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Advice on Teaching & Learning Responsibility Payments (TLRs) and other allowances such as Special Educational Needs allowances and Recruitment and Retention payments.

What are TLR payments?

TLR payments reward additional leadership and management responsibilities undertaken by classroom teachers. Governing bodies determine the overall number of TLR payments available in the school and the levels and values of those payments.

Under the TLR payment system, there are no nationally prescribed levels or values of TLR payment. Each governing body decides for itself the overall number of posts of responsibility carrying TLR payments in the school.

What are the different types of TLR?

The STPCD provides for three broad bands for the values of TLR payments, TLR1, TLR2 and TLR3 bands.  There can be more than one level of TLR payment within each TLR band.  Each school will decide for itself the number of levels of TLR payments within the two bands and the specific values of the TLR payments at each level. There is no longer any prescribed minimum differential between each level of TLR payment in schools.

How much are TLR payments worth?

For 2021-22, the lower band, TLR2 in England, is set at £2,873 to £7,017, while the higher band, TLR1, is set at £8,291to £14,030. The more recently introduced TLR3 payment must be no less than £571 and no greater than £2,833. In Wales, TLR 2 is set from £2,924 to £7,140. TLR 1 range is from £8,437 to £14,276 and TLR 3 is from £581 to £2,883. A school can decide to establish as many levels of TLR payment in each band as it wishes. 

The following structure for TLR payments reflects the former five levels of Management Allowances at values uprated in line with annual changes to the TLR payment ranges.  The values below are recommended in England for 2021-22 and are reviewed each year.  

TLR2a             £2,873                         TLR1a             £8,291

TLR2b             £4,789                         TLR1b            £10,825

                                                            TLR1c            £14,030 

Variations between schools on the levels and values of TLR payments will increase inequality within and between schools and complicate the career path for teachers.

What are the criteria for TLR payments?

In order to qualify for a TLR payment of any kind, teachers’ duties must include:

  • a significant responsibility that is not required of all classroom teachers and that
  • is focused on teaching and learning;
  • requires the exercise of a teacher's professional skills and judgement;
  • requires the teacher to lead, manage and develop a subject or curriculum area; or to lead and manage pupil development across the curriculum;
  • has an impact on the educational progress of pupils other than the teacher's assigned classes or groups of pupils; and
  • involves leading, developing and enhancing the teaching practice of other staff.

The STPCD statutory guidance makes clear that responsibility for other teachers or accountability for a subject area should be linked to TLR1 or TLR2 payments or leadership group posts.

Are TLRs permanent or temporary?

TLR1 and TLR2 payments are permanent while the teacher remains in the same post.  They will cease when teachers move to different schools; where the teacher refuses to perform the responsibilities or is dismissed from them; or where responsibilities are revised. As indicated below, however, TLR3 payments are for a fixed, time-limited period only. 

Teachers may not hold more than one TLR1 or TLR2 payments but a single TLR payment can be based on a job description that itemises several different areas of significant responsibility.  A teacher can now hold one or more TLR3 payments in addition to a TLR1 or TLR2 payment.  

What is the difference between a TLR1 band and a TLR2 band payment?

In order to qualify for a TLR1 (higher band) payment, teachers’ duties must include in addition “line management responsibility for a significant number of people”.  The key difference between TLR1 and TLR2 posts is, therefore, the nature of line management responsibilities.  The extent, however, of the line management responsibilities needed to qualify – for example the number of teachers and/or support staff managed – is not specified.

Since there is no statutory provision on the minimum number of staff to be managed, governing bodies cannot argue that they are precluded from awarding TLR1 payments to teachers on the basis that the number of staff managed is below some pre-determined figure.  There are no figures set out in the STPCD to support such a practice. 

What about a TLR3 payment?

Governing bodies may award fixed-term TLR3 payments for “clearly time-limited school improvement projects, or one-off externally driven responsibilities”. The duration of the payment must be established at the outset and payment must be made on a monthly basis for the duration of the fixed-term.

Time limited TLR3 allowances should not be used in place of existing permanent TLRs, or for responsibilities which are a feature of school life.  Long term responsibilities should be paid via permanent TLR1 or TLR2 payments.  The NEU does not wish to see governing bodies introduce TLR3 payments without full consultation and agreement.

How is an ‘annual award’ calculated for a TLR3, when it may not even last a year?

Payments for the time-limited TLR3 are made for the whole task, the duration of which may vary. The “annual value” parameters, however, are for tasks which take one year and must be applied pro rata to tasks taking less than one year.

So, for example, if a task has an “annual value” of £1,200 but takes only three months, the teacher is to be paid £300 even though that is less than the minimum parameter of £571.  However, if a task takes more than a year, there should be a payment on the above basis for each period of time within the period for which the STPCD is in force. Hence if a task has an “annual value” of £1,200 but takes four terms over two academic years (e.g. 1 September 2020 to 31 December 2021) the teacher is to be paid £800 each year and £1,600 in total.

How does all this fit in with the school’s staffing structure?

The staffing structure must be published as part of the school pay policy.  It should include the numbers of posts with TLR payments; whether those are TLR1, TLR2 or TLR3 payments; and the specific values of the payments.  The responsibilities attaching to each post and the level of the TLR should be specified clearly in each post’s job description.

How do TLR payments relate to other payments and allowances?

TLR payments are payable for different purposes and under different criteria to SEN allowances and recruitment/retention payments.  Some teachers may be eligible to receive TLR payments, SEN allowances and recruitment/retention payments.

Am I entitled to additional non-contact time to undertake my additional responsibilities?

