How to agree pay for staff migrating to a new school

Debate – Secondary School

What was the issue addressed?
Tough issue – negotiate and agree salary levels for a new substitute team for a brand new school. Difficult because some members of the governing body want to place all new deputies on the same pay as they are all going to be new in their job, while others want to acknowledge previous experience through salary variations.

I felt that the discussion was led by everyone on a ‘gut instinct’ basis rather than a firm and professional approach. I was happy with the final decisions but a little uncomfortable as it felt like ‘guess work’. No attendees made reference to guidelines or rules.

What happened?
Individuals on the governing body give their individual views. Local Authority officers advise. Proposals have been put forward.

What lessons were learnt?
The issue was resolved but I still feel a bit uncomfortable as we had not followed any recognised guidelines. Lesson – next time in a matter of this nature we will ask if guidance is available.

This case study highlights lots of issues to consider when employing staff for a new school. It is not known what category of school the new school will be, but regardless of this, a temporary governing body would have been set up to make various decisions. Here’s the link to the regulations that govern the process, in addition to Chapter 20 of the School Governors Guide to the Law.

General information about staffing and appointments is provided in Chapter 10 of The School Governors Guide to the Law.

First and foremost, the staffing structure would have been approved for the new school. In order to determine the salary for senior leaders, Deputy Heads in this case, a designated process would need to be followed, as set out in the School Teachers Pay and Conditions (Wales) Document.

Further information would be needed to give a more detailed response. Paragraphs 8.3-9.4 (Pages 16-17) provides information for new schools and how to determine leadership pay. The process is complex and advice must be sought from the Local Authority / Diocesan Authority, usually from Human Resources.

What policies does your school have in place to agree salary levels for new staff?
Is there a culture in your governing body of seeking professional advice and guidance?

Have your say…
Have you had experiences similar to these?
What do you think about the situation described?

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