Transfer of employment (TUPE)

Introduction

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.

The legal picture

Your entitlement to the same terms and conditions of employment is protected by legislation known as the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, or 'TUPE'.

There are also various employment cases which have tested the interpretation of these regulations.

The Academies Act 2010 sets out how a school should conduct the process of conversion to academy status.

The process

"64.9% of academies have not altered the terms and conditions of their employees, and have no plans to do so."

A survey of 478 academies between December 2011 and February 2012, undertaken by Reform and The Schools Network

Your current employer - the local authority or governing body - will conduct a consultation to gather feedback on any concerns about the transfer, and allow sufficient time for these concerns to be considered. The Academies Act requires a consultation 'with those they think appropriate' (usually the school governors, parents, and teachers)  concerning the conversion. TUPE regulations require a consultation with employees specifically about their employment.

Your terms and conditions of employment cannot be changed, and your employment cannot be ended, as part of the transfer unless the academy trust can show they have a valid economic, technical or organisational reason for doing so. This is very difficult to do. 

Support

If you have any concerns about conversion to academy status, the consultation, or your new employment, edapt can advise you.

Next steps

Sign up to edapt services for a wealth of HR advice at your fingertips. Once you’ve signed up, simply pick up the phone, email or contact us through live internet chat for answers to any questions about transfer of employment. For more information about our services, click here: For teachers