HR services for schools and academies
When complex staffing issues arise, schools need immediate advice that gives a clear analysis of the risks and sets the course on a strategic direction. That could be anything from devising a long-term strategy for dealing with an entrenched union situation across a large multi- academy trust, to resolving a complex Employment Tribunal claim from an ex- employee against a community primary school. Our clients receive quick, pragmatic advice and are safe in the knowledge that, as sector specialists, we ensure they aren’t tripped up by missing the latest Government guidance or funding requirements.
Our employment team provides specialist advice to our education clients and have a long history of advising schools and academies. Working in tandem, our employment lawyers and education HR consultants provide our ‘HR Services for schools’, designed specifically for schools and academies, offering a complete package to support them from managing day-to-day HR issues to guidance on strategic organisational changes.
We regularly provide training at conferences and for individual schools on topics such as recent employment law updates and training for middle leaders on effective line management.
So, whether it is a routine question interpreting the burgundy book rules on maternity leave or a strategic review of staff resulting in a whole school restructure, our team has the experience to ensure our clients achieve the result they are looking for.
What we do
- Strategic employment law advice to schools and academy groups
- Team restructures, bespoke contracts and terms of employment
- Dealing with complex grievances and disciplinaries
- Managing allegations against staff
- Referrals to the Teaching Regulation Agency
- Exit agreements and compliance with the Academies Financial Handbook
- Discrimination issues
- TUPE transfers and indemnities on outsourcing
- Supporting you with union issues - from collective negotiation to injunctions on industrial action
- Specialist reward consultancy, e.g. advice to remuneration committees regarding executive pay, salary benchmarking, redesign of pay and reward structures
- Bespoke and off-the-shelf training for all levels of staff on HR matters
Our HR Services
Tailored solutions and high quality advice specifically designed for you.
Your people are your most valuable asset and are essential in delivering the highest quality education for your students. It is vital that you have a motivated and effective workforce and any HR processes and issues are managed and dealt with quickly and efficiently. Dealing with such issues requires expert knowledge and can be time-consuming, draining your own and your senior team’s time, energy and resources.
That’s where we can help. Whatever your need or issue, our HR Services for schools and academies offer you tailored solutions and high-quality advice specifically designed around the needs of your organisation.
Benefit from having access to our dedicated HR experts and employment lawyers with proven experience of advising on the day-to- day and strategic challenges faced by schools and academies. Our team includes professionals whose careers have centred on providing HR services to the education sector. This includes operating as part of school and academy trusts’ senior leadership teams, as well as working within local authorities as human resources professionals providing consultancy services to a number of schools and academies. Our hands-on experience gives us a sound insight and understanding of your needs, the policies you work with, and the ever-changing landscape of employing staff in schools.
Bespoke support, to meet your needs.
Schools and trusts are all individual in their requirements and we’ve therefore created a service that allows you to tailor the HR package to meet your specific needs. With HR Options you can select the number of advisory hours and half day visits that best meet your needs and budget.
Our team of education expert HR Consultants tailor their advice based on your specific culture, ethos and values. With HR Options, you don’t need to worry about trying to ‘fit in’ with one of our services, you can design your very own HR service that works for you. With HR Options, the more hours and half days you purchase, the cheaper they become. You can top up throughout the year and any hours or half days left can be used for training or other proactive projects.
- Access to support and advice from a named HR Consultant via email or telephone (8am to 6pm Monday to Friday excluding Bank Holidays) in relation to absolutely any day-to-day HR issues including (but not limited to):
- disciplinary and grievances
- performance management and capability
- sickness absence
- trade union relations, including support with negotiating and drafting settlement agreements
- terms and conditions advice including maternity, paternity and redundancy.
- Regular ‘HR Essentials’ email bulletins to ensure that you keep updated with employment matters
- 20-349 hours - £153 per hour + VAT
- 350-499 hours - £148 per hour + VAT
- 500+ hours - £POA
Unlimited day-to-day HR support for a fixed, annual fee.
Be prepared for whatever comes your way with unlimited access to our award-winning HR experts and employment lawyers. With proven experience of advising on the day-to- day and strategic challenges faced by schools and academies, we are here to help you.
Each year, over 450 different schools and academy trusts across England benefit from HR Core, saving time and reducing risk. The advisory service is perfect for education organisations that have a small or no in-house HR support.
- Initial familiarisation visit from a dedicated HR Consultant, so that we get to know you and the specific issues in your school, allowing us to support you from day one and making for a smooth transition from your existing provider.
- Unlimited access to support and advice from a HR Consultant and an employment lawyer via email or telephone (8am to 6pm Monday to Friday excluding Bank Holidays) in relation to absolutely any day-to-day HR and employment law issues including (but not limited to):
- disciplinary and grievances
- performance management and capability
- sickness absence
- trade union relations including support with negotiating and drafting settlement agreements
- terms and conditions advice including maternity, paternity and redundancy.
- One (≤67 employees) or two (≥68 employees) half-day on-site visits per academic year, tailored to your needs. Typically these are used for meetings or training but how you use them is up to you. You can also buy more of these on a pay-as-you-go basis.
- Attendance at all hearings and resulting appeals where employee dismissal is a possibility. We advise the panel giving peace of mind and confidence as well as drafting outcome letters.
- Access to a comprehensive range of school specific HR policies, contract templates, letters and procedure guides.
- Regular ‘HR Essentials’ email bulletins to ensure that you keep updated with employment-related changes.
