Schools HR Professional Services

Schools HR Professional Services gives access to a comprehensive, responsive, specialist HR service built on experience and holistic understanding of the specific demands faced by educational establishments.

With 85% or more of the school budget being spent on your workforce, it is essential that the right structures, people, policies and procedures are in place to deliver your priorities.  Choosing our specialist HR service will empower Headteachers, Leadership, Governors and Business Managers to carry out their statutory responsibilities, safeguarded by effective, up-to-date employment practices and access to supportive and practical HR advice.

Our aim is to optimise the day to day running in your school by the provision of bespoke HR solutions.

An overview of the benefits of opting into the core traded SLA package can be found here.

Services

The Schools HR Professional Services team

Consists of experienced, dedicated Principal HR Advisors with specialist knowledge of school casework and a thorough understanding of the framework and statutory duties under which educational establishments operate.

You will be allocated a Principal HR Advisor who will get to know your educational establishment and tailor their approach accordingly.  Schools HR Professional Services work in partnership with you to identify areas of concern and achieve positive resolutions.

You will have access to advice from HR Professionals by telephone, email, virtual meeting or visit as appropriate.  In addition, you will receive a termly visit and a comprehensive annual HR audit (subject to educational establishment agreement). This will identify areas of best practice and risk.  A full report will be provided setting out clear recommendations, which HR will support you with implementing.

Links

Schools HR Professional Services actively influence and participate in national consultations to ensure the views and needs of our educational establishments are represented in relation to the workforce.  

Well established links are maintained with national, regional and local employer associations, trade unions and professional bodies, education networks, school leaders, governing bodies, diocese and other relevant agencies (LGA, DBS and DfE).  Partnership working supports the delivery of excellent services, driving efficiencies for the educational establishments we support.

We work closely with:

LADO Advice and support in matters relating to safeguarding allegations against staff

Occupational Health EAP Included in Schools HR SLA (additional costs apply for IHR assessment/certificate)  - Absence management, Ill health retirement.

Royal Borough Greenwich Legal Services (Separate SLA available) - Access to legal advice for educational establishments is not included in the Schools HR Professional Services SLA; this is available to educational establishments via the Legal Services SLA.

Note: Employment Tribunal claims costs arising

Educational establishments are advised that any costs associates with or arising out of an Employment Tribunal claim/other claim (including legal, counsel and awards) are the sole responsibility of the school/educational establishment.

TUPE

Royal Borough Greenwich have no liability for losses in relation to terms and conditions of employment claims in respect of the period after the date of transfer to the new employer.

Schools HR Professional Services benefit from access to in-house advice from legal services which is used to help further mitigate against any risks associated with employment relations issues. 

Payroll (Separate SLA available)

Finance Pensions

Professional expertise/knowledge of teachers' pay and conditions of service, Royal Greenwich pay and grading structure and relevant pensions information

Health and Safety (Separate SLA available)

Governor Support Services (Separate SLA available)

Joint workshop delivery

Recruitment

Workforce Development

School Improvement, NQT and Apprenticeships

Services include:

Pay and conditions of service

  • Advice and guidance on the interpretation and implementation of national and local government decisions and regulations.
  • Provision of local and national information on employment issues e.g. salaries/benefits.
  • Advice on other matters relating to pay and conditions of employment for all categories of staff.
  • Provision of the interpretation and writing of statements of terms and conditions of service.
  • Contracts of employment available at additional cost - see Bolt on

Capability disciplinary grievance casework

  • Telephone advice and support on the implementation of the school's capability, discipline and grievance procedures.
  • Attendance by a member of the HR team to advise and support Governors.
  • Headteachers/Leadership at all formal hearings/meetings, including hearings where dismissal is a potential outcome, subject to availability by prior agreement.
  • Advice and support throughout the process of investigation by prior agreement.

Attendance management casework

  • Telephone advice and support on the implementation of the school's attendance management procedures.
  • Access to Royal Greenwich Occupational Health Provider and EAP.
  • Advice on Occupational Health referral and guidance on how to proceed following receipt of Occupational Health reports.
  • Attendance at formal review meetings, subject to availability by prior agreement.
  • Provision of ill health retirement benefit calculations.
  • Ill health retirement assessment/certificate accessed via Occupational Health at an additional cost.
  • Advice and support on implementing robust and effective absence monitoring systems.

