We are delighted to announce that the Babcock 4S business has been acquired by Strictly Education.

Education HR

Supporting you and your staff to deliver great education outcomes

Education HR

Surrey Maintained Schools and PRUs

The HR content within these web pages is specifically tailored to Surrey maintained schools (including PRUs).

Most of the content is restricted to registered HR customers. Log in first and use the menu on the right to browse HR content areas or, if you have a particular topic in mind, you can also try our A-Z topics list.

Education HR Online

Our alternative website - Education HR Online - is available to all our other HR and DBS customers and is offered as standard with our HR packages. If you have not already done so, please visit Education HR Online to register today and gain access to the subscriber content.

Not currently an HR customer? Registration is free, and provides access to sector-specific HR news, some limited content and updates.

Latest HR News >>

 

Daily HR Support: Operating Hours and Contact Information

Our HR Remote Service Desk can be contacted on 0800 073 4444 (option 3 for HR; option 4 for DBS) during the following hours:

Term time: Monday to Thursday 08.00 - 17.30; Friday 08.00 - 16.00
During school closure periods: Monday to Friday 09.30 - 16.00

 

Reduced Service Days

Occasionally our HR Remote Service Help Desk team are required to attend meetings or training sessions during normal working hours. During these times voicemail will be in operation. Messages will be returned as soon as possible.

Dates when this will occur in the Spring Term 2020 are:
28th January 2020: 10.30am - 2.30pm
3rd March 2020: 10.30am - 2.30pm

 

 

Latest HR News

21/01/20: DfE publishes its latest evidence to the STRB on teachers' pay

The DfE has today published its written evidence to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) in respect of the 2020 pay award for school teachers.

As a reminder, the STRB’s remit this year is to provide recommendations on:

  • The 2020/21 pay award;
  • Higher starting salaries, in line with the government’s intention to increase these to £30,000 nationally by 2022/23 (and higher in London);
  • Additional advice to schools on the pay progression pathway for classroom teachers, including ‘advisory pay points’ on the main pay range (MPR) and upper pay range (UPR).

The remit letter also asks for views on the role of progression to the UPR and the continued case for maintaining separate main and upper pay ranges.

In summary the DfE’s evidence to the STRB covers the following key areas:

 
Increases to starting salaries / early career pay

Of three possible approaches suggested by the DfE, its preferred option would see starting salaries uplifted nationally to £26,000 in 2020/21 (£27,200 in the London Fringe area, £30,000 in Outer London and £32,000 in Inner London).

Early career pay points would also see significant uplifts.

 
UPR / leadership pay range

The DfE is proposing an above-inflation award of 2.5%.

 
Funding

The teachers’ pay grant (in respect of 2018 and 2019) will continue in 2020/21 and this funding is part of the overall increases announced at the 2019 Spending Round. There is no intention to increase the pay grant further in respect of the 2020 award and therefore the STRB is tasked with ensuring that the award is “affordable within the increases in schools’ base budgets already announced”. The DfE believes that a pay award leading to an “overall 3% increase” in the total pay bill is appropriate.

 
Introduction of ‘advisory’ pay points

The DfE recognises that most schools, including academies, continue to use a pay structure which is similar – or identical to – the previous spine point system. This means teachers progress sharply up the MPR (from a relatively slow starting salary) before seeing smaller uplifts on the UPR, which the DfE does not consider to be the optimal progression pathway for best addressing recruitment and retention challenges.

Introducing advisory pay points which provide a consistent rate of progression is therefore considered to represent an opportunity to create:

  • A structure which better targets pay at recruitment and retention; and
  • A more transparent and coherent progression pathway for those joining – and already in – the profession.

The DfE is not looking for the STRB to recommend a pay progression pathway which would alter the time typically taken by a classroom teacher to progress from the bottom to the top of the pay ranges. The introduction of advisory pay points is also not intended to affect the existing link between pay and performance.

The DfE suggests that the move to a framework of more equal increments could take place between September 2020 and September 2022, as part of the phased increase to starting salaries. The example model provided by the DfE in its evidence would eventually result in a pay structure with equal increments of 4.9%, representing a reduction in average percentage progression on the MPR but an increase on the UPR.

It is not suggested what transitional arrangements might apply to the introduction of advisory pay points in September 2020 and, indeed, it is not yet clear what the term ‘advisory’ will mean in practice.

 
Progression to the UPR

The DfE suggests that the introduction of advisory pay points with more uniform increments provides the opportunity for the STRB to consider the pros and cons of simplifying the pay framework by providing a streamlined progression structure across a single classroom teacher pay range (without a separate UPR).

Given the need for adequate time to prepare for such a change, it is not proposed that any change to the operation of the UPR would be introduced this September. Instead, final proposals would be developed further in the next remit.

 
Next steps

The STRB was originally due to report back to the Secretary of State “during April 2020”. The hiatus due to the 2019 General Election has, inevitably, impacted on the timetable, potentially by several weeks. The press release now notably refers to the STRB’s recommendations being received “later in the year.”

21/11/19: Updated allowance rates for teachers in residential establishments ('Orange Book')

Updated allowance rates for teachers in residential establishments under the JNC TRE agreement ('Orange Book') are now available to download. These reflect the 2.75% increase effective from 1st September 2019 which was accepted by the Teachers' Side.

21/11/19: Urgent Message for DBS Customers - Temporary Change to Processing DBS Applications

Our  Registered Body status for DBS applications has moved  from Babcock International to Strictly Education 4S.

The next step is to update the system with our new Registered Body (RB) number. In order to do this, we will have to stop countersigning for a brief period to allow all those applications that have been submitted to DBS under the old RB number to be completed. The averaged processing time for applications is two weeks, therefore once these have all cleared, we can start countersigning with our new RB number.

