to one at the maximum?
    • Holding a reasonableness workshop of ‘assessors’ to examine and chart those expectations in order to clarify the requirements and facilitate a consistent application.

Designing the Pay Structure

A pay structure is part of your reward and recognition strategy. Pay is important but not the sole motivator for professional staff who are also interested in personal development opportunities and other forms of recognition. I make that statement now so it is not lost as I explain below some elements of putting together a school pay structure.

Your contextyou need to take account of your context when designing a pay structure including:

  • Your school’s goals
  • The freedom you have to take a flexible approach to rewarding staff. The DfE sets the parameters each year such as the minimum and maximum of the pay ranges but you are able to decide on salary progression and the value of an individual’s contribution.
  • Any strong expectations of staff regarding pay increases. New entrants and those who have not reached the maximum of the range will up to now have assumed their pay will increase along the current scales. Depending on the changes you make, will those expectations need to be reshaped or are those so entrenched that your freedom will be limited in the first year or so? The 2014 School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) emphasizes that a teacher who is appraised as good should have an expectation of receiving an increase.
  • Do allowances or other pay supplements form a significant part of staff’s earnings? The Review Body indicated that 27% of primary and 56% of secondary teaches received allowances (1). The 2014 Teachers’ Conditions provides more flexibility for using allowances to reward staff.
  • Can you afford (or not afford) to put more money into the pay budget to focus individuals on important key improvements? Performance related pay assumes a degree of flexibility which is in addition to any general uplift decided by the DfE minimum and maximum of the pay ranges
  • When pay is affected by performance, consistency of assessments is important as staff will make their own value judgements. You should consider training for your assessors of performance and of pay so that objective and consistent decisions are made

With those points in mind let us examine some of the options open to schools for their pay structure from September 2013. We shall discuss the following elements:

  • Progression within pay ranges
  • Putting values to pay markers along the ranges
  • The learning curve and ‘mature’ teaching skills

Progression within Pay Ranges

The current pay scales give individuals an increase of 8% on the Main and 4% on the Upper Scale. Several options are given below for consideration. Some are relatively safe options should you wish to build your own confidence in applying performance related pay.

The DfE will provide the minimum and maximum of the pay ranges. In its submission to the Review Body, the DfE suggested a 1% uplift to the minimum and maximum of the ranges but we shall have to await the conclusions. In the meantime, you can determine the markers (pay reference points) along the new pay ranges. If you wish to develop confidence and balance staff’s expectations of salary progression to which they were looking forward, you may wish to place the markers at similar points to now (allowing for any uplift to the range). That still leaves you with a significant advantage in managing pay and performance as explained below

Main Pay Range – currently your decision is limited to either no rise or a whole one or two point rise. From September, you can adopt one of many options as illustrated below.

Option 1You could mirror a similar arrangement to the current pay scales by establishing 4 markers of 8% each between the minimum and maximum of the range. You could adopt a similar all or nothing approach to the award of a pay rise i.e. an individual could be awarded an increase to the next marker (or two for highly effective performance) or no rise for not achieving the required levels. That is a safe option but denies you the flexibility to deal with the many situations you will need to address.

Option 2if you subscribe to the view that performance related pay is to encourage and reward those who are demonstrating clear progress on objectives, you may wish to implement a structure that gives you more freedom. As in option 1, you would establish 4 markers of a set % each between the minimum and maximum of the range. If an individual has achieved a significant part of his objectives and is committed to achieving the rest, you could award a percentage of the marker point (e.g. 70%) to encourage him to keep on raising performance. Similarly, those demonstrating high on going performance could be awarded more than 100% of the marker point e.g. 150%. The emphasis in the latter case should be on performance that will be sustained as the Teachers’ terms still state that any rise is permanent while the individual remains employed at your school.

This option is more realistic as it gives you the flexibility to take account of the circumstances in which the objectives had to be performed, the degree of success and the individual’s determination to succeed.

Option 3 similar to option 1 except that 9 markers of say 4% each.are established within the minimum and maximum of the range This gives the ability to increase salary by two markers (the same percentage as on the current scales) or by one marker if performance falls in less critical objectives. This option may be suitable in some schools but it does reduce flexibility. Be cautious about adopting this type of option in the hope of saving costs by only awarding one marker. Remember staff will have strong expectations for receiving rises of around the same levels as on the current scales and a policy of lower percentage awards over more years will lead to your salary rates becoming less competitive.

