Advice for members re: pay awards

For up to date advice on pay awards and pay appeals, please see below:-

These NUT model letters are part of an NUT toolkit for NUT members and NUT representatives on pay progression. 

 

They are intended to help you prepare for hearings in relation to pay decisions, whether meetings at which the decision is due to be taken or meetings of an appeals committee after a decision has been taken to deny pay progression.

 

Use them in conjunction with the rest of the NUT toolkit, which includes guidance documents on the rules of the new pay progression system, on pursuing appeals and on assessing and challenging school policies on pay progression and an NUT checklist to help you prepare for meetings.

 

The full NUT toolkit can be found here, while the 2014 School Teachers’ Pay & Conditions Document and the DfE’s advice document to schools on pay policy issues can be found here (the full weblinks can be found at the end of this briefing).

 

 

LETTER 1

 

For use when agreeing to attend a governors’ committee which will consider a recommendation that you should not progress

 

Dear Head teacher

 

Thank you for your letter / email inviting me to the governors’ committee which will consider a recommendation that I should not receive pay progression.

 

I confirm that I will be attending the meeting [together with my NUT representative NAME].

 

As you know, the statutory provision on pay progression in para 19.2(d) and (e) of the 2014 School Teachers’ Pay & Conditions Document state that “pay decisions must be clearly attributable to the performance of the teacher in question” and that “continued good performance as defined by an individual’s school’s pay policy should give a classroom or unqualified teacher an expectation of progression to the top of their respective pay range.”

 

I therefore request the following information in time to consider it and respond at the meeting:

 

  • The school pay policy and the governing body’s policy and procedures for pay progression.
  • The date on which the governing body reached its decision.
  • The process of reaching the decision, including full details of:
    • the recommendation made by my appraiser;
    • any further recommendation made or advice given to governors;
    • the basis for the recommendation that my contribution did not meet the criteria for pay progression;
    • the information or evidence which led to this recommendation; and
    • any other information or advice which will be relied on at the meeting;
    • Any actions taken previously to alert me to concerns about my performance and the support given to me to address these concerns.Please ensure that any further correspondence is copied to my NUT representative.Yours sincerely

 

 

LETTER 2

 

For use when notifying the school of an appeal against a decision that you should not progress

 

Dear Head teacher

 

Thank you for your letter / email informing me of the decision that I should not receive pay progression.

 

I confirm that I wish to appeal against this decision and attend an appeal meeting [together with my NUT representative NAME].

 

As you know, the statutory provision on pay progression in para 19.2(d) and (e) of the 2014 School Teachers’ Pay & Conditions Document state that “pay decisions must be clearly attributable to the performance of the teacher in question” and that “continued good performance as defined by an individual’s school’s pay policy should give a classroom or unqualified teacher an expectation of progression to the top of their respective pay range.”

 

I therefore request the following information in time to consider it and respond at the meeting:

 

  • The school pay policy and the governing body’s policy and procedures for pay progression.
  • The date on which the governing body reached its decision.
  • The process of reaching the decision, including full details of:
    • the recommendation made by my appraiser;
    • any further recommendation made or advice given to governors;
    • the basis for the recommendation that my contribution did not meet the criteria for pay progression;
    • the information or evidence which led to this recommendation; and
    • any other information or advice which will be relied on at the meeting;
    • Any actions taken previously to alert me to concerns about my performance and the support given to me to address these concerns.
    • The procedure for appeal against the decision.Please ensure that any further correspondence is copied to my NUT representative.Yours sincerely
    • SECTION 1

      STATUTORY PROVISIONS ON PAY PROGRESSION

       

      Pay progression decisions on the Main and Upper Pay Ranges are now covered by a single set of provisions. All decisions must be related to performance.  Governing bodies set their own detailed criteria for pay progression – although they must be consistent with the STPCD’s broad requirements – and decide whether eligible teachers should progress. The school’s pay policy should set out the criteria for pay progression and any pay scales in use in the school.

       

      Summary of the statutory requirements

       

      • Governing bodies must have a written pay policy which sets out the basis on which they determine teachers’ pay, including the criteria for pay progression.
      • The STPCD sets out broad procedural requirements relating to pay progression – but the governing body determines the specific criteria for pay progression in the school.

       

      • When taking decisions on pay progression, governing bodies are required to comply with the statutory provisions and to “have regard” to the appraisal reviewer’s recommendation on pay progression.
      • Pay progression decisions must be carried out for teachers eligible for progression – there is no requirement for applications or evidence.
      • Teachers should be notified of decisions in writing at the earliest opportunity and within one month. Any pay increase is effective from the preceding 1 September.
      • Governing bodies must have appeals procedures. The following NUT advice refers to the provisions of the 2014 STPCD and the DfE’s advice to schools on pay policies and pay decisions. Statutory timetable for decisionsThe STPCD requires every governing body to carry out an annual pay determination for every teacher, including every post-threshold teacher, on or after 1 September (para 3.1 (a)). The governing body should take all decisions on pay progression and notify every teacher of the outcome in writing at the earliest opportunity and no more than one month later (para 3.4). Any consequent pay increase is effective from the previous 1 September (para 3.1 a). Governing bodies are now able to decide if they wish that, from September 2014, teachers are eligible for pay progression every year rather than every two years.Statutory provisions on progression
      •  

       

      The key provisions of the 2014 STPCD on pay progression are as follows:

       

      • Para 19.2 says that the governing body decides how pay progression will be determined, subject to the following requirements:
          • “the decision whether or not to award pay progression must be related to the teacher’s performance” as assessed through appraisal;

      • a written pay recommendation must be made as part of the appraisal report and the governing body “must have regard to this recommendation”; and
      • “continued good performance as defined by an individual school’s pay policy should give [a teacher] an expectation of progression to the top of their respective pay range”.
        • Para 19.3 requires the governing body to set out clearly in the school’s pay policy how pay progression will be determined.

       

      The governing body must therefore set detailed criteria for pay progression but they must be consistent with these STPCD statutory provisions. The particularly important ones for teachers’ purposes are the requirement to “have regard” to the appraiser’s pay recommendation and the expectation of progression on the basis of continued good performance”.

       

      Guidance on taking pay decisions

       

      Although the 2014 STPCD no longer includes “statutory guidance” on taking pay decisions, the DfE has published non-statutory advice for governing bodies. The NUT and the other teacher unions were involved in drawing up three sections of this advice: on the Equality Act 2010 as it affects appraisal and pay decisions (pages 13-17); the role of evidence in appraisal and pay decisions (pages 18020); and managing pay appeals (pages 25-27).  The rest of the advice was not drawn up in consultation with the NUT and does not have the NUT’s endorsement – particularly the model pay policy and the appendix on possible criteria for pay progression which the NUT strongly oppose.

       

       

      SECTION 2

      NUT ADVICE ON THE PROCEDURES FOR PAY PROGRESSION

       

      Responsibility for decisions on pay progression

       

      Governing bodies can delegate decisions to a governing body committee, individual governors or the head teacher.  The NUT believes that decisions should be taken by the committee responsible for pay/staffing issues and reported to the full governing body.  Decisions should not be delegated to the head teacher alone.  References to “the governing body” in this document include, where appropriate, any governing body committee taking pay decisions.

       

      Procedure for taking decisions

       

      The appraisal regulations require that where a teacher is eligible for pay progression, the reviewer must make a recommendation on pay progression which is passed to the head teacher as part of the planning and review statement.  The STPCD requires the governing body, in making its decision on progression, to have regard to that recommendation.

       

      The governing body is not bound by the reviewer’s recommendation; nor is the head teacher denied the opportunity to advise the governing body. Where head teachers offer advice to governing bodies, however, any departure from a recommendation to progress should be justified by clear and strong evidence.

       

      The governing body must satisfy itself whether a teacher has met the standards required for progression whenever any recommendation is made that a teacher should not progress.  The governing body should itself consider the issues and the evidence for the recommendation and the advice of the head teacher, not just simply agree to follow the reviewer’s recommendation without such a discussion.

       

      Timetable for decisions and notification of decisions

       

      The STPCD provides (para 3.4) that teachers must be notified in writing of the outcome of the pay decision at the earliest opportunity and no more than one month later. The NUT advises that the notification given to teachers should contain the reasons behind the recommendation of the head teacher and the decision of the governing body. Denial of such information would be an obstruction of the teacher’s right of appeal.

