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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