The reality is that when assessing performance you often find that the circumstances and achievements vary so give yourself room to take account of factors such as the degree of success and surrounding circumstances. A structure such as option 2 is more suited to a motivational pay structure..

Upper Pay Range – the two year waiting period before the next pay rise was removed. The current promotion award from the Main to the first point on the Upper Pay Range is circa 8%. The pay range used to have three points of 4% each. Now, you are free to determine progression within the range. One option is to allow for an annual award rather than follow the current biennial award. That would require the creation of 3 markers of 2% each on the range between the minimum and maximum. The cost should be the same as now because each year’s rise will equate to 50% of what formerly would have been the two year increase. As with option 2 above, you may wish to award a lower or higher percentage to take account of the performance achievement.

Valuing the Learning Curve and Experienced Teachers

The options above are relatively safe as they are built around the current structure with added flexibility. Now we shall consider different approach. The current salary structure assumes even percentage rises at each point within the range but does that mask the nature of teaching. In the first few years, a teacher will probably undergo a steep learning curve but by year 3 or 4 they are likely to become fairly well rounded and adept at adjusting their teaching style to different groups and behaviours of groups/individuals.

As enthusiastic as new teachers are, the experience of a teacher, like other professionals, will be determined by the situations to which they have been exposed and how they learn from those situations and apply their skills to differing circumstances. Hence, is there a case that experienced all round teachers should be rewarded with a higher percentage rise from say year 3 or 4 onwards? Should those in the learning curve receive a lower percentage but with the flexibility to award more to those who are highly effective performers even if still in the learning curve?

I realise that lifelong learning is a fact for many but is there a case take a different approach and recognise the difference in skills and performance outcomes of those who have gone through the learning curve and now deliver effective outcomes? I imagine that some will say that they would prefer to motivate the ‘learners’ to reach maturity as quickly as practicable to produce effective outcomes for pupils. The key question here, which some leaders may not be comfortable with at this stage, is whether differentials in the level of the markers should be applied to the ‘learning curve’ and thus release some funds to pay more for the experienced teachers from say the 3rd or 4th Year onwards.

Linked to this is the more searching question – what difference do you expect in terms of performance from a teacher on the mid point compared to one on the maximum? Similarly, what difference do you expect in terms of UPR 1 compared to a UPR 3 teacher? If there are significant differences, should that result in higher percentage increases for those upon whom there are higher expectations?

In the first year of operating the new pay structure, you may feel more confident at keeping the pays structure close to the current pay ranges but the issue of affordability is likely to figure at some stage so be prepared to experiment with different approaches to reinforce performance.

Deciding an Individual’s Pay Rise

This is the point at which all the different elements come together but in some ways this should be a relatively easy decision in view of the evidence you should have to hand from the appraisal process and the flexibility that you have in your pay structure. Key points to bear in mind are:

  • A zero pay rise is unlikely to drive out a poor performer. Poor performance will have to be managed directly via direct discussions and if necessary via the capability process.
  • High performers are often lost because they feel undervalued. If you give say a 8% rise to effective performers and a 9% rise to high performers, the latter will see that as undervaluing their contribution as the differential is too small. Designing flexibility into your pay and recognition practices is important so that you can be creative in rewarding highly effective performers.
  • Professional staff seek recognition – money is one factor but so are opportunities for true personal development. Be creative in ways of recognising staff – the value to a member of staff is often far more than the actual cost or time involved. You can read more about this aspect at
  • Use the whole range of flexibility available to you which includes allowances such as the fixed term TLR3 which is not subject to safeguarding, recruitment and retention allowances which are not restricted to 3 years and so on. The differential between a TLR1 and 2 allowance no longer has to be £1,500 so you can adopt more flexibility.
  • If you believe that an effective approach is by motivating staff to continue to improve their range of skills and therefore outcomes for students, then adopt a motivational stance when determining pay increases – encourage individuals to go the extra distance.

Performance related pay will create tensions in applying flexibility and being consistent. You will need to invest time in training your assessors of performance and of pay awards/recommendations to ensure that those are based on sound evidence and consistent application.

