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 Autumn Term 2019 are:
2nd September 2019: all day
24th September 2019: 10.30am - 2.30pm
5th November 2019: 10.30am - 2.30pm
17th December 2019: 10.30am - 3.30pm



Latest HR News: Summer Term 2019

07/08/19 School Teachers' Pay Award 2019 *DRAFT pay ranges published*

Further to our update on 23rd July, we have now published:

  • DRAFT teachers' pay ranges from September 2019
  • DRAFT discretionary leadership pay points from September 2019

These can be downloaded from our teachers' pay and conditions guidance page (make sure you are logged in first).

31/07/19: Relaunch of Employee Assistance Programme

Following the acquisition of 4S by Strictly Education we have been in discussion with Optima Health, providers of our Employee Assistance Programme  (HELP Employee Assistance), to agree a new contract. Having concluded those discussions we are now pleased to announce that we will be relaunching the EAP service with a new telephone number and a new wellbeing platform.

Therefore with immediate effect the telephone number for staff to call is 0800 028 5147.

Publicity materials for staff will be sent out to schools that purchase this service in the next few weeks which will include details of the new wellbeing platform (Optimise). Individuals who contact the old telephone number will still be responded to.

As a reminder the EAP service includes the following:

  • Access to an EAP helpline, available 24/7, 365 days a year for employees and their families
  • Provision of telephone or face to face counselling, for up to six sessions, or online e-cognitive behaviour therapy (e-cbt) as deemed clinically appropriate
  • Provision of up to six sessions of manager coaching (e.g. to support a manager to effectively deal with a situation)
  • Up to four (messaging) review sessions will be provided for employees receiving e-cbt support
  • Telephone access to debt management support via our third-party provider, subject to HMRC tax regulations
  • Telephone access to legal support provided by our third-party provider, subject to HMRC tax regulations
  • Access to an EAP website / information library for both employees and managers providing practical self-help information and guidance
  • The provision of a wellbeing platform (Optimise) to aid identification of health and wellbeing risks, designed to empower employees to take greater control of their wellbeing. 

Telephone and web-based support is also available for family members (restrictions apply).

Full details of the service is available to existing customers on the EAP page.

If you are interested in purchasing this service then please contact us for further details and a quote at eduhrsales@strictlyeducation4s.co.uk.

30/07/19: Online DBS system fault *UPDATED 11.10am*

Due to a system fault there has recently been a delay in sending applications to DBS and also applications being rejected. All rejected applications have now been countersigned and resubmitted to the DBS. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this has caused.

DBS Team

23/07/19: School Teachers' Pay Award 2019

On Monday 22nd July, the School Teachers’ Review Body’s (STRB’s) annual report was published alongside a written ministerial statement from the Secretary of State, accepting a recommendation for a school teachers’ pay award of 2.75%. At time of writing, we await publication of the draft version of the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) 2019 and formal commencement of the usual period of consultation. We do know, however, that the consultation period will be longer this year – 8 weeks – and is therefore likely to close in mid-September with the STPCD 2019 coming into force during October. This means, of course, that the award will not be implemented in September and will need to be backdated.

The DfE intends to invest a further £105 million into the existing Teachers’ Pay Grant this financial year. Although not specifically stated, the assumption is that this is to cover 0.75% of the award, with schools expected to fund 2%, the amount deemed affordable by schools “nationally and overall” by the DfE. There are no further details at this stage on how the additional funding will be distributed.

HR customers can access a more detailed guidance document on the award via our teachers’ pay and conditions guidance page (make sure you are logged in first).

19/07/19: Draft Keeping Children Safe in Education 2019 published

The draft Keeping Children Safe in Education for schools and colleges 2019 was issued by the Department for Education on 26th June 2019. Schools and colleges should continue to use the 2018 documents until they are withdrawn on 2 September 2019.

Overall, changes this year are minimal in terms of HR impact. Key relevant updates include:

  • Reference to the fact the effectiveness of safeguarding will always be reported upon as part of the new Ofsted Education Inspection framework (EIF) which will apply from September 2019 and that specific guidance has been published for inspectors to use in this area.
  • Clarity that s128 checks should be carried out for all governors in maintained schools (this was initially included in the 2018 document).
  • Clarity that enhanced DBS checks are mandatory for governors in maintained schools but not mandatory for associate members of the governing bodies of maintained schools.
  • Confirmation that overseas trained teachers wanting to apply for QTS should seek advice from gov.uk as the TRA guidance is not available at present and will be updated in due course.

