Update your records: It’s here! School Teacher’s Pay & Conditions Document 2015

Year Published: 2015

The School Teacher’s Pay & Conditions Document 2015 is here and it is time to update your records!

The main points of changes to the 2014 document are as follows:

  1. A 1% uplift to the minima of all the pay ranges and allowances in the national pay framework (unqualified teachers’ range, main pay range, upper pay range, leading practitioner pay range, the three levels of Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR) payments and the Special Educational Needs (SEN) allowances).
  2. A 2% uplift to the maxima of the main pay range; an uplift of 1% to the maxima of all other pay ranges and allowances in the national pay framework (unqualified teachers’ range, upper pay range, leading practitioner pay range, the three levels of Teaching and Learning Responsibility (TLR) payments and the Special Educational Needs (SEN) allowances).
  • This does not mean that all teachers currently on the maxima should receive a salary increase of 2%. A 2% increase should only be awarded where it is merited by performance. Some teachers will receive a lower award and others none, depending on their individual school’s pay policy;
  • The STRB (Schools Teachers Review Body) made it clear that the uplift of 2% to the maxima was about giving schools more flexibility, and particularly those in challenging circumstances, to tackle recruitment and retention problems and to have more scope to recognise the value of high-performing experienced classroom teachers who contribute substantially to improved outcomes for their pupils;
  • Any awards are effective from 1st September 2015 and need to be backdated to that date.
  1. Removal of the discretionary national reference points from the pay ranges.
  • Schools are free to adopt whichever system of pay scales, within the statutory pay ranges, as they see fit – many schools have opted to retain a six point main and three point upper pay range, while others have chosen a different approach.
  1. The pay of headteachers or leadership teams in post only have to be reviewed when there have been significant changes to responsibilities.
  • The expectation is that in most cases the pay range will be within the limits of the headteacher group. However, in some cases, e.g. where there may be significant difficulty in making an appointment or there is a need to incentivise a head to take on responsibility for a very large school or to lead multiple large schools, it may be appropriate to consider extending the individual pay range.
  • The governing body can in such cases decide that the maximum of the pay range may be above the maximum of the headteacher group, up to an additional 25%.
  1. Advice on appointments to leading practitioner roles above the upper pay range. The pay range for leading practitioners is a wide one. Schools need to determine an individual post range for each post within the minimum and maximum of the overall range which is set out in paragraph 16.3 of the STPCD 2015.

Pay progression

As with the 2014 School Teacher’s Pay & Conditions Document, it is the responsibility of the governing body to ensure that performance-based progression awards reflect individual performance. The removal of the spine points gives greater flexibility to decide on the level of progression award appropriate to an individual’s performance. Schools should review and update their pay policies on an annual basis to ensure that they remain fit for purpose and set out clearly their approach to making decisions about pay progression for the leadership group. Governing bodies will need to satisfy themselves that objective-setting is rigorous and that the school’s pay policy provides a clear link between levels of achievement and progression.

2015 pay award

Headteachers on the maximum of their headteacher pay group will not be eligible for pay progression from September 2015.

The principles underlying the core non-pay conditions remain unchanged.

A reminder of the revised arrangements for determining the pay of school leaders also came into force with effect from 1 September 2014.

  • Schools need to ensure that their pay policies are clear that performance-related progression provides the basis for all decisions on pay – for classroom teachers and leaders;
  • School appraisal policies need to continue to reflect the links between performance and pay;
  • Schools are free to withhold progression pay without any requirement to initiate or consider capability proceedings;
  • Schools are free to make appointments above the minimum of a pay range and to use recruitment and retention payments to attract and recruit the teachers that they need;
  • There should be scope, where justified by consistently excellent performance, for the most able teachers to progress rapidly;
  • It is also good practice to provide every teacher with a copy of the school’s pay policy, including its appeals procedure.

For further advice on the School Teacher’s Pay & Conditions Document 2015 or any other legal education matters, please contact our Employment Law & HR team on 0161 475 7676. 

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