Pay and Pensions

Right at the end of the Summer Term the government published their proposals for the annual teacher pay award. It was clear from the timing of the announcement that Damian Hinds wanted to use the Summer holiday to deflect teacher anger. We should not let him do so.

Following reports in previous years, highlighting growing problems with teacher recruitment and retention, the School Teacher Review Body (STRB) recommended an increase of 3.5% on all pay points and allowances.
This in itself was below the NEU's claim for a 5% increase as a first step towards restoring the value of teachers pay which has fallen by 15% in real terms since 2010.
However the response from the government was to ignore the STRB (for the first time since its inception in 1992) and propose the following: 

3.5% on the main scale, 2% on the upper scale, 1.5% on the leadership scale and 2% on TLRs and other allowances.

This means that the majority of teachers will once again receive a below inflation pay rise.

Further the government has said that schools will have to find 1% of the money from already depleted school budgets.

We believe that the award does not address the long term problems of recruitment and retention and in fact merely exacerbates them.

Joint union pay scales 2018-19

A very useful Powerpoint outlining the Pay and Funding campaign can be downloaded from here

                                                      Appraisal and Pay Progression

 The start of the autumn term is always a time for Appraisal reports and pay progression judgements. I have therefore outlined below a reminder for you of how these should be operating in your school. If they are not then please discuss them with your work colleagues,  NEU Rep or contact us.
The notes refer to the Model Appraisal and Pay Policies for Islington local Authority. These are the result of past and recent negotiations with the NEU. These should have been adopted by your school and are therefore the conditions under which you should be working. If your school has not adopted these policies or has amended them then we need to know so that we can discuss with members at your schools what action we can take to ensure that their conditions are the same as other Islington colleagues.

Pay Progression
Pay progression is separate from the cost of living increases referred to earlier. Teachers should progress each year and decisions not to progress up the pay spine should only be made in circumstances where concerns about standards of performance have been raised in writing as part of the appraisal process. There should be no surprises. Hence such decisions  should be properly rooted in evidence provided as part of the appraisal process. The written appraisal report at the end of the cycle is the only source of evidence required to support pay progression. Teachers are able to submit additional evidence if they choose but will not be penalised if they choose not to do so.
Schools cannot deny pay progression because of budgetary constraints; the decision must be clearly attributable to the performance of the teacher in question.
Progression within the upper pay scale does not require an application. It will be where performance over at least two academic years in the school has been in line with the appraisal policy. i.e. they have two successful performance management reviews.
For new appointees the teacher’s performance appraisal reports from previous schools can be considered.
Teachers have a right of appeal against being denied pay progression. Appeals can be made on the following grounds (although this list is not exhaustive): incorrectly applied pay policy, incorrectly applied any provision of the STPD, failure to have proper regard for statutory guidance, failure to take proper account of relevant evidence, was biased, discriminatory.  Don’t suffer in silence, the denial of pay progression for just one year will have a cumulative effect on the amount received in future years. This could amount to over £15000
Good advice on  pay appeals can be found on the NEU website at
Being rejected for pay progression can make teachers feel like failures, but it is not staff who are failing but the system we are working under. Unreasonable workloads, unachievable targets, a lack of time and resources all make it harder to meet the ever growing demands. Performance pay is designed to be divisive but trade unions have always said ‘unity is strength’. If colleagues are rejected for pay progression don’t just accept it, with colleagues thing about collective school action.  Colleagues being rejected isn’t only their personal concern, it’s an issue for all teachers in the school, next time it could be you.

Appraisal review of the previous year
Within two months of the end of each appraisal period (31st October) you should receive:
  • Details of the teacher’s objectives for the appraisal period in question (There should have been a maximum of 3)
  • An assessment of the teacher’s performance of their role and responsibilities against their objectives and any relevant standards connected to these objectives
  • An assessment of the teacher’s training and development needs and identification of any action that should be taken to address them
  • A recommendation on pay
Your performance against your objectives and the teacher standards are the focus of the appraisal process and should therefore be the focus of the review. There is no requirement for you to record detailed assessments against each of the Teachers’ Standards and bullets. Teachers should not be required to complete this as a checklist.
Indeed your assessment against the teachers’ standards should start from the premise that all teachers are meeting the standards and they should be assessed as meeting the standards unless evidence to the contrary is provided.
No evaluation of individual teachers should have been made during Learning walks or drop-ins and any such visit should not form part of the appraisal process.
Teachers have a right of appeal against the outcome of their appraisal

Setting Next Year’s Objectives
Choice of Appraiser
Where teachers have an objection, for professional reasons, to the choice of appraiser they should put them in writing to the head teacher who has a duty to consider the objections carefully. Where appropriate an alternative appraiser should be offered although the final decision is the head teachers’. All appraisers should be qualified teachers and have current or recent teaching experienced.

Teachers should have a maximum of 3 objectives and the agreed objectives should contain a description of what success may look like. They should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound and should be appropriate to the teacher’s role and level of experience.
  • Objectives should not normally be numerically based unless agreed to be appropriate by the appraisee. Where the use of numerical targets is thought to be appropriate, these will be reasonable in the circumstances in which the teacher works and it will be recognised that factors outside the teachers control may significantly affect success.
  • Objectives should not be based on lesson grading
  • Objectives should have regard to what can reasonably be expected in the context of roles, responsibilities and experience, and taking into consideration work/life balance.
The appraiser and teacher should seek to agree the objectives, but, if that is not possible, the appraiser will determine the objectives and the teacher may record their comments in writing as an appendix to the appraisal statement.
Objectives may be revised if circumstances change in consultation with the appraisee.

general office,
15 Nov 2018, 05:19
NEU Secretary,
9 Oct 2018, 03:04
general office,
21 Dec 2015, 06:25