One way of encouraging consistency and ensuring expectations remain high is to hold a an annual evaluation session with the Senior Leadership Team. To achieve consistency in rating of top performers, you could ask the assessors of staff rated as highly effective performers to present their reasons to the SLT/Assessors so that a peer evaluation takes place to ensure that across the school a consistent view of highly effective is developed. This helps to check any softer or harder approaches in particular teams diluting the value of a highly effective award.

Appointing New Staff

Your pay structure and pay policy should give you the flexibility to pay new appointees a competitive salary and appropriate allowances.

The draft terms will enable a teacher to be appointed in a different school on the advertised grade and not retain the right to a lifetime UPR salary. What is not clear from the draft terms is whether such a teacher could accept a role on the main pay range, having previously been on UPR, and then apply for the Upper Pay Range again. The draft terms do not appear to have clarified this issue.

Pay Policy

In a later article we shall explain how to avoid the pitfalls of such policies and will produce a template for a pay policy. We shall also note some of the small print contained in the draft terms which may come as a surprise and discuss the additional flexibility available when using allowances from September.

To ensure that you receive alerts to new articles, click the link at the top of the right hand column of this blog page so that you receive updates by e-mail.


[1] School Teachers’ Review Body Twenty-First Report 2012 page 35; other data quoted is also sourced from the same report.

[Editor’s Note Nov 16 – link to illustration needs updating]

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Developing Leaders and Rewarding Career Development

One thorny issue for Head Teachers and Chairs of Governors is how to steer a path through the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document to assist with developing future senior leadership team members.  For example, if you wish to encourage an individual to take on a much wider leadership role but do not have a vacant Assistant Head or Deputy Head Teacher role can you simply promote an individual temporarily to such a role for development purposes?

One may argue that development opportunities are motivating in themselves without the need for reward or recognition.  However, that motivation wears thin when the individual is expected to perform fully as a ‘leader’ but without recognition.

If the individual is employed on and subject to the School Teachers’ Terms and Conditions of Employment the position is quite clear under the 2013 STPCD. Academies may have more freedom.  First, we shall review the options for a non academy school.

The Leadership Pay Range

Individuals paid on the leadership pay range are normally expected to carry out roles comparable to either a Head Teacher, Deputy Head or Assistant Head Teacher.

The type of duties expected of the latter two roles are set out in section 49 of the 2013 terms e.g. “… in addition to carrying out the professional duties of a teacher other than a headteacher including those duties particularly assigned by the head teacher, the individual must play a major role under the overall direction of the headteacher in:

(a) formulating the aims and objectives of the school;
(b) establishing the policies through which they are to be achieved;
(c) managing staff and resources to that end; and
(d) monitoring progress towards their achievements.

and must undertake any professional duties of the headteacher reasonably delegated by the headteacher. “

The above requirements mean that, in many cases, an individual can not be placed on the leadership pay range for development as the terms stand currently. Whether the DfE will consider this further, in the current review of the Leadership pay and terms, remains to be seen.

The above terms would also rule out the creation of leadership style roles by other job titles if they do not meet the above key requirements. So what options are available to recognise staff who are willing to undergo development for future senior leadership posts?

Recognising Development via TLRs

A TLR 1 or 2 or 3 can only be awarded to a classroom teacher i.e. a qualified teacher but the definition of a classroom teacher excludes those on:

  • the Leadership Range
  • the Leading Practitioner Range
  • the Unqualified teacher Range (also known as instructors)

TLR 1 and 2 allowances are for long term responsibilities and so not suitable for a temporary development period. However, cover for an absent colleague may provide an opportunity to take on the role and receive a TLR for the period of absence.

A fixed term TLR 3 may be awarded for a project or responsibility that is required for a limited period. This would be useful to recognise an individual undertaking a development project and has the guarantee that salary safeguarding does not apply when the project is completed.

Recruitment or Retention Incentives and Benefits

It may be tempting to consider awarding a retention incentive to recognise individual development especially as such awards can take the form of either a payment or other form of financial assistance or support or benefit. Even so the allowances are intended for specific circumstances and are not generally suitable for development.

Unlike TLRs, there is no restriction on the level of teacher that may be given such an incentive. However they are specific to new teacher (recruitment incentive) or an existing teacher (retention incentive). Such incentives are not payable as a reward for specific responsibilities nor to supplement pay for other purposes beyond retention or recruitment.

