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. 

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Model policy

Our model policies and policy checklists are designed to assist NEU reps in negotiating the best employment policies on behalf of our members.

Reps should strive to ensure policies are compliant with the NEU models.

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

Reps should always seek to work collaboratively with other unions. 

Policy checklists should be used in conjunction with our model policies and can be used as a guide for reps when communicating with members over whether a proposed policy is acceptable.

If a policy is unacceptable, members should consider a collective response that may include taking industrial action. For further advice contact your NEU branch.

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Pay policy checklist

The pay arrangements set out in the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) are statutory for local authority schools and will also have been incorporated into contracts for teachers in the vast majority of academies and other state schools.

The requirements of the STPCD must be included in school pay policies. In addition, there are minimum expectations within NEU policy.

NEU reps should consult members before agreeing new policies or changes to existing policies. They should not agree policies that do not meet member expectations, the requirements of the STPCD and NEU minimums. This checklist should be used in conjunction with the union’s model policy and can be used as a guide for reps when communicating with members over whether the proposed policy is acceptable.

You may not be able to secure everything on this checklist. If this is the case you should consult with your members and consider a collective response which may include taking industrial action. For further advice contact your NEU branch.

Pay structure for schools

STPCD requirement

  • A teacher on the main pay range/upper pay range/unqualified teacher pay/leadership group range must be paid a salary within the minimum and maximum of the ranges set out in the STPCD.

NEU policy

  • The school’s policy provides a pay structure consisting of a six-point main scale, a three- point upper pay scale a six-point unqualified teacher scale, and a 43-point leadership pay scale, as set out in the joint union advice on teacher pay scales in England.

Pay determination

STPCD requirement

  • Teacher pay will be determined on an annual basis and teachers will be notified in writing of the salary determination by 31 October each year with effect from 1 September of that year.

NEU policy

  • Pay portability is recognised in the school’s pay policy.
  • Cost of living increases are applied to all pay points and allowances and clearly differentiated from any pay increases due to pay progression.

Pay progression – main pay range

STPCD requirement

  • Teachers will be awarded pay progression following a successful appraisal review.
  • A recommendation on pay progression must be made in writing as part of the teacher’s appraisal review.
  • All teachers can expect progression to the top of their pay range following successful appraisal reviews.

NEU policy

  • Appraisal reviews should be conducted in line with the NEU model policy.
  • Pay reviews will be deemed to be successful unless fair and significant concerns about standards of performance have been raised in writing with the teacher during the annual appraisal cycle, the school has provided comprehensive and appropriate support so that the teacher has a fair chance to address the concerns, and the concerns have not been sufficiently addressed by the end of the appraisal cycle.
  • Early career teachers (ECTs) will be awarded pay progression on the successful completion of each year of their induction.
  • Only evidence from appraisal reviews will be considered in deciding on pay progression.
  • Teachers should not be assessed against the Teachers’ Standards in a tick-list fashion.
  • Failure to meet all objectives will not automatically result in a denial of pay progression if significant progress has been made and/or the failure to meet objectives was due to reasons beyond the teacher’s control.
  • Funding issues cannot be used as a criterion to refuse pay progression.

Moving from main to upper pay range

STPCD requirement

  • Qualified teachers can apply to be paid on the upper pay range at least once a year in line with their school’s pay policy.

NEU policy

  • Pay reviews will be deemed to be successful unless significant concerns about standards of performance have been raised in writing with the teacher during the annual appraisal cycle.
  • Qualified teachers on any point on the main pay range can apply for progression to the upper pay range.
  • Applications will be assessed according to the most recent appraisal review, or, at most, the two most recent appraisal reviews.

Pay progression (upper pay range, leading practitioners, unqualified teachers and leadership group teachers)

STPCD requirement

  • Pay progression should be considered annually for teachers who have completed a year of employment since the previous annual pay review.

NEU policy

  • Teachers will be awarded pay progression on the relevant range following each successful appraisal review.
  • Progression on the upper pay range will be annual.
  • Pay reviews will be deemed to be successful unless significant concerns about standards of performance have been raised in writing with the teacher during the annual appraisal cycle.
  • For leadership group teachers, decisions will be subject to a whole-school approach to pay policy.

Teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payments

STPCD requirement

  • A TLR payment may be awarded to a classroom teacher for undertaking a sustained additional responsibility.
  • The school’s pay policy should set out the level of TLR1 and TLR2 payments.

NEU policy

  • Teachers will not be expected to undertake permanent additional responsibilities without a permanent TLR1 or TLR2 payment.
  • There should be clear criteria for the award, level and duration of time-limited TLR3 payments.
  • TLR3 payments should be paid in full and not prorated for part-time teachers.
  • The school’s pay policy should contain a staffing structure indicating the posts to which TLR1 and TLR2 payments are attached and the values of those payments.

