Advice and support

Whatever the circumstance affecting your working life and ability to educate young people, it is always better to seek advice sooner rather than later.

Browse our support knowledge base

13 topics in 5 themes

Professional development

CPD

Good CPD can reinspire, re-energise and offer you a welcome chance to reflect. There have been a number of research studies confirming the types of teacher CPD that lead directly to improved pupil outcomes, yet not all teachers are offered these useful CPD opportunities and even fewer take them up.

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Employee Rights

Transfer of Employment

If your school is converting to an academy or to a trust or foundation school, your employer will change from your local authority or governing body to the academy trust or Foundation. The extent to which this will affect your school will vary, but in all cases you are entitled to have the terms and conditions of your employment remain the same.

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Pay scales

If you teach in a maintained school, you will be paid according to a nationally agreed pay scale, as outlined in the School Teachers Pay and Conditions Document. If you teach in an academy or independent school, your pay will be set out according to your schools' pay policy, subject to TUPE agreements.

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Suspension

A school may suspend you while it investigates an allegation or disciplinary matter, or where there are medical reasons for doing so. This can feel like an isolating experience, and you may understandably become concerned about the impact on your professional reputation. It is therefore important that you are supported to ensure the suspension is lawful, that you know which member of staff you are able to contact, and that the suspension is treated as a 'neutral act' in which there is no assumption that you have done anything wrong.

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Disciplinary Procedures

If you breach the behaviour expected by your school of their teachers, you may face disciplinary procedures. To ensure a reasonable outcome, it is important that during this process you are treated fairly and receive full support.

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Bullying and Harassment

Harassment or bullying at work are very serious and can impact on your health and wellbeing as well as your ability to focus on your work. Schools can be complicated work environments, with pupils, parents and colleagues sometimes displaying behaviour that would not be considered acceptable elsewhere. It is important therefore that you feel able to recognise when treatment is unacceptable and are able to respond to end harassment or bullying by colleagues.

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Employee Conditions

Health and Safety

Illness or injury at work, or caused by work, can impact on your performance, confidence and motivation. Health and Safety regulations and sick leave policies exist in schools to protect teachers as well as students, so it is important that teachers are supported in following them.

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Working time

Teachers’ working hours can feel more complicated than many other professions as teachers are often expected to work as much as is reasonable to be able to effectively discharge their professional duties. With planning, marking, parents’ evenings, open days, revision sessions and CPD, after school or lunch time activities, it is important teachers are able to manage their working time in such a way that allows them to perform well and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

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Pensions

There is a contributory public service occupational pension scheme for teachers. It is administered by ‘Teachers’ Pensions’ on behalf of the DfE. Teachers can join the pension scheme as long as they are between the ages of 18 and 75, and are employed by a local authority or an academy, or working in an independent school that has been accepted into the Teachers' Pension Scheme.

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Performance Management

Appraisal

Appraisal and performance management are extremely useful in informing your professional development. Research by the OECD into the appraisal and performance management of teachers in a range of countries (although excluding England and Wales) found when done well, they improved teachers' job satisfaction and were even linked to improved pupil performance. Giving and receiving appraisals can, however, feel uncomfortable, and unless both parties are properly prepared and know what to expect there may be as many negative outcomes as positive. As the DfE are introducing new appraisal regulations in England it is important that you feel confident in your role in the process.

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Capability

As a teacher, you will be expected to be capable of delivering against a set of objectives related to the Teaching Standards and the performance of your school. If your appraisal and feedback processes are suggesting that you are not, you may be put through capability procedures to decide whether you should remain teaching at your school. This should never come as a surprise, and should be a last resort when support to help you improve has not been effective.

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Pupil and Parent Concerns

Allegations

In recent research commissioned by edapt, 80% of the teachers surveyed said that protection against allegations was very important to them. Allegations are a frightening prospect for teachers, and it is important for you to know that support and representation will be there if you face an allegation by a pupil.

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Searching and Restraining Pupils

Concerns over cyber bullying, pupils carrying weapons and pupil behaviour in and out of school have prompted the government to give teachers additional freedom under the Education Act 2011 to search and restrain pupils. Teacher may have concerns, however, over conducting searches or restraining pupils, in case they open themselves up to allegations of harassment, or put themselves in dangerous situations. It is important they feel knowledgeable about their school’s behaviour policies and supported in carrying them out.

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