Developing Leaders – Career Progression

If a teacher can not be appointed permanently to a leadership role, then career development and progression can take many forms such as:

  • Acting role in a leadership position to cover for an absent colleague.
  • Upper Pay or Main Pay Range teacher with a TLR 3 for a fixed period to say undertake a project to gain experience.
  • Upper Pay or Main Pay Range teacher with a TLR 1 or 2 according to the nature of the additional and permanent requirement for the TLR.

Career development can be fostered in many ways such as:

  • Project work or membership of a project group;
  • Secondment to another role or school;
  • Development events to raise the horizons of the individual
  • ‘Research’ projects to deepen and widen understanding
  • Visits, guided reading, coaching etc.

Staff Subject to an Academy’s Own Terms of Employment

If the Academy has implemented its own terms of employment for teachers and staff have been contracted under those, then those terms will replace the STPCD. An academy has the opportunity to design a pay structure to meet its services needs including succession planning and the development of staff for future leadership roles. An academy may make payments for developmental activities, if appropriate.

The DfE has a Chance to Encourage Succession Planning and Development

In the review of the Leadership pay range and terms, the DfE is urged to consider how the terms cam be fashioned to provide some flexibility to encourage and reward development. For example, extending the principle of TLR 3 allowances to other pay ranges and excluded roles may be one option.

Keep an eye out for those articles but even better receive an alert when the articles appear on this site by clicking on the link in the left hand column of this page. You will then be able to receive alerts by e-mail of new articles and updates.

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Real Performance Appraisal – A Work in Progress


Performance management skills will be become exposed this year as head teachers are required to link the results of appraisals to pay. Performance related pay will overshadow performance development as the link to pay will lead to more emphasis on a defensive collection of paper evidence.

The skills of nurturing improved and sustained performance when the wind is blowing against an individual as well as behind him is a key requirement.

Professionals Assess Themselves

Professionals share a common trait – they are often quick to realize when their performance has tailed off and they can understand what they are supposed to achieve.  However, they often struggle to know what they must do differently to improve.

So what do they do?  Some will work even more hours but often with little effect except for putting themselves under more stress.  Others may well become more disappointed in themselves or even depressed.  Many will feel that they are failing but find it difficult to voice what help they need to work in a different way as they are focused on the wrong issues.

Key questions for school leaders are:

  • Will Governors and the SLT accept their responsibility to help staff to improve their performance?
  • Are they focused on the advantages of real performance appraisal and improvement?
  • Have they revised their own skills to serve the demands of the new approach?

In this article we start to explore real performance appraisal – real because we start from the point that many head teachers are nervous of the new appraisal and pay links and have adopted a defensive approach in their pay policies and outlook on appraisal.

Effective performance for a professional is about 70% own input and 30% organisational input so the responsibility is very much with the individual. However, when an individual is working hard but not delivering, the appraisal process should become a source of encouragement and diagnosis but not defensiveness.


The key need is to work with the individual to identify what is not being translated into effective classroom practice.  For example, planning and documentation may be fine so what is preventing those plans being demonstrated in teaching practice?  The individual will need help via a colleague to understand what is not happening or is happening but at the wrong time or inconsistently.

Help is required via a series of constructive observations, not as a rating observation, but as a mirror (or better a video) of what occurs compared to what the individual thinks is occurring.  Help the individual to explore what he/she needs to do differently and how that should be achieved.  Yes, professionals will need such help occasionally as the downward spiral of working hard but being ineffective can prevent the person seeing what needs to be unpicked and changed.

Sustained performance is required so continue with the observations periodically to help the individual to see when they are beginning to regress into the old habit. This time though it will be the individual who can rapidly identify what is going astray in their own practice but he/she is likely to need a few pointers as to how to avoid those issues.

Observer/Reflector/Adviser – skills in short supply

Does the school have a few gifted individuals who demonstrate those three skills and who can work with colleagues to turn performance around and regain an effective and inspired teacher?  A common mistake is to assume those on the SLT have that required combination of skills.

If you do not have such skills available in house, would it be beneficial to identify within your pyramid or locality a few who do and can be released occasionally for such help?  The cost would be justified as you only have to consider the hours of time that are absorbed in dealing with under performance or even exit options.

Effective Leadership in Action

An effective leader will find the person with the right skills and chemistry to ensure the helping relationship is productive. The results will be:

  • a teacher who is once more effective and inspiring for the pupils/students;
  • evidence to colleagues that the school’s appraisal/performance management approach is about focusing on effective performance with help when necessary.

