Conditions of Service in Academies, Free Schools and Independent Schools in England
The NASUWT has the interests at heart of members working in an academy, free school or independent school as much as those in the maintained sector. Academies, free schools and independent schools do not have to abide by the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD), the Conditions of Service for School Teachers in England and Wales - commonly known as the ‘Burgundy Book’, or other terms and conditions negotiated nationally for school teachers and support staff. They may make their own decisions concerning teachers' conditions of service and the level of pay.
However, where an academy replaces an existing school(s) there will usually be a transfer of an undertaking under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) (new window). In such cases, staff of the closing school(s) who have a substantive contract at the point of closure will have the right to transfer to the academy on their existing terms and conditions, as set out in the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document.
NASUWT advice for members on Conditions of Service in Maintained Schools in England will be relevant, in most situations to those who are subject to such a TUPE transfer to an academy. This includes the Union's advice on the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document and the Conditions of Service for School Teachers in England and Wales (Burgundy Book). For all other teachers working in an academy, free school or independent school this information can be used as a benchmark against which their employer's proposals can be measured regarding conditions of service related issues. The NASUWT also provides advice on Pay in Academies, Free Schools and Independent Schools in England.
The advice below is relevant to all teachers working in academies, free schools and independent schools. It relates to:
- Collective Agreements and HR Policies and Procedures
- Family Friendly Rights
- Temporary workers and supply teachers
NASUWT members working in an academy, free school or independent school should contact their Local Association Secretary or Regional Centre if they require further information or assistance.
The NASUWT has produced resources on both Academies and Free Schools as part of the Championing Education Campaign, including the Academy Schools: The NASUWT’s Objectives leaflet and a Free Schools leaflet. The NASUWT has also presented the Private Sector and State Education report to National Conference and commissioned the Academy Schools - Case Unproven research, which was conducted by Catalyst.
Collective Agreements and HR Policies and Procedures
Any staff who take up a new appointment at an academy, free school or independent school will be subject to the collective agreements and HR policies and procedures established by the employer.
Where an academy replaces an existing school(s) there will usually be a transfer of an undertaking under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) (new window). In such cases, any collective agreement and policies and procedures that are incorporated into individual contracts of employment at the point of transfer may transfer to the academy together with their existing terms and conditions.
Before a school transfers to academy status, NASUWT Representatives should seek to confirm that the new governing body will agree to the appropriate adaptation of the collective agreements and trade union recognition agreement in place. Advice for NASUWT Local Secretaries is available in the Academies Resource Pack - Local Secretaries Only.
The NASUWT has agreed a number of collective agreements and HR policies and procedures with the following Academy Chains (multi-academy sponsors) listed below.Click on the link below that corresponds to the Academy Chain you work for to view a copy of the trade union recognition agreement, collective agreements and HR policies and procedures relevant to your workplace.
- Absolute Return for Kids (ARK Schools);
- Academies Enterprise Trust (AET);
- Edutrust Academies Charitable Trust (E-ACT);
- Harris Federation of South London Schools (Harris);
- Kemnal Academies Trust (Kemnal);
- Oasis Community Learning (Oasis);
- Ormiston Academies Trust (Ormiston);
- United Learning Trust (ULT);
- Woodard Academies Trust (Woodard).
The NASUWT produces guidance for members with children on the provisions for maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave. The guidance also contains information on rights to time off for family and domestic reasons.
Advice on the legal requirements in assessing risks in relation to new and expectant mothers’ job activities is set out in the Health and Safety Executive booklet New and Expectant Mothers at Work: A Guide for Employers (new window).
Members have the right to apply to work flexibly where they have:
- children aged under 17;
- disabled children aged under 18; or
- carer responsibilities.
The NASUWT, through the Rewards and Incentives Group, successfully negotiated the opportunity for teachers to participate in salary sacrifice schemes for childcare vouchers/benefits, cycles for work and mobile phones. There is a standard Salary sacrifice form (PDF - 152KB) on which employees can apply or express an interest.
The NASUWT provides advice on the rights of Teachers who work on a temporary basis or fixed-term contracts and on the rights of Teachers working for employment agencies.
Further information or assistance
Please note that all of the links listed below will open in a new window.