Pay day marked on calendar

Pay policy

The importance of fair pay policies in schools and the need for policies to align with STPCD. The NEU outlines the process for challenging unfair pay and the support available for securing equitable pay policies.

Why are school pay policies important?

The School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) requires every school to have a pay policy to determine how pay decisions are made. The provisions of school pay policies are vital in determining how much teachers are paid on appointment and how they progress up the pay ranges.

The NEU believes that it is vital that every school adopts a pay policy which maintains, and ideally enhances, teachers’ existing entitlements under the STPCD. School pay policies that comply with our pay policy checklist will be consistent with the requirements of the STPCD and will ensure that teachers are paid fairly so schools can continue to recruit, retain and motivate teachers.

Although the STPCD does not apply statutorily to academies, many academies have adopted it for teachers’ pay and are therefore contractually required to follow its terms in full. The STPCD continues to apply under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) to teachers whose employment transferred when the school became an academy.

Every year the NEU, alongside the other teacher unions including ASCL and NAHT, produce the joint advice on school teachers’ pay in England that emphasises our call for the use of fixed pay scales and pay progression as the norm. 

The NEU remains committed to securing a national pay structure in England and Wales which applies statutorily to all maintained schools and academies.

Winning an acceptable pay policy

A model pay policy should be negotiated with the Local Authority (LA) by your NEU Branch. However, school governing bodies are ultimately responsible for determining pay policies, therefore consultation and negotiation should take place at a workplace level through NEU workplace reps to ensure LA model policies are adopted. If LA policies do not meet member expectations, you should inform your NEU Branch and seek to negotiate improvements to the model at a school level.     

Pay policy negotiations for Academies should take place at a trust level and are conducted by an NEU officer or lead rep. Unlike LA maintained schools Academies belonging to a multi-academy trust are obliged to adopt the pay policy agreed at a trust level. Reps negotiating with single academy trusts are responsible for negotiating employment policies for their trust and should seek to negotiate the adoption of the NEU model policies. 

Our model teacher pay policy and checklist is designed to assist NEU reps in negotiating the best pay policy on behalf of our members. Reps should strive to ensure their school’s policy complies with our model. 

Reps should consult members before agreeing on a new policy or changes to an existing policy. They should not agree policies that do not meet member expectations, any statutory or contractual requirements and NEU minimums.

If you have any questions regarding policy negotiation, please contact your NEU Branch. Even if your school has adopted a pay policy that doesn’t comply with NEU policy, it’s not too late to try and change it. 

The NEU will support members, up to and including strike action, to secure acceptable policies. Many school groups have taken or threatened to take such action and have consequently won improvements in their school’s policy. 

Pay model policy

The aim of this model policy on pay is to provide a framework that schools can adopt to ensure teachers are paid fairly and in line with the provisions of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Documents in England and Wales.

Winning pay appeals for reps and activists

Advice on securing pay progression by persuading governors not to accept a recommendation to deny pay progression or by appealing successfully against a decision to deny progression.

Back to top