An effective leader allows individuals to take risks to improve performance and to experiment with new ways of doing things. Such leaders free themselves from a defensive, overly cautious approach to appraisal and performance related pay.

Thinking of appraisal as an annual cycle is notorious as a downward spiral and it becomes a chore in the last few months of the cycle. Effective leaders have the knack of intervening at the appropriate time. By developing a regular discipline of reflection on performance in practice compared to what was planned will help individuals, the SLT and Governing Body to see where the trends in performance are going and to head off any significant issues. Such reflections do not have to be overly formal but will give individuals insights into their performance and ways of improving.

Finally read your pay policy again and check that you have not adopted a defensive approach to linking performance and pay. This may be a new venture for you but allow yourself to take risks and watch colleagues and students flourish as they feel able to experiment and to call for real appraisal help when needed.

Make sure that you are alerted to new articles on this blog by clicking on the link in the left hand column of this page. You will then be able to receive alerts by e-mail of new articles and updates.

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Fact and Fiction in School Pay Policies

With the requirement to produce a revised pay policy, it appears that some schools have allowed fact and fiction to creep into their policies.


Fact v Fiction in a School’s Pay Policy

It is a fact that schools must flesh out their pay policies for teachers including salary progression along the pay ranges, which, in most instances, should be based on performance.  However, some schools have convinced themselves that the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document 2013 (STPCD) contains additional factual requirements for an individual to progress along the salary range.

A repeated example of this is the insertion, in pay policies, of a condition requiring a teacher on the Upper Pay Range to make an application for progression from UPR 1 or 2 to the next salary point. There is no such requirement in the statutory terms. There is a requirement for a Main Range Teacher to apply to be placed on the Upper Pay Range but once on that range an application is not required to progress to UPR 2 or 3.  One of the tenets of the changes introduced by the 2013 Document is, “continued good performance as defined by an individual school’s pay policy should give a classroom or unqualified teacher an expectation of progression to the top of their respective pay range.”

Exercising Discretion in Salary Progression

Although a school has some discretion in the method of progression, School Governors and Head Teachers should note that the invention of fictional conditions that have no statutory backing will make it very difficult for the Governing Body of a maintained school to defend such a practice.

Schools are subject to general employment law and to statutory regulations, under education law, that govern the employment terms of teachers and support staff.

Academies and Free Schools have wider discretion as to how and what to pay their teaching staff as they are not bound to implement the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document.  However, unreasonable conditions may not be upheld by the Courts.

Other anomalous conditions are arising. Shortly, we shall publish a check list so that you can feel confident that your school’s pay policy is effective, contains appropriate flexibility and is compliant.

By the way, in the excitement of reviewing your school’s examination results and, hopefully enjoying your summer break, you may not have noticed that the DfE have issued the September edition of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document 2013.  Another reason to ensure that you receive alerts to new articles and update on this blog site.  To be alerted, click the link in the left hand column of this page.

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Flexibility to Reward Teachers – lessons from the experience of industry

The promise of more flexibility to reward teachers has been mooted for several years but it looks as though 2013 will become the year of realisation. The School Teachers’ Review Body has recommended a number of flexible provisions but it remains to be seen what will appear in the 2013 edition of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document.

In preparation, we need to take a realistic view of to what extent we can use flexibility and avoid developing complex, unaffordable reward practices.  So let us review the pitfalls of flexible pay by learning.from other organisations and drawing out key principles for rewarding teachers.

Reward Schemes Have a Limited Shelf Life

Companies have used flexible pay for many years to encourage:

  • higher performance,
  • the development of new skills
  • the application of those skills to address key challenges.

For example, faced with a major need to develop improved and new skills, reward structures with those aims were developed which would have a life of 3 – 5 years. At the end of that period, the objectives were achieved. Maintaining the same reward structure was no longer appropriate as the original objectives, underlying the design of the structure, had been realised.and would have led to higher costs,

Do not assume that a more flexible and performance related reward structure will continue to motivate staff and secure the outcomes you require indefinitely. Think through what you wish to achieve over the next say 2 – 3 year period.

Will your Performance Related Pay Practices Drive out the Best Performers?

Performance related pay is unlikely to drive out your poor performers but it may demotivate your best performers within a few years.