Employee relations

  • Telephone advice and support on all employee relations issues.
  • Advice and support on consultation processes e.g. when redundancy is appropriate together with attendance at meetings as required.
  • Advice on timescales, statutory and procedural requirements and preparation of documentation.
  • Attendance at other hearings as appropriate and subject to availability by prior agreement.
  • Where required, liaison and negotiations with employee representatives around settlement agreements, including drafting of agreements (see Bolt on) 

HR Intranet

Access includes:

  • Employment updates
  • RBG model policies and procedures and associated letters
  • Forms and guidance notes
  • Information relating to national and local terms and conditions

Employee data (conditional on buying in to RBG Payroll SLA)

Detailed employee data provided on request and monthly absence reports (see Bolt on in relation to TUPE)

Core Traded Services (Aligned to statutory obligations)

National/Local conditions of service

Notification of national pay awards and new conditions of service arising from the national negotiating machinery and of any local agreements, for both teaching and support staff.

Dismissal of staff

The Director of Children's Services (DCS) has the right to attend any hearing that could end in dismissal of staff employed by the Local Authority.

Pre-employment safeguarding checks

Basic checks to support safer recruitment of staff i.e. Enhanced DBS checks, Barred list

Administered via Recruitment Service - additional charges apply

Pre-employment health checks

Administered via Occupational Health


School Workforce Census

Royal Greenwich submits the statutory return on behalf of maintained schools.

Workshops/Training delivered for new SBMs/Office Managers.

School HR Professional Services reserve the right to levy an additional charge for those schools generating substantial errors and queries.

£10 per error/query may be charged.


Industrial Action

Written information will be provided on statutory advice.

We will collate and provide information to corporate and external regional bodies on the effects of industrial action.


Educational establishment responsibilities

To ensure legal compliance, commitment and adherence to statutory and service standards are met, it is the specific responsibility of educational establishments to undertake the following:

  • Provide all relevant information and staffing data to assist in the provision of HR advice
  • Ensure all relevant facts are provided when dealing with a staffing or employment issue
  • Specify any school based time limits or constraints which must be reasonable and appropriate to the circumstances
  • Provide a timely update of any change in circumstances that may affect/impact on the advice or work Schools HR Professional Services are undertaking on your behalf
  • Undertake not to withhold or misrepresent any relevant information which would hinder the HR support/advice provided
  • Provide as much advance notice as possible when requesting the attendance of a HR representative at a hearing/governing body meeting. This should include consultation with HR to agree a mutually convenient date/time
  • Provide as much notice as possible for 'one off'  consultancy that may be required
  • Provision of any other information requested to enable Royal Greenwich to exercise its duty as an employer or to comply with statutory requirements or its strategic functions defined by current or future regulations

Costs

Our traded service is charged annually.

Maintained schools:  1 April

Non-maintained/Academies:  1 September

Charges are based on the number of staff in your establishment for each year of this agreement, determined by the headcount disclosed in the most recent workforce census (November 2020)

Calculations are not based on FTE.

Schools will be required to provide a copy/screenshot of the latest Schools Workforce Census.

Minimum charge applies per school of £2,300

Fixed rate of £78 per staff member
For example, a school with 30 members of staff will be charged £2,340 (30 x £78 = £2,340)

Bolt-on costs designed to meet HR requirements of educational establishments across the authority can be found here.

Costs for opted out educational establishments

Charges will be applied to educational establishments for any obligatory work undertaken at a standard consultancy rate of £120 per hour.

We will redirect costs to educational establishments where we are required to undertake work on behalf of an educational establishment not using our traded service as directed by the Children's Service Directorate i.e. school being placed in special measures.

Optional charged services

Access to the full learning pool platform, which hosts suite of HR related e-learning modules in personal development and leadership and management.

Annual licence: £50 per person 

Service Standards:

Our commitment to service standards include:

  • Telephone help/support line during office hours, for our service related areas
  • Fully trained and qualified staff to deliver the service, providing effective and professional advice
  • A courteous and helpful response at all times, both in person (by appointment) or by telephone
  • Acknowledgements to written and electronic correspondence within 2 days
  • Response to telephone calls within 1 working day
  • Quality assurance, assessed by use of evaluation feedback forms, following casework and training courses
  • Access to formal complaints procedure

Office hours:

Monday to Thursday | 9.00am - 5.00pm
Friday | 9.00am - 4.30pm

Contacts

Louise Richardson
Senior HR Manager
020 8921 8259
louise.richardson@royalgreenwich.gov.uk
Stephanie Mills
Head of HR
020 8921 8895
stephanie.mills@royalgreenwich.gov.uk