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april 2012 newsletter final by hwu26r


Croydon Schools HR Consultancy
April 2012

An overview of key HR issues for schools to consider and review
over the Summer Term 2012

April 2012
Incremental Progression for Support Staff

Following the Employment Based Cost Review (EBCR) the arrangements for incremental
progression for support staff have changed.

In community, voluntary aided and schools which adopted EBCR, incremental progression is
now dependent on achieving an excellent rating in the annual performance review. All excellent
ratings should be reviewed by a moderating panel which will recommend whether or not an
increment can be awarded. In addition to receiving an excellent rating, increments may only be
awarded if the individual:

   -   has been in post for the full performance year (1 April 2011 – 31 March 2012)
   -   has not reached the top of the incremental range for their grade

Schools which purchase the Council’s payroll should use the “increment instruction form” (which
can be found at
to inform payroll of the change. All increments will be backdated to 1 April 2012.

Foundation and voluntary aided schools which have not adopted EBCR are not affected by this
change. Staff in these schools will increment as normal from 1 April 2012.

Occupational Health

The Occupational Health Service is introducing a new on line system for referrals and pre
employment questionnaires which will lead to a more efficient and quicker service with the
added benefit that schools will be able to track each step of the process. On line referrals were
introduced on 16 April 2012 and schools were advised of this at the end of last term. Electronic
pre employment health questionnaires will be introduced on 16 May 2012.

The new referral process

Schools will need to review the guidance on the Croydon schools website so that they are able
to make electronic referrals to Occupational Health: this will include setting up user profiles.
Within the guidance there are quick links to enable schools to complete this process.

Schools will now be responsible for submitting Occupational Health referrals and they will no
longer be sent via the HR Consultant. The HR Consultants will however continue to be able to
support schools in preparing referrals, and it is recommended that schools send draft copies of
their referrals to their HR Consultant before submitting them.

Pre employment health questionnaires

Pre employment health questionnaires are an essential part of the recruitment process. All
offers of employment should be subject to satisfactory checks prior to employment which
includes references, CRBs and medical checks. The purpose of the medical checks is to
ensure that new recruits are fit to work within the school environment. In the case of teachers
there are statutory ‘Fitness to teach’ regulations that have to be assessed by a medical
professional as part of the recruitment process.

In order for the appropriate reviews to take place, pre employment questionnaires should be
submitted as soon as the offer of employment has been made. The new process will be for
schools to include a link to the health questionnaire in offer letters. Further information about
how this will work will be made available to schools in the early part of the term.

Full information about the new processes can be found on the schools HR website -


Payroll: data inputting

To improve the support we are able to offer to schools using the Council’s payroll we are
increasing capacity within our HR data team. In the future the data processing officers will be
leading on systems support and development. The work they currently undertake inputting
payroll data is now being handled by our payroll provider, Liberata. Schools already have a
named link at Liberata who is now their first point of contact for all payroll matters. The email
address for payroll remains the same –

Payslip delivery

The delivery of payslips for staff in schools which purchase the payroll service has been via the
school courier service. Payslips will continue to be delivered via the courier service and they
will be delivered on the fourth Friday of the month. Schools which have purchased the courier
service SLA and are having two deliveries a week will receive the payslips in the delivery after
they are received at the Council offices. Depending on the decisions individual schools have
made about the courier service SLA, it may be the case that payslips will reach schools a few
days later than has previously been the case. In schools where this will happen, staff will need
to be advised of the change.

Payroll deadlines

The payroll deadlines for the financial year 2012-13 can be found on the schools HR website -

CHRIS self service training

There will be a training session on CHRIS self service on

12 June 2012
2.00 – 5.00
Taberner House

The session will be an introduction to the system and is aimed at those who have not used self
service or who would like a refresher session. To book a place, contact
HR Administration handbook

The HR Administration handbook has been updated and reviewed. New flow charts have been
added to it giving clear guidance about each transactional process and the respective roles of
schools and the HR and payroll services. The revised handbook will be available on the
schools HR website by the end of April 2012.

Overseas teachers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand the USA

New regulations have been introduced to allow teachers from Australia, Canada, New Zealand
the USA who are recognized as fully qualified teachers in their own countries to be awarded
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) in England without the need for further assessment. Teachers
must apply to the Teaching Agency before they can be awarded QTS. Full details about the
new arrangements and the application form can be found at

All overseas teachers regardless of their home country and duration of visa must join the
teachers’ pension scheme on appointment unless they choose to opt out. Please contact the
Teachers Pensions Team at for further advice.

Recognition of Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS)
status in schools

New regulations have been introduced that allow the status of QTLS to be recognized in
schools. Holders of QTLS can be recognized as qualified teachers provided they are and
continue to remain members of the Institute for Learning (IfL). Schools need to check with the
IfL that a teacher has QTLS status before appointing them. Further details about the
arrangements can be found at

Teacher Standards

New national standards for teachers have been developed. The standards relating to conduct
came into effect from 1 April 2012 and the standards relating to professional practice come into
effect on 1 September 2012.

As part of the revised appraisal process for teachers, teachers will need to be assessed against
the professional standards as part of their annual performance review. HR and School
Improvement are working together to provide guidance and training for schools about the
standards and the new appraisal process. A new model appraisal policy based on DfE
guidance is being developed.