Poor performers seldom leave because they receive nil or low pay increases when performance related pay is introduced. You will still have to take direct action to try to improve their performance or remove them if such efforts prove ineffective.

The Review Body’s recommendations would allow a school to move individuals along the pay ranges much faster or slower.  For example, the Head Teacher may be able to award increases of say 150% or 75% of the pay reference points rather than only give a pre-determined rise as happens with the current scale points. The adoption of pay reference points in a salary scale should help Governing Bodies to set guidance in order to differentiate performance rewards and help with modelling the resulting pay costs.

It will also be easier for a Main Scale teacher to progress to the Upper Pay Scale as a simpler method is likely to be introduced.  More rapid progression on the UPS scale could be introduced i.e. performance increases in less that two years

Apply Flexibility Proportionately to Avoid Adverse Motivational Effects

Your best performers will be watching the percentage that they are awarded compared to the average performer. If the differential is small, that will cause discontent and your most talented teachers will feel devalued and seek another post. A two or three percent differential will not be motivating for the most talented. An objective distribution of the pay increase budget will become critical. Differentiating rewards will make budgeting more difficult but the issue should be addressed.

The proposals also envisage that the Upper Pay Scale may be extended or that individuals may be paid above UPS to encourage the most effective teachers to raise standards amongst other teachers. That will help to reward the best performing teachers but will also bring another strain upon the budget. It is likely that such a change would lead to the removal of the AST and Excellent Teacher scales.

Market Allowances

Difficulties in recruiting staff to more challenging schools were noted by the Review Body. No changes are proposed to the current four geographic pay zones. To encourage effective teachers to move to such schools, the Report suggests that recruitment and retention allowances should no longer be time limited as now. Heads need to think ahead though and ensure that such allowances have clauses attached that make it clear they to be treated as market allowances rather than fixed costs for evermore; this will help to phase out or terminate such ‘market related’ allowances as the recruitment situation changes.

Organisations are living entities and the needs change; some needs may only last for a set period.  Currently, Teaching and Learning Responsibility allowances are a more or less permanent fixed cost as their purpose is to recognise an on going responsibility required by the school.  Consequently, salary protection for up to three years will be triggered if a TLR is terminated due to changes in organisational needs.

The Review Body has recognised that the creation of temporary TLRs for a specific, time limited purpose would be a useful flexibility although the recommendation caps such allowances at £2,500. Such payments would be for a definite fixed term and would not attract salary safeguarding at the end. This will help in some situations. The Review body cites that 21% of primary and 44% of secondary teachers receive TLRs [1]. In the future, it will be interesting to see whether the number of:

  • Fixed term allowances increases while ‘permanent’ allowances decrease or
  • Temporary allowances increases without a fall in permanent allowances.

Let us hope that the future collections of such data capture the number of fixed term and permanent allowances.

New Appointees take the Salary Advertised

An interesting statement appears on page 54 of the Review Body’s report about there possibly being, “no obligation for schools when recruiting to match a teacher’s existing salary on either the main or the upper pay scales.” Whether that will provide an option to appoint UPS teachers on the Main Scale remains to be seen as this is a flexibility that would help to overcome specific issues with the current terms.

Simplification of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document

The technicality and length of the current document is stated to be a deterrent to maximising the current flexible pay provisions. It is rather ironic that the Review Body’s Report runs to 109 pages, is repetitious and at the end of the day is not very innovative in its recommendations for new pay practices.

Are You Ready to Measure Pay Practices and Pupils’ Achievements?

OFSTED expect Governing Bodies to demonstrate that they understand, set, monitor and review the strategic progress of the school in the achievements of pupils. The Review Body observes the important role that Governing Bodies will need to play in making use of pay flexibility to ensure that educational standards improve.  Put another way, value for money will need to be demonstrated in terms of pupils’ progress and achievements as Governing Bodies will have more freedom to target how they spend their pay bill to those ends.  How will Governors set and monitor this aspect of focusing pay on improving results?  We will publish an article on this shortly.

Will the DfE address the known issue that as time progresses, diminishing returns are received from performance related pay as the motivational effect of year in year out objective setting loses interest?  As noted earlier, more innovative ways of rewarding teachers need to be considered for the future.

It will be interesting to read what the Secretary of State accepts and the actual flexibility introduced by the 2013 edition of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document.