       

      Applications and further evidence

       

      Pay progression is not an application process – the STPCD requires governing bodies to undertake annual pay determinations for all teachers (para 3.1).  Teachers cannot be required to “apply” or complete any application form. Pay progression decisions must be taken whether or not a teacher has “applied” or provided evidence sought by the school.

       

      The DfE advice states that the appraisal review should be the only source of evidence teachers require to support pay progression. Teachers should not be required to submit additional evidence – they may choose to do so if they wish to draw attention to particular achievements but if they decide not to do so then the governing body must still take the pay decision and the teacher should not be penalised in any way.

       

      Appeals

       

      The STPCD requires schools to have an appeals procedure for pay decisions (para 2.1(b)).

       

      The DfE advice (agreed with the NUT and with NAHT and ASCL) gives guidance on appeals procedures.  It says that teachers must have the right to a formal hearing at which the teacher can appear in person, represented if they wish by a union representative. It also suggests that when a head teacher is intending to recommend that a teacher should not progress, the teacher should be informed in advance and allowed to appear before governors at the meeting at which they will consider the recommendation.  This is a valuable opportunity to persuade governors not to take a decision to deny pay progression – which may be much easier than persuading an appeals panel to overturn a decision once it has been taken.

       

      The appraisal regulations also require an appeals procedure allowing teachers to appeal against their appraisal statements, including any pay recommendation that they should not progress.  The NUT advises that, in such cases, the appeals process should not involve the governing body committee which takes decisions on pay progression.

       

      How NUT members should proceed in such situations is considered in Section 5, “NUT Support to Members” and in the separate guidance in this NUT toolkit on Pay Appeals.

       

       

      SECTION 3

      NUT ADVICE ON CRITERIA AND STANDARDS FOR PAY PROGRESSION

       

      Standards required for progression

       

      The STPCD requires that “pay decisions must be clearly attributable to the performance of the teacher in question” and that “continued good performance as defined by an individual’s school’s pay policy should give a classroom or unqualified teacher an expectation of progression to the top of their respective pay range.”

       

      The following sections set out NUT advice on the proper interpretation and application of the statutory provisions in the context of three matters commonly included in schools’ progression criteria – performance against the Teachers Standards, achievement of appraisal objectives, standards of teaching as measured by classroom observations, and overall judgements of performance.

       

      The NUT’s view is that teachers are to be awarded pay progression following two successful appraisal reviews. Reviews should be deemed successful unless significant concerns about a teacher’s performance have been raised in writing with the teacher during the annual appraisal cycle and have not been sufficiently addressed through support provided by the school by the conclusion of that process.

       

      Performance against the Teacher Standards

       

      The Teachers’ Standards (or in Wales the Practising Teachers’ Standards) form a backdrop to appraisal, informing the setting of the teacher’s objectives and the appraisal discussion. There is no requirement to assess teachers’ performance against the Standards individually.

       

      The Standards should not, therefore, be used as a checklist for assessing the teacher’s performance. If they were so used, the appraisal discussion will be diverted away from the key issues and objectives identified at the initial appraisal meeting. In the NUT’s view, appraisal assessments should start from the premise that the teacher is continuing to meet the Teachers Standards unless there is evidence to the contrary.

       

      Some governing bodies have been persuaded to adopt complex, but essentially meaningless, documents which purport to identify and define the precise levels of performance expected of teachers under each heading of the Teachers Standards and at each stage of their career. The NUT rejects such documents which would reduce teacher appraisal to a tick box exercise and prevent professional dialogue on performance or professional development.  This view is largely shared by the DfE advice to schools, which says that “It is not necessary for schools to adopt rigid models that seek to set out exactly what the relevant standards mean for teachers at different stages in their careers, and teachers should not be expected routinely to provide evidence that they meet all the standards.”

       

      Achievement of objectives

       

      Objectives which will be used to inform pay decisions must be appropriate and fit for purpose.

      The DfE advice to schools identifies a need for “targets and objectives that enable teachers to demonstrate performance, rather than simply results”.

       

      The NUT has issued separate guidance on objective setting as part of appraisal. Objectives which are unachievable or otherwise inappropriate will skew the appraisal process and obstruct pay progression. Teachers should challenge any objectives they think are unachievable or inappropriate at the outset and, if they are imposed, to record their objections in writing. Failure to do this at the time does not, however, in any way obstruct the right to appeal on the basis that the objective was inappropriate or unachievable.

       

      The NUIT expects that teachers who met their objectives should normally receive pay progression even though the DfE advice suggests that this should not automatically be the case. Conversely, teachers who do not fully meet objectives should not automatically be denied pay progression. The DfE advice says that “making good progress on, but not quite achieving, an objective should be taken into account” and that schools might consider that “a teacher who has made good progress on, but not quite achieved, a very challenging objective has performed better and made a more significant contribution than a teacher who met in full a less stretching objective”.

       

      Standards of teaching / Judgements of overall performance

       

      The STPCD provides clearly that “continued good performance … should give [a teacher] an expectation of progression”. Criteria which set higher standards for progression that this will obviously offend against the STPCD’s statutory requirements.  The use of criteria imposing standards of performance in excess of that specified in the statutory provisions could be seen as unlawful practice, adopted to ensure that teachers do not progress.

       

      The NUT has seen various pay policies which include criteria requiring teachers to meet standards of teaching or of overall performance which use wording such as “sustained high quality”, “outstanding”, “good with elements of outstanding” etc. All of these are inappropriate progression criteria to adopt in pay policies applying to classroom teachers.

       

      The criterion of “sustained high quality” appears in the STPCD pay progression provisions for leadership teachers, not classroom teachers; consequently, it has a different meaning to “continued good performance” and, if applied to classroom teachers, will put the governing body in breach of the STPCD’s requirements. Other formulations such as “outstanding”, “good with elements of outstanding” or even “performance at the highest possible level” also clearly go beyond “continued good performance”.   Similarly, teachers should not be expected to be “models of good practice” in order to achieve pay progression.  Again this would lead to pay progression being the exception rather than the norm.

       

       

      SECTION 4

      NUT ADVICE ON COMMONLY ENCOUNTERED SITUATIONS

       

      Teachers who have not been subject to appraisal

       

      In most cases, governing bodies will be able to decide whether a teacher meets the criteria for pay progression by reference to the outcomes of appraisal and the reviewer’s recommendation.  In some cases this will not be appropriate or possible eg where teachers are or have been on maternity leave, extended sick leave or secondment; or where previous schools have not provided information relating to appraisal reviews.

       

      The DfE has published advice, agreed with the NUT, which advises governing bodies that denying progression in such circumstances can be unlawful discrimination. For that reason, in all such circumstances governors should take decisions by reference to any information that is available. They may need to consider information from only one appraisal review or from whatever part of the appraisal cycle when the teacher was present.   In extreme circumstances, the decision might be taken on the basis that the teacher’s performance might have been expected to have been maintained throughout the appraisal period in question; or postponed until information is available from the following school year and then backdated. Where a governing body acts in this way, complaints of unfair treatment and possible unlawful discrimination are less likely to arise.

       

      Teachers on maternity or extended sick leave or otherwise absent during the period

       

      The DfE advice confirms that such teachers are entitled to consideration for pay progression in the same way as other teachers, whether or not they have returned to service following the period of absence.  In such cases, however, appraisal reviews may not have been completed and the governing body may not have any reviewer’s recommendation to consider.

       

      Again, governing bodies should take decisions by reference to such information as is available.  This might include information from the most recent appraisal review or information from any part of the period when the teacher was present.

       

      Failure to consider progression in this way could clearly constitute less favourable treatment on the basis of gender or disability and leave the governing body open to complaints of unlawful direct discrimination.

       

      Teachers who have moved post

       

      Any teachers who move post with effect from 1 September 2014 or have moved during the previous year are still entitled to be assessed for pay progression. They should not be denied it simply on the basis that they have not been subject to a full appraisal cycle at the school.

       

      Previous STPCDs included formal statutory guidance that, where teachers had moved schools, head teachers should consult with the previous school’s head to seek evidence and that where confirmation is provided that the teacher’s work satisfied the criterion, this should be accepted. Although the 2014 STPCD no longer includes that advice, the NUT believes it remains valid. Where information is not forthcoming, the decision should be based on such information as is available or deferred to allow information to be obtained relating to the present post.

       

      Teachers who have moved schools and were previously paid on the UPR

       

      Teachers paid on the UPR no longer have a statutory right to continue to be paid on the UPR when they move school. The 2014 STPCD provides governing bodies the discretion to pay teachers on the UPR in certain circumstances including where they have previously been paid on the UPS. Although the Government has abolished pay portability, the NUT believes that school’s pay policies should commit to the principle of pay portability and to apply that principle in practice when making new appointments. The NUT believes that a teacher who was previously paid on the UPR at his/her previous school should, therefore, still be paid on the UPR at the new school upon appointment.

