Eighth Report Contents

Appendix 3: School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Order 2016 (SI 2016/831)

Additional Information from the Department for Education

Q: Could the delay complained about have been avoided? How easily can schools implement arrangements from September which have been set out in an SI laid on 8 August—during the school holidays? What has been the timetable followed by the Department for Education (DfE) for these processes in previous years?

A: As regards the delay to the publication of the STRB report and the start of the consultations on the Government’s proposed response to its recommendations, this was an unavoidable consequence of the challenges faced by the Department and the Government as a whole in the run up to the EU referendum on 23 June, the period during which the report would normally have been published and the consultation commenced. It was not possible to obtain clearance to publish the report and start the consultation earlier.

The Department arranged for publication of the report as quickly as it could following the referendum. The report was published on 6 July and the consultation commenced on the same day. Following a 4 week consultation period, the revised School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) and the Pay Order were laid in Parliament on 8 August.

The Pay Order and STPCD were laid a few days earlier this year than last year and closely in line with the usual practice in previous years. The timetable is one to which schools are well accustomed. It enables them to implement the new arrangements from the beginning of the autumn term.

The annual practice is to make and lay the Pay Order and STPCD in the first or second week of August ensuring that this is achieved at least 21 days in advance of 1 September. For example, the documents were laid on 10 August in 2015 and 8 August in 2014. This is because the STPCD and Pay Order need to come into effect from the start of the academic year (1 September).

It is common practice for schools to review and update their pay and appraisal policies at the start of the school year in September. In those cases where the pay policy sets out specific salary ranges, they would need to refer to the revised STPCD at this point so that they are able to insert the new figures that are published in the STPCD into their policies. However, we know that in practice most schools simply include general references to the rates set out in the latest STPCD rather than stating specific figures.

The main consequence of the revised STPCD which requires action from schools is that they need to take steps to change their payroll arrangements to reflect any update to individual salaries. The timescale for this action will vary from school to school and will be dependent on their timetable for appraising their teachers’ performance over the previous 12 months and finalising objectives for the forthcoming year. The advice from the Department that accompanies the STPCD recommends that schools should complete this action by 31 October for their classroom teachers and by 31 December for the members of the leadership group. Publication of the STPCD in August thus ensures that schools have all the information that they need at the beginning of the school year to implement the new arrangements smoothly.

30 August 2016

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