School teachers' pay and conditions Q&As

These Questions and Answers (Q&As) on pay and terms & conditions have been formulated by the LGA Schools Sounding Board members who are experienced at applying the STPCD and Burgundy Book in their authorities.


These Q&As have been devised to assist local authorities and schools HR services as guidance for those employers that apply the Burgundy Book and the STPCD. However, local circumstances will vary and any action planned as a result of the LGA Q&As should be verified with your council’s own legal advisers.

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The Q&As

Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 – Burgundy book provisions

Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 - a reminder of the current provision set out in the Burgundy Book which aims to assist local decision making for school teachers’ absences related to Novel Coronavirus.
Access the NJC circular containing advice about the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 - for school support staff

Burgundy book Conditions of service for school teachers in England and Wales

The Conditions of Service for School Teachers in England and Wales ('Burgundy Book') is a national agreement between the six school teacher unions and NEOST. 

Current Burgundy book

Burgundy Book 1978 Edition

Burgundy Book 1985 Edition

Continuous service table

Continuous service table

Deduction of a day’s pay

Deduction of a day’s pay

Head teachers’ pay

Head teachers’ pay

Historical pay settlements 1996 to present

Historical pay settlements 1996 to present

Ill health retirement

Q. How much notice do you need to give a teacher when a teacher’s application for an ill-health retirement pension is successful?

Ans. An employer is not required to dismiss and give paid notice when a teacher’s application for an ill-health retirement pension is successful. When a teacher is awarded an ill health retirement pension, the teacher should agree a mutually acceptable date for their last day of employment with their employer. Please view our NEOST advice, based on the Court of Appeal case of Healey v Bridgend in 2002.

Maternity pay

Maternity pay

Resignations at Easter

Resignations at Easter

Safeguarding pay

Safeguarding pay

School teachers' pay & conditions documents (STPCD)

Download the current and most recent versions of the STPCD.

Earlier version of the STPCD are below:

If you need an earlier version, please email schoolteachers@local.gov.uk  

Sick leave/pay

Sick leave/pay

Teaching & Learning Responsibility (TLR) payments

Teaching & Learning Responsibility (TLR) payments

Teachers’ appraisal pay

Teachers’ appraisal pay

Teachers’ pensions

Teachers’ Pension Scheme when a teacher is made redundant over age 55

Q: What are the Local Authorities obligations / options with regards the Teachers’ Pension Scheme when a teacher is made redundant over age 55?

A: When a teacher aged 55 or over is made redundant, there is no automatic right to the early release of their TPS pension i.e. premature retirement compensation.

If an employer agrees to the early release of benefits on the grounds of redundancy or efficiency before their normal pension age, the employer will be required to pay a statutory share of the retirement benefits under the TPS. This element is called ‘mandatory compensation’. The TPS will pay an actuarially adjusted pension and lump sum based upon the member’s pensionable service and the employer would pay the difference so that the teacher receives unreduced benefits for their lifetime. This is set out in the Teachers (Compensation for Redundancy and Premature Retirement) Regulations 2015. Information about premature retirement can be found on the Teachers' Pension website.

Where an employer is not prepared to certify the release of benefits in the case of cessation of employment on the grounds of redundancy or efficiency, the employee could access their Actuarially Adjusted Benefits if they are aged 55 or over.

Tutoring and other pensionable payments

Q: Are Academic Mentors who are not paid in line with the STPCD eligible for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS)?

A: In July of last year, the Government set up the National Tutoring Programme to provide additional, targeted support for children and young people for the 2020/21 academic year. The support was provided by academic mentors who were employed by schools to provide small group and one-to-one tuition to those disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils that were identified as at most risk of falling behind. It was confirmed by the DfE that academic mentors had a different role to teachers and should not be paid in line with the School Teachers Pay and Condition Document (STPCD) and they were eligible for the Local Government Pension Scheme.

Q: Are teachers who are paid in line with the STPCD and are awarded a fixed term TLR3 to deliver school-led tutoring eligible for the TPS?

A: Yes. On 29 July 2021, the DfE published the policy paper National Tutoring Programme, setting out its plans for the academic year 2021/22. As well as the tuition partners and academic mentors that were introduced last year, this year’s programme introduces school-led tutoring: the DfE is making funding available to all schools, based on the number of pupil premium students. This payment is ring-fenced to fund tutoring provision that can be locally sourced by schools.

Proposed changes to the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document for 2021/22 clarify that main pay range teachers and upper pay range teachers can be awarded a fixed-term TLR3 to deliver school-led tutoring. This award would be pensionable in the TPS.

Upper pay range teachers

LGA Q&A on timing of UPR pay progression

Q. When should UPR teachers be assessed for pay progression?

A: The STPCD paragraph 3 sets out when a school needs to determine the remuneration of a teachers’ salary and states that this should be made ‘annually with effect from 1 September’ or when a relevant change occurs e.g., ‘where a teacher becomes entitled to be paid on the upper pay range’.

Therefore, the STPCD requires that all teacher’s (including UPR teachers) pay, and performance should be reviewed annually. However, the STPCD does not specify the timing of any performance related increase in pay for UPR teachers i.e., on an annual and/ or biennial basis. The timing of any performance related pay progression is therefore a school level decision and should be set out in the schools pay policy.

The teacher on the upper pay range must be paid such salary within the minimum and maximum of the upper pay range set out within the STPCD as the relevant body determines.

The school pay policy should set out clearly how pay progression is to be determined (STPCD paragraph 19.3) and the STPCD since 2020 includes advisory pay points in order to support that school level performance related pay decision.

Where a teacher has been absent for some or all of the assessment period, an assessment will be based on performance during any periods of attendance and/or prior performance.

In summary, it is for the school to determine the assessment process, amount and timing of any progression based on an objective assessment of performance against the criteria set out in the schools pay policy.