       

      Teachers who have moved from other sectors

       

      The 2014 STPCD provides governing bodies the discretion to pay teachers on the UPR in other circumstances where they meet the definition of “post threshold teachers” in Annex 3. This list includes teachers previously paid as leadership teachers or advanced skills teachers; teachers who have passed the threshold or equivalent standards while working in sixth form colleges, Northern Ireland, academies and other situations; and teachers previously employed as Soulbury-paid local authority advisory staff.

       

      On appointment, governing bodies can determine at which point such a teacher will be paid (2014 STPCD para 14.4.), allowing the teacher to be appointed above the minimum point of the UPR. The STPCD statutory guidance had previously advised governing bodies to consider any pay progression made in their previous capacity under pay provisions comparable to the UPS and said that they “should not unreasonably withhold appointment at the equivalent point on the UPS”.  Although the 2014 STPCD no longer includes that advice, the NUT continues to support that practice.

       

      Teachers already paid on the UPR

       

      Progression to the UPR does not alter the professional duties or obligations of teachers. They should not be required to take on additional duties without payment – additional responsibilities should be rewarded through payment of teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payments.

       

      Teachers denied pay progression in previous years

       

      Any teacher who is eligible for pay progression, but does not receive progression, must be considered for pay progression again the following year as part of their annual pay assessment.

       

      Teachers with more than one post

       

      Some teachers hold two or more posts and are employed simultaneously on, for example, two separate regular part-time contracts with different schools.  In such situations, separate annual pay determinations have to be undertaken in each of the schools concerned.

       

      Where pay progression is being considered, the common sense solution is for a decision to be taken in the school in which the teacher works most of the time and adopted in the other school as well.  A decision in one school does not legally bind the decision in the other school, however, so in such cases it is possible for a teacher to progress to a higher pay point in one school than in the other.

       

      Teachers employed for less than a term

       

      Teachers employed on contracts lasting less than a term are also entitled to an annual pay determination.  Recommendations and other evidence from appraisal may not, however, be available as they are not covered by the statutory appraisal requirements.

       

      Governing bodies should decide whether such teachers meet the criteria by reference to such information as is available. Where they have worked at the school for a significant period, sufficient evidence may be available to allow the decision to be taken.  Where they have worked at another school or schools, the head teacher should consult with the previous head teacher to seek evidence.  Where such information is not available, the decision should be based on such information as is available or deferred to allow information to be obtained relating to the present post.

       

      Supply teachers

       

      Supply teachers employed by LAs or by governing bodies of foundation or voluntary aided schools are entitled to an annual pay determination and consideration for pay progression in the same way as other teachers.  The NUT advises that decisions should be taken by the governing body of the school in which the teacher has worked most frequently.

       

      Supply teachers employed by agencies rather than by local authorities or governing bodies (including those undertaking long-term placements) are, regrettably, not covered by the provisions of the STPCD.  Their pay is determined by the agency concerned and, for many teachers, does not match the levels of pay available under the Main and Upper Pay Range provisions of the STPCD.

       

      Unattached teachers employed by LAs

       

      The 2014 STPCD’s provisions on annual pay determinations and pay progression apply to “unattached teachers” employed in LA central services or in pupil referral units in the same way as other teachers.  They should be applied in the same way as for teachers employed in schools.  The body responsible for pay decisions may be the local authority or a management committee.  The pay decision should be in such cases be delegated to an appropriate panel or individual but should not be taken by the line manager who undertakes the teacher’s appraisal review and makes the pay recommendation.  If appraisal is not taking place, teachers are still entitled to be considered for pay progression as set out above.

       

       

      SECTION 5

      NUT SUPPORT FOR MEMBERS

       

      The NUT is determined that all teachers should be treated fairly and equitably with regard to pay progression. NUT representatives should seek confirmation from the head teacher that pay decisions will be taken and notified by 31 October.  They should also ask the head teacher to issue information about the process for pay progression decisions as soon as possible after the start of the academic year.

       

      Failure to take pay decisions

       

      In such cases, NUT representatives or NUT members individually should seek assurances from the head teacher that pay decisions will take place as required by the 2014 STPCD and will be taken in accordance with the statutory provisions and school pay policy criteria which match NUT policy.

       

      Where arrangements for pay decisions appear to contradict the statutory provisions and the NUT’s advice, assistance should be sought from the NUT local secretary or from the NUT regional office or, in Wales, NUT Cymru.

       

      Decisions that NUT members will not progress

       

      NUT members who have been informed that they will not progress will need to consider whether they wish to appeal and if so on what basis.

       

      Any NUT member who wishes to appeal should consult the NUT guidance document on pay appeals included in the NUT toolkit.  They should register their appeal within the timetable set by the school pay policy and they should use the NUT model letters included with the NUT toolkit to register the appeal and ask for relevant information in writing.

       

       

      SECTION 6

      WEBLINKS

       

      See the full NUT toolkit on pay progression at

      www.teachers.org.uk/payandconditions/paytoolkit

       

      The 2014 School Teachers’ Pay & Conditions Document can be found at:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-teachers-pay-and-conditions-2014

       

      The DfE’s advice to schools on pay progression issues can be found at:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reviewing-and-revising-school-teachers-pay

       

       

       

       

      National Union of Teachers

      September 2014

       

      LOOKING AT YOUR SCHOOL PAY POLICY

       

      This section advises on your first step – becoming familiar with your school pay policy’s pay progression criteria and its pay appeals procedure – and steps you can take if you decide that the policy itself should be challenged rather than the decisions made under the policy.

       

      Checking the policy’s progression criteria

       

      There are no longer any statutory and nationally-applicable criteria which governing bodies must follow when taking pay progression decisions.  All that the 2014 School Teachers’ Pay & Conditions Document provides[1] is that pay progression decisions should be based on appraisal outcomes and that the school pay policy should set the criteria to be achieved for progression.

       

      The key provisions of the 2014 STPCD on pay progression are as follows:

       

      • Para 19.2 says that the governing body decides how pay progression will be determined, subject to the following requirements:
          • “the decision whether or not to award pay progression must be related to the teacher’s performance” as assessed through appraisal;

      • a written pay recommendation must be made as part of the appraisal report and the governing body “must have regard to this recommendation”; and
      • “continued good performance as defined by an individual school’s pay policy should give [a teacher] an expectation of progression to the top of their respective pay range”.
      • Para 19.3 requires the governing body to set out clearly in the school’s pay policy how pay progression will be determined.This does mean that it will now be more difficult to argue in appeals that the school’s pay progression criteria are being incorrectly applied, because each school’s policy is its own property and no national criteria or guidance exist for reference.  Similarly, it will be more difficult to argue that the criteria are incompatible with the STPCD, excessive or otherwise inappropriate, because schools are allowed to set their own criteria subject only to the requirements in para 19.2 set out above.Checking the procedure for taking decisions and making appealsIn most schools, the decision on pay will be made by a governors’ committee, which must “have regard” to the reviewer’s pay recommendation and may also seek the views of the head teacher as well.The DfE’s advice to schools says that if head teachers think teachers should not progress, they should allow them to attend the governors’ decision meeting (with the right to have a union representative) and present their views before the decision is taken. This is welcome – it is easier to stop decisions being taken than to get them overturned. The NUT supports this happening in all schools.Regardless of whether or not the teacher is allowed to be present when the decision was taken, however, there is a formal right of appeal against any decision to deny pay progression.With regard to pay appeals, the DfE advice identifies a range of possible grounds for appeal (which do not constitute an exhaustive list):“Teachers have the right to raise formal appeals against pay determinations if, for example, they believe that the person or committee by whom the decision was made:

    • incorrectly applied the school’s pay policy;
    • incorrectly applied any provision of the STPCD;
    • failed to have proper regard to statutory guidance;
    • failed to take proper account of relevant evidence;
    • took account of irrelevant or inaccurate evidence;
    • was biased; or
    • unlawfully discriminated against the teacher.”Pay appeals can and should still be pursued on any of the above grounds or on either of the following grounds as well:
      • the criteria should be set aside because experience shows that they are excessively or unfairly demanding in practice to an unintended extent (in particular if they do not in practice guarantee progression for “continued good performance”); or
      • the criteria should be set aside because they are irrational or potentially discriminatory.The NUT’s preferred criteria for pay progressionThe NUT / NASUWT pay policy checklist and model pay policy argues that all teachers who have had successful appraisal reviews should receive pay progression; and that appraisal reviews should be deemed successful unless significant concerns about performance were raised in writing with the teacher during the appraisal cycle and were not sufficiently addressed through support from the school by the conclusion of that process.The NUT has negotiated pay policies on this basis with many LAs and academy chains and with many individual schools and academies.  Pay policies drawn up on this basis will support fair pay progression.  What to do if you decide your policy is unfair or in conflict with NUT policyIf your school’s pay policy sets unfairly high demands for progression or includes criteria which disadvantage teachers in certain groups, it is not too late to organise to secure a different policy.Read the separate document in this toolkit on Winning an Acceptable Pay Policy for guidance on assessing your school’s policy and on getting support from the NUT to help you and your members challenge the policy collectively.  Tackling matters collectively will be a far better approach than trying to deal with problems as individual issue of casework.  Denial of progression to one or two teachers this year will be followed by an ever increasing number of teachers losing out as time goes by. CHALLENGING PAY DECISIONSThis section advises on how to tackle common situations where members have to appeal individually against decisions to deny them pay progression.  Refer to the NUT checklist in preparing yourself for any meeting – and use the NUT model letters to seek information about the policy and decision in order to help you challenge them.The first four points below look at situations where you will be asking the governing body to set some of the terms of the policy aside because the criteria for progression or the system for reaching a decision were inappropriate.  Before raising these arguments in an individual appeal, you should discuss the possibility of a collective challenge to the policy with members (see above).  The remaining points look at situation where you will be challenging the decision in particular cases, either on the basis of the evidence available or the way in which the criteria were applied.Challenging excessively demanding criteriaThe NUT fears that some governing bodies will establish criteria which will – by accident or design – set much higher hurdles than previously for progression.  NUT reps should ask, even before decisions start to be taken, whether the head teacher and governing body intend that rates of progression should be in any way reduced as a result of the new policy on pay progression.The STPCD provides clearly that “continued good performance … should give [a teacher] an expectation of progression” (para 19.2).  Criteria which set higher standards for progression that this will obviously offend against the STPCD’s statutory requirements. The use of criteria imposing standards of performance in excess of that specified in the statutory provisions could be seen as unlawful practice, adopted to ensure that teachers do not progress.In such situations you will be challenging the criteria, not the decision – and asking that the criteria are set aside for all decisions because their consequence is that unfair obstacles are being created to progression and that in some cases discrimination may occur.The NUT has seen a number of policies which include criteria saying that overall performance or teaching observations should meet standards which use wording such as “sustained high quality”, “outstanding”, “good with elements of outstanding” etc.  All of these are inappropriate progression criteria to adopt in pay policies applying to classroom teachers.  The criterion of “sustained high quality” appears in the STPCD pay progression provisions for leadership teachers, not classroom teachers.  Consequently it has a different meaning to “continued good performance” and, if applied to classroom teachers, will put the governing body in breach of the STPCD’s requirements.  Other formulations such as “outstanding”, “good with elements of outstanding” or even “performance at the highest possible level” also clearly go beyond “continued good performance”.   Similarly, teachers should not be expected to be “models of good practice” in order to achieve pay progression.  Again this would lead to pay progression being the exception rather than the norm.Challenging use of the Teacher Standards as a checklist and/or use of Career Stage Expectations checklistsThe NUT opposes the use of the Teacher Standards as a checklist, either during appraisal or during pay decision making.  In the NUT’s view, assessment should start from the premise that the teacher is continuing to meet the Teachers Standards have been met unless there is evidence to the contrary, in order that the appraisal discussion is not diverted away from the key issues and objectives identified at the initial appraisal meeting.Some governing bodies, however, have been persuaded to adopt complex, but essentially meaningless, documents which purport to identify and define the precise levels of performance expected of teachers under each heading of the Teachers Standards and at each stage of their career (and sometimes even at each point on the pay scale).  These are adopted for use either in the appraisal discussion or in subsequent pay decision making. The NUT rejects this approach which would reduce teacher appraisal to a tick box exercise, completely preventing professional dialogue on performance or professional development.The aim in such situations is therefore to persuade the governing body to set aside the use of such checklists in taking pay decisions.The NUT’s view is largely shared by the DfE advice to schools, which says that “It is not necessary for schools to adopt rigid models that seek to set out exactly what the relevant standards mean for teachers at different stages in their careers, and teachers should not be expected routinely to provide evidence that they meet all the standards”(page 20, 4th para).Challenging quotas and relative performance judgments The NUT opposes any rationing of progression on the basis that only a set percentage of teachers will progress.  Setting quotas, or basing decisions on comparisons of relatve performance as opposed to comparing it to absolute standards, will do just that. Although the DfE advice to schools suggests that quotas or relative performance judgments could be considered appropriate in some schools, the NUT believes that these will necessarily conflict with the STPCD’s provision which requires governing bodies to allow progression to teachers on the basis of “continued good performance”.Relative judgments will also raise the prospect of unfair and potentially discriminatory treatment of teachers, particularly in community schools or chain academies where teachers across a number of different schools share the same employer and are entitled to compare their treatment to that of teachers in those other schools.  Teachers should not be denied progression simply on the basis of relative performance.Challenging funding constraintsFunding problems at the school are not acceptable as criteria for denying pay progression – the NUT believes that every school governing body should have set a budget which included provision for funding for pay progression for every eligible teacher.  The DfE advice says clearly that in setting budgets, “schools should also take sensible financial decisions that take account of the likely cost of pay progression”.Challenging decisions – Evidence is importantThe school’s pay decision should obviously be based on evidence.  Most pay appeals will involve challenging the evidence put forward against teachers.  Any teacher who thinks they may face problems over pay progression should prepare for this by keeping evidence of their own, in relation to their objectives, their work and their wider contribution to the school.Schools’ decisions should be firmly based on evidence – and only that evidence available through the appraisal process which is relevant to the appraisal process (see below).  However, you should not hesitate to challenge decisions by offering your own evidence as well, both about the areas covered by your objectives and appraisal, and where necessary about other areas of your work and involvement with the school as well, in order to convince governors that you have made the necessary contribution over the year.Challenging decisions – Using the “no surprises” principleIf the decision to deny pay progression comes as a surprise, then this is prima facie evidence that the procedure has not been followed properly.The DfE advice says that “Schools should provide feedback where necessary during the course of the year on the areas where the teacher might need to improve in order to secure a positive assessment at the end of the appraisal period. If any additional support and training to improve performance is deemed necessary before the end of the appraisal cycle, the teacher and their line manager should consider how these should be delivered” (page 19, 5th para).Why was this decision a surprise?  Was there any advice offered that standards were not being met or that denial of progression was likely, either in writing during the cycle or at any interim meeting? If there was no interim meeting to raise concerns, why not?If the teacher was advised that there were concerns, what was done about that?  What support was offered (advice, training, peer support etc) to assist the teacher in meeting the standards?If support was not provided then this constitutes as much of a failure by the manager as by the teacher – and it is one for which the teacher should not be penalised.Challenging decisions that are not clearly based on appraisal evidenceTwo key questions here are as follows:
      •  
      •  
      • PART 2
      • Was the decision made after the end of the appraisal process and following proper consideration of the outcomes of the process?
      • Was the decision based clearly and solely on evidence that was available and discussed during the appraisal process?On the first matter, you should refer back to the two statutory requirements set out in para 19.2 of the 2014 STPCD referred to earlier – that the pay decision must be related to the teacher’s performance as assessed through appraisal and that the governing body must have regard to the pay recommendation made as part of the appraisal report.  Any pay decision taken before the conclusion of the appraisal process, or without considering the pay recommendation made in the appraisal report, is in breach of the STPCD’s requirements.On the second point, you should refer to the DfE’s clear advice and expectations as set out in the DfE advice to schools which says that “Whatever evidence is used … the range of evidence requirements must be rooted firmly within the parameters of the appraisal process… It would not be appropriate for schools to introduce evidence requirements that are not directly and explicitly related to the formal appraisal process and with the objectives and standards that have been agreed with the teacher.” (page 18, 4th para). This does not, however, mean that teachers should accept any excessive evidence requirements imposed by the school.  The DfE advice to schools also says that the evidence required by the school must not be excessive.  The NUT believes that while teachers should be able to offer additional evidence if they need to (see below), they should not be required to provide excessive evidence as part of pay decision making.Challenging decisions that set aside the appraiser’s recommendationIf the governing body decided to reject a reviewer’s recommendation, you should demand a full written account of why it did this, including the reasons for the decision and any additional advice or opinion received eg from the head teacher.Emphasise that the STPCD imposes a statutory requirement on governing bodies to “have regard” to the reviewer’s recommendation.  There is no requirement to have regard to the views of the head teacher or even to ask what they are.  Any decision by the head teacher to seek to overturn a reviewer’s recommendation, and any decision by the governing body to reject a recommendation whether or not the head teacher expressed a view, should be supported by very robust evidence, not simply justified as a difference of opinion.Challenging decisions based on moving the goalpostsStandards and criteria for progression should be known at the start of the performance cycle. The school’s criteria should be clear and understood and communicated to every teacher.  New meanings or interpretations should not be determined at the end of the year and then applied retrospectively.  Any decisions should be based on the criteria as they were known and understood at the start of the cycle.Challenging decisions based on objectivesSetting fair and appropriate objectives is a major challenge.  If teachers’ objectives are unachievable or otherwise inappropriate, this will skew the appraisal process and obstruct pay progression.  