Do you want to find out what new flexible pay provisions are to be introduced and the practical implications of those?  If so, click the link in the left hand column of this page to be alerted to new articles.


[1] School Teachers’ Review Body Twenty-First Report 2012 page 58 – data cited from OME analysis of DfE School Workforce Census data (November 2010).

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Expectations of Teachers on the Upper v Main Pay Scales

What can be expected of a teacher on the Upper Pay Scale (UPS) compared to one on the lower Main Scale?  Does UPS simply reward longer service?  Although new proposals are destined for inclusion in the 2013 edition of the Teachers’ Conditions, it is important for Head Teachers to grasp what they should expect of UPS teachers and equally that such teachers should be given salary progression if they meet the criteria.

Heads of Departments, the Leadership Team and any teacher required to appraise or assess the performance of a UPS colleague, should understand what are reasonable expectations when setting objectives and/or appraising the outcomes. [4]

Performance Criteria for the Upper Pay Scale

Various criteria are given for assessing whether a teacher should be awarded UPS 2 or 3:

  • Demonstrated that his achievements and his contribution to the school have been substantial and sustained;
  • Continued to meet post-threshold standards;
  • Grown professionally by developing his/her teaching expertise post-threshold.[1]

In addition, for progression to UPS 3, the individual should demonstrate:

  • He/she has been a role model for teaching and learning,
  • Made a distinctive contribution to the raising of pupil standards and
  • Contributed effectively to the work of the wider team.
  • Took advantage of appropriate opportunities for professional development and used the outcomes effectively to improve pupils’ learning.[2]

Governing Bodies may also decide to set out local performance criteria in the school’s pay policy. If so, that will need to be considered when assessing if an individual should be paid on the next salary point.

Practical Application

The criteria point towards outcomes rather than just activities. For example, self development does not stop after attending events but should result in continuous improvement outcomes for pupils and colleagues as required in Pay Standard 10. [3]

An individual must continue to meet the Pay Standards for UPS – a requirement that gives further insight into what should be expected. It is often said that teachers should ensure that they differentiate the learning needs of pupils. The Pay Standards require a teacher to demonstrate, “an extensive knowledge and understanding of how to use and adapt a range of teaching, learning and behaviour management strategies, including how to personalise learning to provide opportunities for all learners to achieve their potential.”

Pay Standard 3 emphasizes the need to, “have an extensive knowledge and well-informed understanding of the assessment requirements and arrangements for the subjects/curriculum areas they teach, including those related to public examinations and qualifications”. This reinforces a key requirement – understanding what students need to achieve and their progress towards that based on a range of comparative data.

Gathering the Evidence

When considering the progression of a UPS Teacher in England, assessments must take account of the last two appraisals and any recommendations on pay in the teacher’s most recent appraisal report or planning/review statement.

Evidence in the appraisal should show a sustained contribution for the past two years or more as implied by the fact that progression on the scale should only be considered every two years unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The emphasis on sustained and substantial achievement and contribution is also reinforced if a teacher is to be appointed on a point other than UPS1 (the discretion is limited to particular circumstances in the Teachers’ Conditions).

UPS and Teaching and Learning Responsibility Allowances

Meeting performance criteria has been and remains the key to progress on the Upper Pay Scale. However, care should be taken not to expect wider responsibilities of a UPS teacher for which the award of a Teaching and Learning Responsibility Allowance (TLR) should also be given.

If a TLR is given to a UPS teacher, the latter should still demonstrate the points above plus any criteria set for carrying out the additional responsibility. The issue of TLRs will be covered in a later article.

Impact of Performance Related Pay

As stated in the opening paragraph, it is important to understand what should be expected of a UPS teacher and this will become more important in the next school year as performance expectations of Main Scale Teachers are introduced in the 2013 Conditions. Heads will then need to be able to differentiate between the performance criteria for a Main Scale and an Upper Pay Scale Teacher.

Keep watching this blog for further articles on the changes and practical implications.


[1] Section 19.5.1 of School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document 2012; see note [2]
[2] Sections 57 to 59 of the Guidance Notes and especially the text in the frame
[3] ‘Pay Standards’ as a term replaced post threshold standards – see the following article regarding the Pay Standards on our Headsup HR blog
[4] See an earlier artlcle on the current problem of UPS teachers who wish to return to the Main Scale.

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