Stand-alone school or single academy trust:
Annual costs are based on staff numbers (head count excluding casual or contract staff). You pay the lesser of either:
- £3,000 + £44 per employee + VAT or
- £90 per employee + VAT (a minimum charge of £2,850 applies)
Multi academy trust:
- £4,000 + £44 per employee + VAT
A pay-as-you-go service for one-off projects or complex matters.
Benefit from the reassuring support and guidance of our award-winning HR and employment experts with a service tailored to meet your needs.
HR Consultancy is a pay-as-you-go service for one-off projects or developments that you may require assistance with. Whether you need support on a complex matter or you want additional onsite assistance, this can be provided on a consultancy basis. This may include:
- complex absence, capability, grievance or disciplinary issues (from investigations to advice for panels at hearings)
- support with restructures, TUPE transfers and changing terms and conditions, from
- advice on process to hands-on support in developing structures and implementing the change
- training sessions for senior leadership/middle managers/governing bodies on any HR/people management related issue, including safer recruitment
- policy reviews and drafting
You do not need to buy other services from us to purchase an HR Consultancy package, and can purchase blocks of 4 hours at any time.
Minimum of four hours service plus VAT applies with fees based on level of experience:
- HR Advisor £115/hour
- HR Consultant £160/hour
- Senior HR Consultant £190/hour
- Head of HR Services/Partner £270/hour
Consistent, current, high quality policy documents that give you peace of mind.
Developed by our national award-winning education lawyers and HR experts, our ready-to-use terms and conditions, policies and procedures have been designed to provide you with a cost and time effective way to keep your trust’s documents up to date.
Supplied in individual editable Microsoft Word documents, the education and HR templates reflect best practice and ensure that your trust is legally compliant. Drafted in line with national terms and conditions, the suite of documents can be applied across multiple geographical regions for larger trusts with academies located across different jurisdictions.
Each template can be adapted in accordance with your own existing policies or can be implemented immediately by each of your academies.
The comprehensive pack of 39 core education and HR policies can be purchased as a one-off package and will be sent directly to your inbox within 2 working days. If you do not need HR documents, you can purchase education policies separately.
You can also subscribe to our annual service which means that, at the start of the new academic year, you will automatically receive a revised set of policies reflecting any changes in legislation and best practice developments. You are under no obligation to subscribe to this additional service but, if you do not, it will then be your responsibility to ensure that your documents remain up to date and compliant with revised legislation as and when appropriate.
You can read more about this service and pricing information here.
Professional resources that raise standards and make your job easier.
Developed by our national specialist experts, our ready-to-use template document bundles have been designed to provide you with a cost and time effective way to keep your trust’s documents up to date.
Access hundreds of top quality templates, supplied as individual editable Microsoft Word documents; these HR resources reflect best practice and include a wealth of guidance documents and scripts. Drafted in line with national terms and conditions, the suite of documents can be applied across trusts to ensure consistency in HR management.
After years of supporting schools and trusts we have developed a wealth of valuable HR resources to support your teams in managing cases, and we are pleased to offer these bundles to you at very affordable rates.
- Recruitment & SCR - £525 plus VAT
- Disciplinary - £420 plus VAT
- Appraisal and Capability - £420 plus VAT
- Redundancy/Restructure - £420 plus VAT
- Absence - £310 plus VAT
- Grievance - £310 plus VAT
- Full Access - £1,425 plus VAT (saving £975)
Annual Update Subscription - £310 plus VAT for all
Developing leaders for schools and trusts.
Our HR Pathways continuous professional development (CPD) programmes have been designed to equip professionals operating within an educational setting with the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to proactively manage employees in accordance with HR best practice and employment legislation.
We have two definitive HR Pathways programmes:
- HR Pathway One is designed for newly-appointed head teachers, school leaders, managers or those aspiring to move into a leadership role, together with school business or operations managers without a formal HR resource of employee-relations background; and
- HR Pathway Two is designed for those with strategic leadership responsibilities in a single or multi-academy trust; for example, CEOs and COOs, HR or people directors or managers, executive directors, executive principals and experienced principals or school business managers with a degree of HR or employee-related training or experience.
- £750 plus VAT
Sole HR provider
We’re the sole HR provider for a large group of academies across the Midlands. Acting as an integral advisor to each of their schools on a day-to-day basis, we’re well placed to have an overview of the HR issues facing the organisation and identify trends and risks. We do this informally on a daily basis and provide the senior leadership with regular written reports so they’re fully aware of the HR issues in their schools.
Redesigning career pathways
Working with a multi-academy trust to support the redesign of their career pathways along with pay ranges, terms and conditions taking a more tactical approach to addressing the recruitment and retention problems that exist in the sector.
Strategy and governance
Working with an executive team to realise a strategic people plan that delivers to the overarching Trust vision and development strategy.
Leveraging technology to integrate HR expertise
We’re working with a national multi-academy trust as their integrated outsourced employee relations team. We’re plugged into the trust via a technology-based helpdesk platform enabling us to receive HR advisory requests from schools which we can then directly respond to, log priority, risk and case type.
This enables the trust leadership to have ‘live’ and transparent visibility of what’s happening with employee relations across the trust. The in-house people team are able to keep focus on transformative people matters, instead of being pulled into the reactive management of employee relations.
“I could not recommend Browne Jacobson any more highly. They are hugely attentive to detail and the support we receive is truly first class. They operate in a rapid timeframe so that often sensitive HR issues are dealt with promptly and professionally.”
“I view Browne Jacobson as a trusted partner, experts in HR in the education sector. They have helped us to develop consistent HR processes, provide professional HR services to our trust and have supported the professional development of staff involved in our in-house HR team.”
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