Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Headaches over back pay and single status agreements

Problems with back pay and single status agreements continue to escalate with ASCL being alerted to new cases in several parts of the country.

In some cases local authorities appear to have wildly miscalculated the back pay owed, and thus the amount owed by schools, so it will be very important for schools to go through their bills with a fine toothcomb and check the calculation for each member of staff, to ensure they are not over-paying.

Schools that have recently become a trust or foundation should be aware that they may still be liable for back pay for the time they were a community school.

Local authorities which completed the process early seemed to have managed the issue of back pay reasonably well and these schools faced minimal bills. More recently, it appears LAs are agreeing to very long back-dating periods - up to six years - so these schools are suddenly faced with large bills for these staff.

ASCL has drawn this to the attention of the DCSF, which has been adamant that back pay is a legitimate claim on the school budget (although there is conflicting legal advice in some areas of the country) and that it would be inappropriate for central government to bale out authorities which have agreed to generous settlements, because it would be unfair on others which negotiated reasonable settlements. However, ASCL will continue to pursue this line of enquiry if necessary for schools in authorities which have been particularly hard hit.

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