Sometimes the unfairness or inappropriateness of an objective will only become apparent during or at the end of the year – but sometimes a teacher will have felt it was unfair from the outset. The NUT has issued separate guidance on objective setting as part of appraisal. Teachers should challenge any objectives they think are unachievable or inappropriate at the outset and, if they are imposed, to record their objections in writing.  Failure to do this at the time does not, however, in any way obstruct the right to appeal on the basis that the objective was inappropriate or unachievable.The starting point, therefore, must be to look at the objectives themselves, before considering the teacher’s performance against them.  Look in particular at the appraisal policy and the advice it gives to managers with regard to setting objectives (and also at the training given to those setting the objectives).The aim in such situations will be to persuade the governing body that the decision to deny pay progression is unjustified because there has been sufficiently good performance even though a particular objective or objectives may not have been achieved.Were the objectives appropriate and achievable / attainable?  Or were they excessive or otherwise inappropriate, and if so why?  If so, you should argue for the objectives to be set aside and not used to determine pay progression. Did the teacher object to the objectives and were they imposed?  Did the teacher record those concerns?  If the teacher had concerns about the objectives, account should be taken of that fact.  What account was taken during the year of the fact that the member thought objectives were inappropriate or unachievable?  The fact that a teacher took this view should certainly not be seen as reflecting badly on the teacher, especially if later on they are deemed not to have been met.What support was available to the teacher to assist their achievement of the objectives?  Was this in the event lacking in any way?  This can be particularly relevant to objectives involving interaction with other teachers or agencies.How close did the teacher get to meeting the objectives?  This is particularly relevant in relation to objectives which were not agreed, or ones which were agreed at the time to be stretching objectives. The DfE advice itself recognises that not fully meeting objectives does not mean teachers should be denied pay progression, saying that schools might consider that “a teacher who has made good progress on, but not quite achieved, a very challenging objective has performed better and made a more significant contribution than a teacher who met in full a less stretching objective” (page 7, 3rd para).Some objectives are more important than others.  Which ones did the manager think were most important?  Did the teacher meet those more important objectives, even if not meeting others?If some objectives were met but not others, can it be argued that having met objectives in relation to classroom teaching standards, student achievement etc was more important than meeting objectives relating to other matters?  If the objectives missed are related to TLR responsibilities, argue that there should be flexibility in relation to pay progression – other teachers without TLR responsibilities would have progressed if they had achieved the same standards (or maybe even lower standards) on classroom practice and achievement by students taught.Challenging decisions based on student outcomes objectivesThe DfE advice to schools identifies a need for “targets and objectives that enable teachers to demonstrate performance, rather than simply results” (page 19. 1st para).The NUT argues that using student outcomes to measure teacher performance is inherently wrong and potentially misleading.  Student outcomes are affected by a range of factors outside of the control of an individual teacher.  These include home background as well as the contributions of other teachers, both past and present.  The resources made available by the school are also important.  Student learning cannot be fully measured according to performance in given tests.Better policies will at least make reference to extenuating circumstances.  This should be pressed in any case if there are any such circumstances – this could include arrivals or departures within the class, other disruptions within the class, or wider disruptions within the school.  The point noted earlier about the relative challenge of an objective, and other points about objectives, will all apply here as well.Challenging decisions based on lesson observationsFirst of all – is the manager who carried out the observation actually competent to pass judgement on the quality of lessons?  Have they been trained?  Ask to see their own records of the classroom observation – do those indicate a systematic approach was adopted?  Some classroom observation records are a lot less thorough than the lesson plan for the lesson being complained about.This point can also apply to other records kept by managers during the appraisal cycle eg book looks, drop ins, records of conversations – if these are in a mess, then that can cast doubt both on the quality and reliability of the manager’s judgement.How did the manager assess quality of teaching? If based only on lesson observations, cite the Ofsted position as recently adopted – Ofsted now says that basing an assessment of quality of a teacher’s teaching on a single lesson observation is not reliable, and Ofsted inspectors will not be allocating a grade to single lessons at all in future.  So how can judgements be reliably formed even on the basis of three lessons over the course of a year (especially if the criticism is that only one or two were not up to standard)?Challenging decisions based on pupil or parent feedbackSome schools may seek to use criteria based on pupil or parent feedback.  The NUT believes this is inappropriate – pupils and parents’ views are likely to be subjective and based on a lack of understanding of pedagogy.Challenging decisions based on requirements which teachers have not had the opportunity to meetDecisions based on criteria such as “the ability to coach and mentor others”, or actual experience of doing so, should be challenged where teachers (particularly those on the Main Pay Range) have not been allowed sufficient opportunity to do this work.Challenging decisions that don’t take learning curves into accountTeachers who are new in a role (whether in their early years of teaching, recently appointed to a post of responsibility, or simply new to a particular school or year group etc) are entitled to have that circumstance taken into account, both when objectives and expectations are set and when judgments are made.  The DfE advice says that “Teachers’ performance should be assessed against the relevant standards to a level that is consistent with what should reasonably be expected of a teacher in the relevant role and at the relevant stage of their career” (page 20, 4th para). Check the feedback given after observations, in interim reviews etc for any evidence about whether this happened.Challenging decisions based on inappropriate expectations of UPR teachersThe Upper Pay Range (aka Upper Pay Scale) is not a separate grade or post to the Main Pay Range. It does not create different or additional duties and responsibilities and should not lead to expectations on UPR teachers to undertake additional responsibilities without payment.  Teachers with additional responsibilities should be paid TLR payments for those responsibilities.  Progression should not, therefore, be denied to UPR teachers on the basis that additional responsibilities for which no TLR payment was given were not undertaken or not undertaken properly.Challenging decisions based on a need for trainingIdentifying professional development needs is not the same as identifying concerns about performance.   Everyone will have development needs in a broad sense throughout all stages if their career.  The development purpose of appraisal would be destroyed if a request for professional development was then used as justification for denying pay progression.  Simply having identified training needs – or having identified concerns for which training was allegedly required – should not be enough to deny progression.  That should only happen if the concerns were valid and the training (and other support) was provided but the concerns persisted after that had happened.  Similarly, the NUT would not accept denial of progression on the basis that teachers had not discharged a responsibility for identifying and meeting their own professional development needs.Challenging decisions on the basis of the financial impact of denying pay progressionMake sure governors understand the full financial losses that teachers will suffered when denied pay progression.The table in the Appendix sets out the total cumulative financial loss to a teacher who is denied their expected pay progression on just one occasion.   This loss will be suffered even if the teacher gets pay progression in every subsequent year on the expected basis (annual on the Main Pay Range, biennial on the Upper Pay Range) because they will continue to be paid on a lower pay point until they finally reach the top of the pay range.  This can represent, effectively, a massively disproportionate “fine” for just one year of perhaps marginal under-performance.Challenging decisions on the basis of potential discriminationDuring the first years of the threshold application system, clear evidence of discrimination on the basis of race was found by DfE monitoring.  The NUT fears that the new pay system will lead to discrimination against many teachers on grounds of age, part time status, gender, disability, sexual orientation etc as well as on grounds of race. The DfE advice contains guidance on monitoring equalities issues in pay decisions. If you believe that you have been discriminated against on these or any other grounds then you should specify this in your appeal, and you should also inform the NUT locally in such circumstances.Criteria based on contribution to pupil activities beyond the normal working day would clearly unfairly disadvantage some teachers and might even constituste unlawful discrimination.  Using such criteria would disadvantage teachers with family caring responsibilities and disproportionately affect women teachers.  Similarly, criteria relating to contributions to meetings held outside the school day or “overall contribution to the school” should be challenged where they require significant additional work beyond the school day.Challenging decisions to deny progression to teachers on maternity leave or extended sickness absenceThe DfE advice says that “Where a teacher is away from school because of maternity leave, it is unlawful for the school to deny that teacher an appraisal and subsequent pay progression decision because of her maternity” (page 15, 5th para).  Similar advice is given in respect of teachers on extended sickness absence.Such teachers must not be unfairly penalised in pay terms as a result of their absence.  Pay decisions must still be taken.  If they were present for some of the year, then they should be assessed on the basis of their work during that period (with account taken of any impact on their work of their pregnancy or early stages of ill health).  If they are absent for the full review period, the NUT argues that their previous pay recommendation should be the default position.The DfE advice contains guidance on protecting the position of such teachers in its guidance on equalities issues in pay decisions.  With regard to maternity leave, it says that “Schools should consider conducting appraisals prior to individuals departing on maternity leave, even if this is early in the appraisal year, and basing any appraisal and pay determination on the evidence of performance to date in that appraisal year. Account could also be taken of performance in previous appraisal periods if there is very little to go on in the current year” (page 16, 2nd para).  With regard to extended sickness absence, it says in the same paragraph that “Schools should consider utilising the same range of options [as] for teachers on maternity leave”.You should also check what has happened in relation to pay progression for teachers who have recently returned from maternity leave or extended sickness absence.  The DfE advice says that “When a teacher returns to work from maternity leave, the school must give her any pay increases that she would have received, following appraisal, had she not been on maternity leave” (page 15, 5th para) and advises similarly with regard to teachers returning from extended sickness leave.Applications to be paid on the Upper Pay Range (threshold applications)The STPCD includes more specific criteria about such applications, requiring the governing body to be satisfied that (a) the teacher is “highly competent” in all elements of the Teacher Standards / Practising Teacher Standards, and (b) the teacher’s achievements and contribution are substantial and sustained.  The pay policy should explain in more detail how the governing body will interpret these criteria and also explain the procedure and timetable for making and considering applications..As noted earlier, the NUT fears that some governing bodies will establish criteria which will – by accident or design – set much higher hurdles than previously for progression.  There is a danger that accessing the UPR will become much more difficult in some schools.  NUT reps should again ask, even before decisions start to be taken, whether the head teacher and governing body intend that rates of progression to the UPR should be in any way reduced as a result of the new policy on pay progression. WEBLINKSThe full NUT toolkit can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-teachers-pay-and-conditions-2014The DfE’s advice to schools on pay progression issues can be found at:  September 2014
      • National Union of Teachers
      • https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reviewing-and-revising-school-teachers-pay
      • The 2014 School Teachers’ Pay & Conditions Document can be found at:
      • www.teachers.org.uk/payandconditions/paytoolkit
      • PART 3
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      •  
      •  

