When does safeguarding occur?

Safeguarding is applicable when a teacher loses pay as a result of the following:

  • when the school restructures and the teacher is moved to a new post
  • when the school decides to reduce the size of the leadership group, number of leading practitioners or number of teaching and learning responsibility post-holders and the teacher is moved to a new post;
  • when the school restructures and reduces the pay range for teachers on the leadership group or leading practitioners
  • when the school restructures and reduces the value of TLR payments or SEN allowances
  • when a school closes and the teacher is transferred to another school operated by the same employer.

How is my safeguarded sum determined?

Your safeguarded sum is calculated by deducting your new pay rate from the pay rate in your old post. This becomes a safeguarded sum and can only be removed or reduced in certain circumstances. The safeguarded sum is a fixed amount that is paid in addition to the substantive pay rate for your new role. 

How long do I receive safeguarding for?

Safeguarding is usually in place for three years unless there are circumstances that cause it to end earlier.

When does my safeguarding start?

Your safeguarding starts when you take up your new post. However, the three-year safeguarding period must run from one of the three ‘relevant dates’. The relevant date is determined by when you are informed that your pay is being reduced.

Date decision taken

Safeguarding starts

1 January – 31 March

1 April

1 April – 31 August

1 September

1 September – 31 December

1 January

What can cause my safeguarding to end early?

Your safeguarding can be brought to an end permanently in the following circumstances:

  • at the end of the three-year period
  • you move schools • you successfully apply for another post
  • you receive pay progression that exceeds the value of your safeguarded sum
  • you are placed on to a different pay range (this does not apply to teachers being placed on the upper pay range).

Your safeguarding can be suspended if you take up a temporary post on a higher pay rate within the same school. At the end of the temporary post you will be entitled to continue to receive safeguarding unless the safeguarding period has been brought to an end permanently. 

What can reduce my safeguarded sum?

Safeguarding sums may be reduced if you receive a payment of the same kind during the safeguarding period (for example if you have a safeguarded TLR payment and subsequently receive another TLR).

Can I be asked to undertake additional duties while I am in receipt of a safeguarded sum?

If your safeguarded sum is in excess of £500 then you can be asked to undertake reasonable additional duties. If you refuse to undertake these duties then your employer can stop the payment of your safeguarded sum, provided you are notified of the decision at least one month before it is implemented.

The duties that you are requested to undertake to retain your safeguarded sum should be appropriate to the value of the safeguarded sum and to your skills and experience. The additional duties should not be such as to meet the criteria for the award of a TLR payment. In this case a TLR payment should be awarded.

Where should I go for further advice and support?

If further advice is needed, contact your NEU workplace rep in the first instance. If there is no NEU rep in your workplace, or the peripatetic nature of your employment makes contact with a workplace rep difficult, contact the NEU AdviceLine, or the NEU Wales office instead.

Pay safeguarding for teachers

This advice explains the rules around safeguarding for teachers.