Pay for teachers and leaders is set to rise by at least 5% across England and Wales with many teachers on the main pay scale receiving more than this. Pay for school support staff is set to increase by a fixed £1,925* (for full-time staff and pro-rata for part-time), which means, for example, a teaching assistant on SCP 5 will receive a 9.8% pay increase.
Due to the flat rate increase, any member of the school support staff team earning over £38,500 (full-time equivalent) will receive less than a 5% pay award, with many ASCL members in business leadership roles receiving less than 3%.
This means that they will be the only members of the directly-employed school workforce to receive a pay award below 5%. This is particularly detrimental this year when considering that inflation is currently running at 12.3%.
The different systems for determining pay across the education sector mean it is unlikely that there will be any change to this situation, something that ASCL finds intolerable for members.
Open letter highlighting unfairness of pay award
ASCL has written an open letter to all schools and trusts highlighting the unfairness of the NJC pay award for those working in business leadership roles who will receive a lower pay award than all other school staff. The letter calls on all employers to address this unfairness by whatever means they have at their disposal, including honorarium payments (see section below).
We hope to see employers being proactive and supportive in their approach to this to help redress the unique and unfair circumstances presented by this year’s pay awards. We ask all members to please share this letter with your governing boards and trustees.
Read the letter in full here
Honoraria – a potential short-term help
Many local authority, MAT, academy and school pay policies contain the provision to pay an honorarium in situations where additional pay is warranted but is not allowed for elsewhere in the policy. A typical provision is:
“An honorarium is a payment agreed by the headteacher in consultation with the CEO, for undertaking higher level duties or responsibilities. These may be a proportion of a higher level post, or may be a piece of work that falls outside an established post, such as a new project or initiative
The wording varies from policy to policy and some use different terms instead of honorarium such as allowances, payments, or rewarding additional duties.
Where there is scope within a pay policy (you will need to check yours to find out), we believe that employers should utilise the provision of an honorarium payment for all those in business leadership roles who will receive a pay award of less than 5%.
Where this doesn’t happen routinely, school business leaders should consider applying for such schemes to help address the shortfall in their pay as a result of the particular circumstances in 2022.
We have drafted a model letter that you can use to put forward the suggestion that an honorarium should be paid – you will need to fill in the gaps and amend it to reflect your pay policy. Employers may also use this letter to take the proposal to their Pay Committee for approval.
Download template letter here
*Please note that there are slightly different rates for London authorities who are involved in the London Regional Agreement.