       

       

       

      Appendix 1

      Financial Loss due to Denial of Pay Progression

       

      This table sets out the total cumulative financial loss to a teacher denied their expected pay progression on just one occasion – even if the teacher gets pay progression in every subsequent year on the expected basis (annual on the Main Pay Range, biennial on the Upper Pay Range).

       

       

       

      FINANCIAL LOSS DUE TO DENIAL OF PAY PROGRESSION
      E&W generally
      point loss total loss
      Main Pay Range
      Minimum M1 22,023 1,741 15,473
      M2 23,764 1,911 13,732
      M3 25,675 1,975 11,821
      M4 27,650 2,179 9,846
      M5 29,829 2,358 7,667
      Maximum M6 32,187 2,682 5,309
      Upper Pay Range
      Minimum U1 34,869 1,291 2,627
      U2 36,160 1,336 1,336
      Maximum U3 37,496
      Inner London
      point loss total loss
      Main Pay Range
      Minimum M1 27,543 1,437 18,362
      M2 28,980 1,510 16,925
      M3 30,490 1,589 15,415
      M4 32,079 2,468 13,826
      M5 34,547 2,572 11,358
      Maximum M6 37,119 5,213 8,786
      Upper Pay Range
      Minimum U1 42,332 2,079 3,573
      U2 44,411 1,494 1,494
      Maximum U3 45,905

       

       

       

       

      FINANCIAL LOSS DUE TO DENIAL OF PAY PROGRESSION
      Outer London
      loss total loss
      Main Pay Range
      Minimum M1 25,623 1,588 15,624
      M2 27,211 1,685 14,036
      M3 28,896 1,789 12,351
      M4 30,685 2,602 10,562
      M5 33,287 2,536 7,960
      Maximum M6 35,823 2,532 5,424
      Upper Pay Range
      Minimum U1 38,355 1,420 2,892
      U2 39,775 1,472 1,472
      Maximum U3 41,247
      Fringe Area
      loss total loss
      Main Pay Range
      Minimum M1 23,082 1,739 15,473
      M2 24,821 1,910 13,734
      M3 26,731 1,982 11,824
      M4 28,713 2,174 9,842
      M5 30,887 2,357 7,668
      Maximum M6 33,244 2,683 5,311
      Upper Pay Range
      Minimum U1 35,927 1,289 2,628
      U2 37,216 1,339 1,339
      Maximum U3 38,555

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      [1] See page 9 for advice in relation to applications to be paid on the Upper Pay Range (“threshold applications”).

    • For NUT reps and NUT members:

       

      • Establish and note the essential facts. Ensure as far as possible that you know everything you need to be aware of and have all the relevant information and paperwork.  Check the facts to be sure.
      • Find out if other NUT members are experiencing similar things – ask at a meeting, conduct a survey or ask informally.
      • Write everything down. Keep clear written notes of all conversations and copies of all correspondence.
      • Know your policies and key documentation. Copy, annotate and highlight relevant sections.
      • Check that NUT membership is up-to-date – if it isn’t, this will need to be rectified before any advice or representation is provided.For NUT reps:
      • Check to see whether other members of the NUT are involved in the situation.
      • Ensure that the member is involved in decisions; discuss your plans in advance; and respect confidentiality.
      • Don’t worry about telling the member that you don’t know the answer. Seek support when you need to.
      • Publicise successes to build your members’ strength and confidence.

      2

       

      CHECKLIST FOR MEETINGS

       

      Preparing your case

       

      • Arrange a pre-meeting. Make sure that you have clarified your position and views and the facts of the case as you will need to represent them to management / governors. Decide on your key arguments, tactics and any signals that you may use between you, such as the need to request an adjournment.
      • Consider likely arguments from the other side and prepare counter-arguments and answers to difficult issues. You can never be certain what they will say but it can be useful to anticipate their approach.
      • Know the policies and key documentation – it may help you to feel confident and look well-prepared if you take paperwork into the meeting with key sections or quotes highlighted.Meeting with management / governors
      •  
      •  
      • If you find that the room has been laid out in a way that disadvantages you, suggest that it is changed.Never disagree in front of management.
      •  
      •  
      • Steer discussion to your strongest points. Object if you get evasive answers and ask for facts if vague statements are made.
      • Use brief adjournments, when needed, to regroup or consider new information. If a longer adjournment is necessary, ask for one – and agree the new time and date before you leave.
      • Ensure there is an agreed, written record of the outcome. Reporting back
      •  
      •  
      • If you have been successful, consider making sure that members and non-members know what has been achieved and use this to build your members’ strength and confidence. 
      •  

      WEBLINKS

       

      The full NUT toolkit can be found at:

      www.teachers.org.uk/payandconditions/paytoolkit

       

      The 2014 School Teachers’ Pay & Conditions Document can be found at:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-teachers-pay-and-conditions-2014

       

      The DfE’s advice to schools on pay progression issues can be found at:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reviewing-and-revising-school-teachers-pay

       

       

      National Union of Teachers

      September 2014

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Urgent: News for all members re: current campaigns and action

STAND UP FOR EDUCATION – STAND UP FOR TEACHERS CAMPAIGN

Further to the update sent to you all on 29 August, the Executive met today to agree the final content and timetable for the member consultation.  The Executive agreed the following.