Special educational needs (SEN) allowances

STPCD requirement

  • SEN allowances should be awarded in accordance with the criteria and provisions set out in the STPCD.
  • The criteria for the award of SEN allowances and the value of the allowances payable to those who meet those criteria should be set out clearly.

NEU policy

  • Teachers with two or more years’ experience in a SEN role or similar will receive a higher SEN allowance equal to the maximum of the SEN range.

Acting allowances

STPCD requirement

  • Any teacher required to act as head teacher, deputy head or assistant head for a period exceeding four weeks may receive an additional allowance that is equal to that of the substantive post-holder.

NEU policy

  • Payments will be backdated to the day on which the teacher assumed those duties.
  • No pressure will be placed on teachers to act up voluntarily.

Other payments: continuing professional development (CPD) outside directed time, initial teacher training (ITT) activities and out-of-school learning activities

STPCD requirement

  • Relevant bodies should decide which CPD activities teachers may be paid for and set an appropriate level of payment in their pay policy. Participation in CPD outside of directed time is voluntary and cannot be directed.
  • Relevant bodies should decide whether to make additional payments to any teacher for activities related to providing ITT.
  • Except for those employed on the pay range for leading practitioners, teachers undertaking school-based ITT activities do so on an entirely voluntary basis.

NEU policy

  • The governing body will make additional payments to all teachers (including the head teacher) who agree to undertake such activities.
  • Payments will be calculated at a daily or hourly prorated rate to each teacher’s annual salary or, where appropriate, at a higher level reflecting the responsibility and degree of commitment.
  • Where teachers cannot attend CPD organised outside the school day, the school will promote equal opportunities by endeavouring to offer suitable alternative training provisions within directed time.

 Recruitment and retention incentives and benefits

STPCD requirement

  • Schools may make payments or provide financial assistance or benefits to aid recruitment or retention.
  • Relevant bodies are free to determine the value of any award (except for members of the leadership group, where there are limits).

NEU policy

  • The school policy should specify the level, duration and criteria for such payments, and that they will be subject to annual review.
  • Union representatives will be fully consulted on the criteria for such awards.

Part-time teachers

STPCD requirement

  • Part-time teachers’ pay and working time will be calculated in accordance with the provisions of the STPCD and by comparison with the school’s timetabled teaching week for a full-time teacher in an equivalent post.

NEU policy

  • Any occasional additional hours worked by agreement will be paid at the same rate.

Supply teachers

STPCD requirement

  • Teachers employed on a day-to-day or other short notice basis must be paid in accordance with the provisions of the STPCD on a daily basis calculated on the assumption that a full working year consists of 195 days. Periods of employment for less than a day should be calculated pro rata.

NEU policy

  • The school’s policy should commit to directly employing supply teachers and avoiding use of supply agencies where possible.
  • Supply teachers employed for a full pupil day will be paid at a daily rate of 1/195th of the annual pay they would receive if engaged on a regular contract.
  • Supply teachers engaged to work for less than one day will be hourly paid, with their pay being calculated as above before being divided again by the proportion of the full pupil day which they teach to arrive at the hourly rate.

Salary safeguarding

STPCD requirement

  • The school’s policy should set out the circumstances in which, and for how long, salary safeguarding may take place (usually three years).

NEU policy

  • The policy should define ‘additional duties’ and under what circumstances a teacher with a safeguarded salary might be required to undertake them. 

Appeals procedures

STPCD requirement

  • The school’s policy must set out the procedures that apply when any teacher seeks a review of any decision made by the head teacher or relevant body that affects their pay.

NEU policy

  • Teachers will be notified in writing of their right to appeal any pay decision and be given at least ten working days to lodge an appeal.
  • Appeals should be heard within 20 working days by a panel of three impartial governors who were not involved in the original decision.
  • The outcome of the appeal should be communicated to the employee in writing within five working days.
  • The teacher is entitled to be accompanied by a colleague or union rep at any formal appeal meeting and will be given advanced notice of the time and location.

Equalities

STPCD requirement

  • Teachers will not be refused progression on the pay range for maternity leave or pregnancy related issues.
  • Teachers will not be refused progression on the pay range for disability-related absence.

Monitoring and review of the policy

STPCD requirement

  • Pay and appraisal policies should be reviewed annually and kept up-to-date to take account of any uplift to the national framework and any legal changes or changes in the staffing structure which have an impact on discretionary pay decisions.
  • Teachers and representatives of recognised unions should always be consulted on formulating the policies and on any changes to them.
  • Teachers should always have ready access to copies of the relevant body’s pay policy.

NEU policy

  • An annual report on the operation of the pay policy will be published, recording pay decisions taken and equality impact, and will be shared with union representatives.
  • The school’s pay policy should commit to ensuring that all decisions relating to the policy will ensure transparency, objectivity, accountability and equality of opportunity, including compliance with equality legislation.
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