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Management Information MI 138/06 Information
Date published LA Contact (Click to send email) Telephone
16/09/06 Bob Hedley 01603 222418
To Headteachers and Chair of Governors in all Norfolk Schools
Title Modern Reward Strategy in all Norfolk Schools.
Associated hyperlinks
and documents
Norfolk Self Review 6. Leadership and Management
To be completed by

Modern Reward Strategy in all Norfolk Schools

Modern Reward Strategy
As you know, the County Council is engaged in an important project to develop modern pay and reward systems which will support our ambitious programme of organisational change and development and ensure fair and transparent pay. It will help us recruit, retain and motivate the people that deliver services and help us meet our aspirations for the future. This will include the introduction of common pay scales and conditions of employment for former APT&C and manual staff by 1st April 2007 and will affect all support staff in Norfolk schools.

As the bodies with statutory management responsibilities for schools, it is critical that all Governing Bodies engage actively in this in order to ensure that we all comply with our legal obligations in relation to Equal Pay.

This is a requirement for all County Council community schools and we strongly recommend that Foundations schools work within the same framework. We will communicate separately with Foundations schools on how we can support them.

Before I go any further, I would like to take this opportunity to refer to a letter you have received recently from the regional GMB officer, Shaun Graham. This is an unfortunate and untimely attempt to meet with staff, including those who are not their members, under the guise of 'Consultation' when in reality this stage of the project has not yet been reached. The letter breaches the spirit of the joint working relationship that has been developed with all the unions concerned in the project and the Head of HR, Anne Gibson is taking the matter up with Mr Graham separately. In the meantime, you should not feel obliged to facilitate his request in any way. Please be assured that there will be comprehensive consultation built in to the project so that all the unions, together with the management side, have the chance to canvass staff views when a firm proposal is developed. If you have any queries on this issue, please call Bob Hedley on 01603 222418.

A National Pay Agreement in 1997 introduced the concept of "single status" for APT&C and manual staff; and committed all Local Authorities to develop local pay arrangements to cover all their employees in those categories. The main driver behind this was to address the risk that Local Authorities have carried in the potential for costly equal pay claims by low paid women workers.

Norfolk County Council immediately addressed the first phase which brought all staff onto a common 37-hour standard working week.

The second phase of the project is to conduct a review of pay structures, and carry out job evaluation so that jobs can be allocated to the new pay grades on a demonstrably fair basis.

Work is underway to evaluate all jobs, using the Hay job evaluation scheme. Some Headteachers have been involved in the completion of job analysis questionnaires with their support staff. The evaluations are being carried out by Joint Management/Union panels, with a further quality assurance process, also involving Management and Union representatives, who moderate results and ensure consistency across the council's workforce.

What are the costs?
Although experience elsewhere shows that this could lead to higher workforce costs, in Norfolk the County Council is determined that the outcomes must be affordable, support modern ways of working and must be efficient to administer.

Schools are already experienced in "modern ways of working" through "workforce remodelling" and I am aware of the work that Peter Simmonds and his team have done to support schools in redesigning support staff roles.

Another important part of the project is the comprehensive review of pay related conditions of employment. In the schools' context, there will be consultation on and cost analysis of proposals for:

  • All year round contracts

  • Caretakers' lettings payments

  • Tied accommodation

  • Annual leave for schools support staff

What are the practical steps?
  • By 25 October we will have evaluated all school jobs identified so far, with the help of Headteachers and support staff in various schools.

  • Between now and 31 October we will need help from all schools to allocate each staff member to the correct evaluation for their job. We call this the job matching process and further details of how it works will be supplied in the near future, along with the lists of staff for your school.

  • The job matching process may result in a need for further job evaluations and some Headteachers and support staff will again be asked to help.

  • Once all evaluations are complete they will be used to inform a revised grading structure, to which a new pay system will be attached.

  • We will then advise you of the recommended grade and pay for the support staff in your school.

  • Staff will have a right of appeal, so schools will need to engage with their Local Authority colleagues to deliver a fair and efficient appeal process, taking account of the delegated management powers of governing bodies. My staff will be supporting you in this.

Support staff will be assimilated onto the new grades with new conditions of employment and salary points from 1st April 2007.

What are the Implications?
The implications for staff are that some will see their pay reduced, for others it will increase, and many will see little or no change. The implications for schools are that all must provide information about their support staff jobs. Once new pay scales are agreed in the County Council must decide where on the new grading structure each and every member of their support staff will be allocated.

The potential cost implications for the County Council and Schools will be determined by negotiation outcomes, so cannot be predicted with certainty but will fall under three headings:

  • Possible year on year increase in basic pay rates

  • Possible pay arrears, if the implementation is backdated for some or all staff

  • Possible compensation for staff allocated to lower rates of pay

Potential costs are expected to be offset to some extent by savings in pay-related conditions of service. However, there is likely to be a financial impact on schools, particularly in the first year of implementation. Some allowance has been included in schools' budgets for 2007/08.

Cost implications for each school will depend on job evaluation results, and grading decisions by each School Governing Body in light of those. Pay structures are now being negotiated, and are planned to be decided around the same time.

How will the Local Authority involve and support schools?
  • We are working with a consultation group including Headteachers, (a subset of the Schools Forum representing all phases and types of school).

  • We will develop modelling tools to enable schools to identify and plan for cost implications.

  • We will brief Headteacher groups, to explain further and to demonstrate modelling tools.

  • We will include training on this topic in the Governor Support Services Autumn Term (2006) programme. Schools will be supported in making the necessary decisions by their HR Consultants, Finance Support Officers, and the Employee Service Centre.

  • The Modern Reward Project team will support you through the job evaluation and job matching processes.

Where can I find further information?
Staff and managers across the County Council have been kept up to date by a launch booklet and newsletters this and further information is available on Esinet. If you have any queries or concerns, please contact Bob Hedley, HR Manager, on 01603 222418.