  1. That the Union continues with the Stand Up For Education campaign building on our success of last term and continues to seek to influence the policies of all parties which might form part of a new government.
  2. That the Union issue material to members to indicate how they can and should support the local government union strike if they strike on 14 October following the TUC, the PSLG, and the second meeting with the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan.
  3. That the Union encourages representatives and union groups to continue with ASOS and to encourage requests for escalation where that is appropriate over pay polices and appraisal policies.
  4. That the Union consults members on based on the proposed questions but refined if necessary following the TUC and Urge members to Vote YES/Vote.
  5. That the union continues to seek discussions with teacher unions as well as the wider movement about coordination of action
  6. That the Union continues to engage in talks with the DFE/Nicky Morgan pressing for discussion on matters of policy not just implementation and for real changes that will benefit teachers and education and to report fully on those discussions to members.
  7. That there should be a special executive on 23 October to consider the results of the consultation, the discussions with other unions and the talks with the DFE.

The consultation will begin on 26 September and close on 22 October.  Please encourage school representatives to hold meetings to discuss the consultation document and the Union’s manifesto document (both of which will be despatched with The Teacher magazine from 15 September).

ADVICE AND GUIDANCE

Pensions Termly Update: Autumn 2014

This update sets out pensions news on a variety of issues, including introduction of the career average scheme from April 2015, the Teachers’ Pension Scheme Valuation 2012 and Budget 2014 pension measures. The update can be found here.

ACTION MATTERS

You are encouraged to send messages of solidarity for local action planned at Sir Thomas More Catholic Academy/Stoke-on-Trent to Ivan Hickman, please email secretary@stoke-on-trent-division.nut.org.uk.  The school is planning to take action on 9, 10 and 11 September 2014.

HARINGEY NUT DIVISION SECRETARY SUSPENDED

In the 18 July e-Bulletin we reported that the Haringey Division Secretary, Julie Davies, had been suspended by the council on spurious charges and told she was not allowed to communicate with any teachers from the borough, pending an investigation.

The Union was in the High Court yesterday (4 September) in an attempt to obtain an injunction against the Council.  Unfortunately, this request was rejected by the Court so the Union will continue to support and represent Julie at the next stage of hearings at local level.

Please sign this petition and send messages of support to the Deputy Secretary of Haringey NUT, Niall O’Connor at: nialloconnor@haringeynut.org.uk

INTERNATIONAL

Ask your MP to back Michael Moore MP’s Private Members’ Bill

12 September 2014 will see the second reading of Michael Moore MP’s Private Members’ Bill to enshrine Britain’s 0.7% aid commitment in law.  To find out more and to urge your MP to pledge to attend and support the Second Reading, fulfil their Party’s 2010 manifesto commitment and vote to deliver Britain’s promise to the poorest go to www.turnupsavelives.org.uk.  Please bring this to the attention of International Solidarity Officers and members locally.

Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Action Group (NSCAG)

NSCAG works in solidarity with Nicaraguan organisations and social movements fighting for social and economic justice by promoting and seeking support for their activities in the UK. NSCAG is made up of 450 individual members throughout the UK. Local associations are encouraged to affiliate to NSCAG. For more information and to affiliate visit http://www.nscag.org/join-us/

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

World Teachers’ Day Event, Amnesty International Action Centre, London: Wednesday, 1 October 2014: 18:00-21:00

In support of Education International’s Unite for Quality Education campaign, this year’s World Teachers’ Day event will focus on keeping teaching and learning environments safe. The keynote speakerParwin Wafa, is an Afghan headteacher who has been threatened and suffered the kidnapping and brutal murder of her son since opening a school for girls in eastern Afghanistan.  For more information and to apply to attend go to https://2014wtd.eventbrite.co.uk. Please bring this event to the attention of International Solidarity Officers and members locally.

NUT Retired Teachers’ Convention 2014: NUT Headquarters, London: Tuesday, 7 October 2014: 11:00-16:00

The Convention fee is £20, including lunch, and you are encouraged, where possible, to make funds available to assist retired members to participate.

For additional details and a booking form please visit here or call Anita Brown on 020 7380 4765.  Registration forms plus payment should be returned to Anita Brown, NUT, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9BD by 26 September.

TUC National Demonstration, Central London: Saturday, 18 October 2014 from 11.00

Plans for the TUC’s Britain needs a pay rise march and rally calling for an economic recovery that works for everyone, not just those at the top, are progressing well.  The NUT is fully committed to supporting the demonstration.  Further information about the demo, the route, coach parking arrangement and materials can be found here.

Divisions are asked to actively encourage members in their region to attend the demonstration.

NUT Supply Teacher Lobby, House of Commons, London: Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Please encourage supply teacher members in your region to participate in the lobby.  We will this week provide you with information on how they can register online and take part in the lobby, and email their MP to request a meeting via the NUT website.  We’re also working on further guidance and materials for lobbyists. Any queries can be directed to lobby@nut.org.uk

Upcoming Equality Conferences

Black Teachers Conference – Friday, 7 to Sunday, 9 November 2014.  Further information on the conference can be found here www.teachers.org.uk/black-teachers-conference

LGBT Teachers Conference – Saturday, 29 November 2014.  Further information on the conference can be found here www.teachers.org.uk/conferences/LGBT-teachers

It is expected that all divisions/associations will send at least one delegate to the following NUT conferences.  Please also publicise the events on your local websites so that we ensure as many members as possible from the equalities groups get the opportunity to attend.

Walter Hines Page Scholarships

The NUT-sponsored Walter Hines Page scholarships offer teachers the chance to explore educational ideas between Britain and America.  Scholars travel to the US to study an aspect of education relevant to their own professional interests. The 2014/15 winners were Thomas Bigglestone, from Channing School for Girls, Highgate and Nial Pickering, SEN teacher at Sir Thomas Picton School, Haverfordwest.

Details and an application form for the NUT Scholarship can be obtained from a.bush@nut.org.uk.   Applications must be returned by 21 December 2014.

Details of the ESU Page and Chautauqua Scholarships can be found on the English Speaking Union website; please click here for information.

The ESU closing date is 5 January 2015.  Interviews are scheduled for Thursday, 5 March 2015.

Michael Lees – Retirement Gift

Michael Lees, the asbestos campaigner who has worked with the NUT for ten years, was the recipient of the Fred and Anne Jarvis award at Annual Conference and was awarded an MBE in July for his tireless dedication to the cause, has decided to retire in May 2015.  Michael has given his expertise freely to many associations and schools where serious asbestos problems have occurred, ensuring the safety of NUT members and the whole school community. Michael‘s attendance at the Health and Safety Advisers’ Briefing in November will be his last.

We are asking local associations and divisions for a contribution to his retirement gift, which will be presented at the Advisers’ Briefing, and to facilitate the process we have set up a separate email account where you can send details of  your donation; the sum will then be deducted from your local subscriptions in November. If you email donations@nut.org.uk with the name of your association and the amount you are donating by Monday, 20 October, this will allow enough time to organise the gift.

NUT representative of the year and NUT officer of the year

Nominations are now open for the 2014/15 awards. They recognise the contribution made by local NUT representatives and officers and help identify and share good practice.

Nominations are invited from all members of the NUT.  They are asked to complete an online nomination form here. The closing date for nominations is 12 December 2014.

For further information please see here or email recruit@nut.org.uk

IN THE NEWS

In Guardian letters page (29 July)  NUT Executive member Roger King had a letter published regarding the situation in Birmingham schools

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Summer end of term report : Goodbye Gove but there is still much to be done!

STAND UP FOR EDUCATION STAND UP FOR TEACHERS CAMPAIGN

It would not have escaped your attention that Michael Gove was demoted on Tuesday.

We should be proud of the role that the NUT’s Stand up for Education campaign played in bringing about his departure – the lobbying of MPs, the street stalls to engage with parents, the industrial action taken by members – this all had a demonstrable impact.

Mr Gove may have left but, of course, his policies remain.  The General Secretary has written to the new Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan MP, seeking an early meeting. It is hoped that the change in personality coincides with an improvement in Government policy and a new willingness to enter into serious negotiations with trade unions.

The Executive met yesterday and agreed a number of steps to re-launch our successful Stand up for Education campaign in the autumn. There will be a consultation with members about our ongoing strategy and campaign. The Union’s manifesto for the General Election will also be launched. This will form the basis for lobbying activity with prospective parliamentary candidates in the run up to the General Election on 7 May 2015.

