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Performance related pay appeals - governors

1 July 2014

The role of governors in performance related pay

Whilst pay appeals may have been around for a long time in the public sector they are still relatively new to education so we need to consider what we can learn from the lessons of others who have gone before us. Our HR team have put together some guidance on what needs considering as more challenging demands are placed on Governing Bodies:

Understand the changes

Make sure that you understand the changes to the STPCD

Know your school policy

Make sure that you are fully up to date with your schools decisions regarding their pay and appraisal policies. Understanding why your school has opted for specific elements of the changes will aid your understanding of what the school are likely to be trying to achieve with their performance management processes.

Know your schools appraisal process

It is not enough to just know the policy. You will be much better equipped to understand how decisions have been made if you understand the processes, paperwork, assessment methods and criteria that appraisers are using/following in coming to these decisions.

Get assurance that your schools appraisers are trained and able to undertake appraisals in staff

This will be one of the key areas for investigation during any appeal hearing. You can avoid this by ensuring that the school are training appraisers adequately beforehand.

Take part in any appraisal training

If your school is putting on training for appraisers, it is a good idea to go along and attend that training. This will provide the best insight into what direction your appraisers are given on conducting appraisals. You will also be more informed when it comes to any appeals where process is in question.

Decide who will sit on appeal panels

Some schools are choosing to allocate a particular committee to hear pay appeals. Others are opting to take a more open view. Your governing body should decide what approach it will take with regard to who will sit on pay appeals. In general any governor can sit on a pay appeal provided that they are not employees, associate members or members of the pay committee. It is important that you choose governors for pay appeals who have the right skills.

Statistics/trends will help

Given that pay appeals are a new relatively new phenomenon in schools it will really help if you look at any statistical data to identify trends. For example, are you getting appeals from one appraiser, what are the appeals generally about, how many staff have/have not progressed this year, have specific appraisers allocated/not allocated a significant number of increases? This information will give you a unique insight into whether your performance related pay approach is fair and equitable at your school. It may not be until performance related pay has been in place for some years that trends really emerge but this avenue could offer you a head start.

Ask searching questions

Always remember that you are independent and there is no harm in asking searching questions of both the teacher and the school. It is highly likely that the more questions you ask of the school or teacher, the more you would be seen to have investigated the matter thoroughly. If your questions raise issues, you then have chance to resolve them before coming to an informed decision.

What are the risks of getting this wrong?

  • avoidable legal challenge
  • reputational issues
  • staff retention issues
  • staff motivation issues.
   

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