The standards can be found at
HR Policies

After consultation with the Teachers Professional Associations and Trade Unions, we have
produced a model pay policy which has been added to the schools policy handbook on the
website, The model pay policy applies to teachers and support staff for
all types of schools

We have also produced a rewarding additional duties policy for support staff. This policy and
procedure replaces the arrangements for honoraria and ensures a flexible and efficient method
to reward employees carrying out duties in over and above those contained within their role. It
also ensures that the process is monitored for equality purposes. The policy can be found on
the Croydon schools HR website – .

We have been working with the Teachers Professional Associations to develop a new capability
policy for teachers which is based on the new model policy produced by the DfE. This policy
should be available on the schools HR website by the end of May.

We will also be developing a new model appraisal policy for teachers, incorporating a classroom
observation protocol, and this will be available on the website later this term. The policy will be
based on the DfE’s model policy.

The policies will need to be adopted by the governing body, and we recommend that they are
included on the governing body agenda for this term. Once the policies have been adopted by
governors they should be given to staff and they should be asked to sign a form to say that they
have received them.

Agencies and outside contractors: safer recruitment checks

When schools engage staff from recruitment agencies or via contractors, it is essential that they
ensure the agency or contractor is following safer recruitment practices. It has come to our
attention that some external organisations are not always following good practice, and schools
need to reassure themselves about the recruitment practices of the organisations they use.

The statutory guidance on Safer Recruitment states the following about employment agencies
and contractors:

It is important that schools obtain written assurance from agencies and contractors (whose staff
work with or provide services for children for whom the school is responsible) that specifies that
they operate procedures that include features described in the Safer Recruitment training and
that any staff supplied to the school will have been subject to those safeguards.

Employment agencies that supply staff to schools must make the same checks on those staff as
schools are required to make on staff they employ directly. Schools are legally required to
obtain written confirmation from an agency that it has carried out all the appropriate checks on
staff it supplies and that those are satisfactory. Further details on the can be found in chapter
four of Safeguarding Children and Safer Recruitment in Education, DCSF 2006.

In relation to contractors, schools should ensure that the terms of the contract with the
contractor sets out their requirement to adopt and implement the measures described in DfE
Safer Recruitment practices when recruiting staff.
The school must monitor contractors’ and agencies’ compliance with the requirement and
regularly review the safer recruitment policies, procedures and practices used by their suppliers.

Extended schools that use contractors to provide services before or after school hours should
make similar arrangements to ensure that the staff employed by the contractor are properly
recruited and vetted.

The key areas that schools should seek reassurance from their providers about are:
   - whether two satisfactory references have been provided including a reference from the
      most recent employer (it is good practice for agencies to supply schools with copies of
      the references)
   - how the ISA barred list for children (the old List 99) is checked and how CRB checks are
   - how positive CRB disclosure information is managed and decisions taken about the
      suitability of an individual to work with children and young people
CRB Service

In response to the problems that have been experienced with CRB forms not reaching Taberner
House, we have introduced a CRB application receipt form which can be found at Schools that complete this
form and enclose it with their CRB applications will receive an acknowledgment of receipt.

Schools that require a check of the ISA barred list for children (the old List 99) should contact
the CRB Administrator at

When positive disclosures are received from the national CRB, schools are contacted for
further information so that the Council’s safeguarding panel are able to provide advice.
Schools need to state, with as much detail as possible, what information/disclosure the
individual made to the school when they were appointed/offered the position/voluntary work.

If the individual did not make a full disclosure at the time or if the information given previously
does not match the information on the positive disclosure, schools should arrange to meet with
the individual to discuss why and to obtain the full details.

Trust and honesty is an important part of this process and the individual needs to give full
details of what happened, ie:

   •   Nature, seriousness and relevance.
   •   How long ago it occurred.
   •   If it was a one-off or part of a history.
   •   Circumstances of it being committed.
   •   Changes in applicant’s personal circumstances.
   •   Decriminalisation.
   •   Remorse
Safer Recruitment Training

The next Safer Recruitment training has been arranged for:

Thursday 21 June 2012
9.00 – 4.30

Please remember that all recruitment panels must have at least one person on the panel that
has completed the accredited training and training needs to be renewed every 5 years (not
every 3 years).

For further details and bookings please email: or telephone
020 8064 7188


Maternity cases can only be processed when all the relevant forms have been received. We
therefore request that schools only send the forms once they are all complete. They should be
sent to Schools Administration, HR Consultancy, 8th Floor, Taberner House.

Please could schools remind staff to take copies of their papers as they may be needed for
other personal reasons at a later date.

Personal files

Schools are responsible for maintaining full personal files for each member of staff. As part of
our service to schools which purchase the HR SLA, we have provided an audit tool for personal
files which gives clear guidance about which documents should be in the files. As part of our
SLA visits we offer to spot check personal files to support schools in retaining appropriate
information about their staff.

The need to keep all relevant documents about staff in the personal files is an area that could
become subject to audit checks, and schools need to ensure that they are prepared should
these checks be introduced.

Support Staff undertaking a teaching role

When NJC support staff transfer to a teaching role in an unqualified or qualified capacity, please
remember to notify the Teachers Pensions Team as well as your HR provider of the change in
contract, for teachers’ pensions purposes. The same applies if the employee reverts to their
NJC support role and ceases teaching altogether. For schools using external payroll providers,
please also ensure that the correct teachers’ pensions contribution rate is applied to the
teaching salary (which may be in addition to LGPS pension contributions). For schools which
purchase the payroll service this will be done automatically.

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