ADVICE AND GUIDANCE

De-Delegation: A Joint Union Toolkit for Local/District Union Representatives

The Union continues to meet regularly with our sister unions, the ATL, the NAHT and the NASUWT to press ahead with the campaign to protect trade union facility time in schools.  The four unions have revised the De-Delegation Toolkit, which includes guidance on how to handle the next round of Schools Forum meetings and how to persuade all schools to participate in local facilities time arrangements.  It also includes a suite of joint union letters some of which will be issued nationally from the unions, others of which may be adapted and issued by local officers as circumstances dictate. The De-Delegation Toolkit can be accessed on Hearth using the following link: http://www.teachers.org.uk/protecting-facility-time  (this is a password protected link please login to Hearth and copy and paste it in to your browser).

You are urged to read the Toolkit cover note and to consider how your division might best utilise the materials to secure the best outcome for the NUT within the boundaries of your local authority and, ultimately, for the NUT nationally.  We ask that you please continue to keep your regional offices informed of developments and wish you all the best in your endeavours to protect your Union and your members.

HARINGEY NUT DIVISION SECRETARY SUSPENDED

The Haringey Division Secretary, Julie Davies, has been suspended by the council on spurious charges and told she is not allowed to communicate with any teachers from the borough, pending an investigation.

We are concerned that this is a politically motivated and baseless attack on an effective and well-respected Division Secretary.

Please sign this petition and send messages of support to the Deputy Secretary of Haringey NUT, Niall O’Connor at: nialloconnor@haringeynut.org.uk

INTERNATIONAL

Steve Sinnott Award for International Solidarity 2015

This newly instituted Award in honour of the late NUT General Secretary Steve Sinnott, seeks to foster and celebrate significant contributions to international solidarity by members.  Do you know an NUT member or group of members who should be commended for their international work at association/division/school level?  For more information about the Award, or to suggest a nomination, please contact international@nut.org.uk.  The winner will be presented with the Award at NUT Annual Conference 2015.

Stop Israel’s Apartheid Wall

It has been 10 years since the International Course of Justice (ICJ) ruled the construction of Israel’s Apartheid Wall in the occupied Palestinian West Bank illegal under international law.  Sign War on Want’s Petition and call on the British government to hold Israel to account.  Please bring this campaign to the attention of members locally.

Unite for Quality Education Campaign – World Teachers’ Day: 5 October 2014

For World Teachers’ Day 5 October, declare your support for the objectives of the Unite for Quality Education Campaign.  Click here for information on where to send an email or text message, which will be forwarded to Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, Irene Bokova, Director General of UNESCO and to Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy on Education.  Let them know you support the call for Quality Education for All.

IN THE NEWS

The General Secretary was prominent amongst those reacting to the movement of Michael Gove and Nicky Morgan in the reshuffle.  The General Secretary appeared live on all the major TV news networks – BBC, ITN, Sky News – and radio, telling viewers that “teachers’ faces will be wreathed in smiles” at the news of Gove’s departure from the education brief.  The General Secretary’s remarks were quoted widely in print.  An audio recording of her BBC News appearance can be heard here.

ITV’s breakfast show Good Morning Britain took a trip to Stoke Rochford Hall on Wednesday morning in order to carry a live interview with the General Secretary.  If you are registered with ITV Player, the interview can be viewed from 6.20am here.

This will be the final e-Bulletin for this term. In the event that we need to communicate urgently with you over the summer break, we will email you all.  We wish you all a restful and enjoyable summer from the e-Bulletin Team.140618-strike-709x429

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Message from Christine Blower on July 10th

10 July 2014

Commenting on the day of action across England and Wales, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:

“Thank you to all the teachers who took strike action today alongside five other public sector unions. We know this is not a decision that was taken lightly.

“Extraordinarily the Government’s response to today’s action has been to completely ignore the issues and instead seek to reduce people’s right to strike. There is no point pontificating on the fact that citizens have the right to strike if every time they do so they are vilified. It is a clear indication that this Government does not want to listen to our concerns, nor do they want them drawn to the general public’s attention.

“The reason why this dispute is so long running is due to the absolute failure of this Government to engage in any meaningful discussions on the main issues of our dispute. The responsibility for today’s action lies fairly and squarely at the door of Government. It is high time that we saw some significant movement. Teachers love their jobs but unless their concerns on pay, pensions and workload are addressed teacher recruitment will certainly become an issue

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Action Essentials

Action Notices and Strike Constituency
The notices were sent to all employers in the ballot group from Monday, 23 June 2014. Notices were issued in respect of both the 2011 pension ballot and the 2012 pay and conditions ballot.

Supply teachers
Supply teachers are equally affected by the issues underlying the dispute. All NUT supply teacher members were included in the 2012 pay and conditions ballot for schools and academies. However, they can only take part in strike action or action short of strike action where they are employed directly by local authorities or schools and academies. They cannot take part where they are undertaking work for which they are employed by a supply teaching agency. We have written to all NUT supply teachers with this advice.

Independent schools
Members in independent schools were included in the 2011 pension ballot if they taught in schools which opted into the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. At that time, the Secretary of State was threatening to deny all teachers in the private sector access to the pension scheme but, partly as a result of the strike action in 2011, these proposals were abandoned. We are, therefore, not calling upon our members in the independent sector to take action on 10 July. Members from the independent sector should be encouraged to participate in solidarity activities in support of NUT members taking action, by contributing to a local hardship fund or sending a message of support to their local officer.

Sixth form colleges
All sixth form colleges are included in the pension dispute. Only those colleges that are members of the Forum are parties to the Pay and Conditions ballot; the following colleges have not, therefore, been sent strike notices in respect of the pay and conditions dispute:

Central Sussex College (Haywards Heath Campus)
Chichester 6FC
City & Islington 6FC
John Ruskin College
Salford City College (Eccles site)
Salford City College (Pendleton site)
South East Essex 6FC
Stockton Riverside College Bede Sixth Form
Sussex Downs College (Park College site)
Trinity Catholic College (St Marys site)
Worthing College

Free schools
Free schools are not excluded from the action but only those schools which were established at the time at which we gave notice of the pay and conditions ballot (June 2012) can be included in the strike action.

Centrally employed members
Members employed as teachers in central LA services were not automatically included in the ballots. Any such members who undertake teaching work in schools as part of their job were, however, able to be included in the ballots and can take part in the action. Soulbury-paid members were not covered by these ballots and they are not being called on to take part in the action short of strike action or the planned strike.

Workplace list
A database of all schools/colleges and other workplaces included in the ballot cohort will be posted soon on Hearth in the ‘action essentials’ section

Non-Receipt of Strike Notices
Regional/Wales colleagues will have access via the on-line retrieval system to all notice letters sent to self-governing schools (VA, trust, foundation, standalone academies) and Local Authority notices.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Please refer to the FAQ document to assist you in answering member and Rep queries.

Local campaign advertising

Generic campaign adverts have been created to assist associations and divisions when placing local adverts.  Local newspapers will often adjust adverts as part of a booking.  Where this isn’t possible support is available from HQ.

The generic adverts have been created for England and Wales. These are also available in mono.

They can be altered to match different sized bookings.  There is an opportunity for a short local message or contact details to be included in the advert.  This work is carried out by the union’s design house, Paragraphics.

In order to deliver the artwork Paragraphics require the following information:

  • Your name and association
  • A contact telephone number
  • The name of the newspaper
  • The publication date
  • A contact name, email and telephone number at the newspaper
  • The dimensions of the advert, whether it is mono or colour and delivery details (the mechanical data)
  • Any local message you may wish to include.

Please email these details to support@rt.paragraphics.co.uk.  You will receive an acknowledgement by email.

The responsibility is on local associations and divisions to book and pay for local adverts

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Latest Strike News

STAND UP FOR EDUCATION STAND UP FOR TEACHERS CAMPAIGN

Members are taking action on Thursday, 10 July alongside colleagues from Unison, Unite, PCS, FBU and the GMB.

A document outlining five reasons why we are striking is available on the National website: “www.teachers.org.uk”.

Answers to lots of frequently asked questions about the action can be found here.

Where they have been advised, the details of marches and rallies can be found on the Union’s website. Associations and divisions that have given information on local events will be contacted by the Union’s mailing house to confirm delivery addresses and the amount of materials required.  Resources are limited so we cannot guarantee that requests will be completely met.  All deliveries will be posted on Monday for guaranteed delivery by 12 noon Tuesday, 8 July 2014.

Street stalls and Education Question Times are happening across the country with support building from parents and the public. Please do remember to register details of street stalls and email information about Education Question Times to campaigns@nut.org.uk.

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Lobby parliament: 10 June

We are now in the run up to next May’s general election, a period in which MPs are most alert to voters’ concerns and most susceptible to pressure. To ensure that MPs hear from us directly, we are lobbying parliament on 10 June. We need your help.

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