Given that we are now five weeks away from the Christmas holidays and in a period when fewer applications are processed, we have an opportunity to implement this change with minimal impact to our customers.

The interim process will commence Wednesday 27 November and will be as follows:

 

  • Schools will continue to add applications and complete ID checks as normal*
  • Schools will continue to have access to data and relevant reporting tools
  • Applications approved by the school will remain in the ‘awaiting authorisation’ queue
  • Any URGENT applications for paid employment with a start date of 04 January or earlier will be processed via our ebulk system provider Capita*
  • Any outstanding applications that are currently being processed will be monitored and escalated where possible to get these completed**

 

*If you wish to submit an urgent application for paid employment please contact the DBS Team directly at DBS@strictlyeducation4s.co.uk or telephone 0800 0734444 opt 4 for further instructions.

**If you have applications that are currently still being processed and are no longer required please let the DBS team know so that these applications can be withdrawn. Please note schools will still be invoiced for these applications.

Apologies for any inconvenience that this may cause. If you have any concerns regarding this matter please do not hesitate to contact the DBS Team. We will keep you updated and let you know as soon as we are ready to recommence countersigning.

06/11/19: Latest edition of our e-newsletter, HR Bytes, published

The latest version of HR Bytes, our e-newsletter for HR customers, is now available to download from the Autumn Term 2019 newsletters and updates page (make sure you are logged in first).

Content up to date as of distribution date, 6th November 2019

01/11/19: New guidance available from the DfE on flexible working

As part of the Department for Education’s drive to enhance teacher wellbeing and improve teacher recruitment and retention, updated resources are now available on Gov.uk to help schools support flexible working arrangements.

New resources contain information on the benefits of flexible working, guidance and case studies on how flexible working can be implemented in schools.

Case studies and a video show how different schools and teachers have adopted flexible working by:

  • Working in a co-headship job share
  • Working as a part-time teacher after a career change
  • Implementing job shares successfully

 

Visit Gov.uk for more detailed information.

Need support with a flexible working request? Registered HR customers can access detailed guidance in the Flexible Working area of the website (log in first).

01/10/19: Autumn term edition of 'HR Brief': our employment law and education policy round-up for HR

We've just released the latest version of our detailed termly employment law, pay and education policy update. Log in and visit our Autumn Term 2019 updates page to download.

23/09/19: Final Version of STPCD 2019/20 published

The School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Order 2019 was laid before Parliament on Friday 20th September, it will become a Statutory Instrument in law after 21 days on 11th October 2019 with its provisions back-dated to 1st September 2019.

The final version of the School Teachers’ pay and conditions document 2019 is now available on the Department for Education website.

In response to the recommendations in the STRB’s (School Teachers’ Review Body) 29th Report, from 1 September 2019 a 2.75% uplift has been applied to the statutory minima and maxima of all pay ranges and allowances.

Maintained schools must apply 2.75% to all teachers and leaders on the minima of their respective ranges or group ranges, for all other staff schools must determine – in accordance with their own pay policy – how to take account of the uplift to the national framework in making individual pay progression decisions. All pay uplifts will be back dated to 1 September 2019.

Further details regarding how 0.75% of the pay uplift is to be funded though the Teachers’ Pay Grant are not yet available.

We are in the process of updating our website resources (available to HR customers) to reflect these changes.

STRB receives remit from the Secretary of State for Teachers' Pay and Conditions 2020/21

The Secretary of State’s letter to the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) asking for recommendations on teachers’ pay and conditions for 2020/21 was published on 18th September 2019.

The letter requests that the element of the additional £14bn funding available between now 2022/23 spent on pay is invested “as effectively as possible to best address recruitment and retention challenges” confirming that the government is increasing the starting salary of teachers to £30,000 nationally by September 2022.

The Secretary of State requests that the STRB:

  • Recommend appropriate higher starting salaries (over £30,000) for teachers in London pay areas.
  • Set out additional advice to schools on the performance related pay progression pathway for classroom teachers, including advisory pay points on the main and upper pay ranges.
  • Provide views on the role of progression to the upper pay range and the continued case for separate main and upper pay ranges.
  • Assess adjustments that should be made to the salary and allowance ranges for classroom teachers, unqualified teachers and school leaders “to promote recruitment and retention within the bounds of affordability across the school system as a whole and in the light of my views on the need for an uplift to starting salaries”.

The letter also refers to evidence the Secretary of State will provide that demonstrates: “a strong case for schools to move towards a relatively flatter pay progression structure than is currently typical, alongside significantly higher starting and early career salaries”.

The Secretary of State does not provide an opinion how large a pay rise would be affordable for schools in 2020-21, simply setting out that the STRB “will want to ensure they are affordable within the funding settlement announced”.

The letter also confirms that as usual schools will be responsible for determining increases in individual teachers’ pay on the basis of a school-level assessment of performance.

The letter can be accessed here.

12/09/19: School Teachers’ Pay Award 2019/20 - Update

As you will be aware, the September 2019 teachers’ pay award is due to be implemented retrospectively due to the delayed publication of the STRB’s report and the subsequent consultation timetable. The exceptional political backdrop could also result in further delays. As it stands, consultation on the draft STPCD is expected to close on 13th September with the DfE producing a final version of the Document soon afterwards. The Statutory Instrument which is required to bring the STPCD into force then has to be laid before Parliament for 21 days. This can still be laid during prorogation.

There is no further update on the funding methodology at this stage.

Further information will follow when the final Document is published.

09/09/2019: Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019

The September 2019 version of the Keeping children safe in education guidance is now in force and replaces previous versions. Minimal changes are detailed in the latest news article posted on 19th July 2019.

News updates from the Summer Term 2019 (up to 31.08.19) can be found on the Newsletters and Updates - Summer Term 2019 page (log in required).

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