17/07/19: DBS System Update - Change of Name and Logo

From Tuesday 23 July 2019 the DBS system will be updated with the Strictly Education 4s name and logo. The changeover will be seamless, however please note that email notifications will come from strictly education 4S so please just check your spam folder as your system may not initially recognise the address.

Should there be any problems please contact  DBS@strictlyeducation4s.co.uk.

09/07/19: TTO Working Hours Calculator for 2019-20 published

If you make use of our Working Hours Calculator for term time only employees (updated annually for the forthcoming academic year), we have published the version for the 2019-20 academic year on our Working Time > Templates and Tools page (make sure you are signed in first to access). 

28/06/19: 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 Summer Term 2019 newsletters and updates page (make sure you are logged in first).

Content up to date as of distribution date, 28th June 2019.

04/06/19: Revised SCC reward policy published

The revised SCC reward policy for 2019-20 has now been published. You can access this policy and associated appendices via the Support Staff Pay and Allowances guidance page (log in first). This includes information on:

  • Surrey Pay grading structure and pay models
  • Pay progression
  • Determination of individual salaries
  • Pay protection
  • Additional hours
  • Premium payments
  • Long service award
  • Recognition award scheme
  • Current rates of pay and allowances

31/05/19: Revised SCC travel and expenses policy published

The revised SCC travel and expenses policy has now been published. You can access this policy and associated appendices via the Support Staff Pay and Allowances guidance page (log in first). This includes information on:

  • Mileage rates
  • Annual Car User Lump Sum protected arrangements
  • Work base Relocation Grant
  • Workplace Travel Allowance

Changes to this policy will be covered at the Summer Term bursar briefings.

29/05/19: Court of Appeal - not discriminatory to offer enhanced maternity pay but only statutory ShPP

Ali v Capita Customer Management Ltd and Chief Constable of Leicestershire v Hextall

We have previously reported on the outcome of two Employment Appeal Tribunal hearings dealing with the question of whether it is unlawful discrimination to provide women on maternity leave with enhanced maternity pay whilst only providing employees on shared parental leave with statutory pay.

The Court of Appeal, hearing the two cases together earlier this month, has now upheld the previous ruling that there is no requirement to provide equivalent benefits to fathers or partners taking shared parental leave. The entire period of maternity leave following childbirth, and not just the initial two weeks of compulsory maternity leave, is – the court held – for more than just facilitating childcare. The predominant purpose of such leave is for “other matters exclusive to the birth mother resulting from pregnancy and childbirth and not shared by the husband or partner.” Consequently, there is a material difference between a man taking shared parental leave and a woman taking maternity leave and therefore the proper comparator for a man taking shared parental leave is a female worker on shared parental leave. An equal pay claim would also fail because provision is made in the Equality Act 2010 for special treatment to be given to a woman in connection with pregnancy or childbirth.

This ruling will come as a relief to many employers, including in the education sector, who have been concerned that they may be forced to equalise provision between occupational maternity pay and shared parental pay. Such an outcome would likely have resulted in a reduction in the level of maternity pay to avoid an overall increase in costs.

22/05/19: Summer 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 Summer Term 2019 updates page to download.

01/05/19: Teachers' Pension Scheme (TPS) update

In January 2019 the DfE launched a consultation to seek views on their proposal to provide funding for certain education institutions to cover the cost of increased employer contributions to the TPS. You will be aware that these are due to rise from 16.48% to 23.68% in 2019/20 (including 0.08% administration charge).

The response to the consultation and the methodology for payment have now been published on the GOV.UK website. The response confirms that the funding will be provided to the following types of school:

  • Mainstream and special maintained schools
  • Mainstream and special academies (including Alternative Provision, 16-19 academies and free schools)
  • Maintained nursery schools
  • Non-maintained special schools
  • Independent special schools, to the extent they educate children with Education, Health and Care Plans
  • Local authority centrally-employed teachers
  • Music Education Hubs


The DfE is also providing funding for FE colleges and other publicly-funding training organisations including sixth form colleges.

The DfE is considering an appropriate allocation mechanism and will announce this in due course. Also subject to further consideration will be the possibility of funding beyond the 2019/2020 spending review.

The DfE will not be providing funding for universities and independent schools. The response, however, also announced that the DfE will engage with the Independent Schools Council (ISC) to consider the possibility of allowing independent schools to leave the TPS via a phased withdrawal. In these circumstances a school could retain its current teachers in the TPS but the scheme would be closed to new teachers joining the school.

Previous latest news updates from the Spring Term 2019 (up to 22.04.19) can be found on the Newsletters and Updates - Spring Term 2019 page (log in required).

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