Yes.  All teachers awarded TLR payments are also entitled to additional non-contact time to undertake their additional responsibilities in accordance with the STPCD’s provisions on leadership or management time.

Do I have to undertake additional responsibilities without a TLR simply because I am on the Upper Pay Range (UPR)?

No, teachers on the UPR do not have to undertake additional responsibilities without payment of a TLR simply because they are on the UPR.  The STPCD states that “teachers are expected to contribute…to curriculum development by sharing their professional expertise with colleagues and advising on effective practice. This does not mean that they can be expected to take on the responsibility of, and accountability for, a subject area or to manage other teachers without appropriate additional payment. Responsibilities of this nature should be part of a post that is in the leadership group or linked to a post which attracts a TLR1 or TLR2…” (STPCD Section 3 paragraph 48).

Can part time teachers hold TLRs?

Part time teachers must, according to the STPCD, be paid on a pro rata basis to the total FTE pay rate - including any TLR1 or TLR2 payments - for the post occupied.  Where a part time teacher undertakes the full additional responsibilities of a promoted post, it would clearly be unfair if they did not receive the full value of the TLR payment for those responsibilities simply because they are employed on a part time contract.  In such cases, their contractual working time can be adjusted in order that it both fully reflects the additional time spent undertaking those additional responsibilities and provides the full additional payment for such responsibilities.

Where two part time teachers share the duties of a post of additional responsibility, there should be a formal job share arrangement setting out the division of responsibilities and the basis for payment.  Where one of the job share partners undertakes a larger part of the additional responsibilities, schools should adjust the working time provisions of the arrangement to ensure that the TLR element of the pay is allocated accordingly.

Part time teachers may, however, receive the full value of a TLR3 payment without any pro rata reduction being applied.

What is meant by “significant line management responsibility?”

Schools are able to determine for themselves the definition of significant line management responsibility required for a TLR1 payment.  The NEU does not offer a single definition of these terms since the level of responsibility held by individual managers can vary, even where the number of teachers or support staff managed is the same. 

What is meant by “to lead and manage pupil development across the curriculum?”

This criterion relating to leading and managing pupil development across the curriculum provides the means by which pastoral responsibilities may be rewarded by TLR payments.  The NEU believes strongly that key posts managing pastoral responsibilities should continue to be occupied by qualified teachers who receive appropriate TLR payments for that work.

What are SEN/ALN allowances and how do teachers receive them?

The STPCD provides that teachers may receive Special Educational Needs allowances in respect of certain work with children with special needs. The equivalent allowance in Wales is called the Additional Needs Allowance (ALN).

SEN/ALN Allowances must be paid to teachers in special schools or in SEN/ALN posts requiring a mandatory SEN/ALN qualification and to teachers teaching pupils with SEN/ALN in designated special classes/units or LA services/units.  They must also be paid to teachers in mainstream schools or PRUs where the setting is “analogous to a designated special class or unit” and the post meets specified criteria referring to substantial direct work with children with SEN/ALN beyond that normally required of teachers in the school or service/unit.   

SEN/ALN allowances are determined by the governing body, taking into account the structure of the school’s SEN/ALN provision; any qualifications and expertise relevant to the post; and the relative demands of the post.  The STPCD statutory guidance makes it clear that SEN/ALN allowances can be held at the same time as TLRs.  Teachers who meet the statutory criteria can receive an appropriate allowance ranging from a minimum of £2,270 and a maximum of £4,479, commensurate with their skills and experience in the role. The range in Wales is £2,310 to £4.558.

What are recruitment and retention payments?

The STPCD provides that a governing body may make “such payments … as  it  considers necessary” to any teachers, other than leadership teachers, for recruitment and retention purposes.  Any such payments may be made either as a one-off payment or for a fixed period.  There are no prescribed values for such payments.

Relevant bodies are required to conduct a "regular formal review" of such awards including the expected duration of such awards and the review date after which they can be withdrawn.

Whilst recruitment and retention payments have come in for some criticism due to the extent to which they may reduce transparency within the pay structure, it is recognised that some governing bodies may wish to use them in response to local recruitment and retention difficulties.  In such cases, payments should be made only according to clearly defined criteria set out in the school pay policy.  Such payments may, however, justifiably be used to avoid pay losses for teachers who would lose pay due to the end of safeguarding as this would help retention of teachers who might otherwise seek employment elsewhere.

What about other payments?

The STPCD permits governing bodies to make such payments as they see fit to any teachers, including leadership teachers, in respect of continuing professional development (CPD) undertaken outside the school day, out-of-school-hours learning activities and initial teacher training (ITT) activities. For full-time classroom teachers, payment can only be made for activities undertaken outside directed time. 

The STPCD statutory guidance advises that appropriate levels of payment and circumstances in which payments will be made should be set out in the school pay policy, which should be reviewed annually.

Classroom teachers’ participation in such activities is entirely voluntary (i.e. optional as opposed to unpaid).  There should be no pressure, direct or indirect, to become involved. The STPCD Section 3 statutory guidance states that “participation in CPD outside of directed time is voluntary and cannot be directed”; that teachers must “agree to participate in out-of-school-hours learning”; and that “teachers undertaking school-based ITT activities do so on an entirely voluntary basis” unless they are Leading Practitioners who may be required to do so. 

All teachers, including head teachers, who undertake such activities should receive additional payment at a daily or hourly rate calculated with reference to the teacher’s actual pay spine position or, where appropriate, at a higher level reflecting the responsibility and size of commitment.

Further guidance

Further NEU guidance on school teachers’ pay and pay advice for teachers working in Sixth Form Colleges can be found here.

The School Teachers’ Pay & Conditions Document.

The School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions (Wales) Document .