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A further update on pay for SBLs

We recently shared the outcome of the school business leader (SBL) consultative pay survey with NAHT’s SBL members. As we explained in that email, the legal thresholds a union needs to achieve when formally balloting members is extremely high, with a 50% turnout of all eligible members required, and then 40% of all eligible members required to vote in favour of taking action. Those thresholds were not met in our consultation, and consequently the national executive decided that NAHT was therefore unable to confidently proceed to a formal ballot for SBL members at this point in time.

Since then, we have also had confirmation of the support staff pay award for 2022. We are acutely aware that the pay award offers a disproportionately smaller award to leaders and those at the higher end of the scale, and that it is also less than the 5% award for other leaders on different pay scales.

We fundamentally disagree with this given the disproportionate effect on our members. This reinforces our view that the current local government pay scales do not offer enough flexibility to recognise the status and seniority of an SBL role, nor do they take account of the growth in the scope and responsibility of school business leaders' roles over recent years.

These have left many of you with questions about what NAHT is doing to support you with your pay, and what might be next.

Next steps

Despite the results from the consultative survey, I want to stress that our work to secure appropriate pay and conditions for all our SBL members remains one of our key priorities, and an additional meeting was held last week with NAHT’s SBL council to discuss next steps.

Following the meeting, the next steps in our SBL pay campaign will include:

  • an SBL-specific member webinar on pay with NAHT general secretary Paul Whiteman on Monday 28 November at 4pm – click here to register
  • providing additional guidance to members on the utilisation of honoraria payments as a short-term option for addressing the current disparities in the pay award for SBLs
  • commissioning independent market research on SBL pay, to support the development of a suggested pay framework for business leaders
  • continuing to lobby for the long-term solution of a national pay framework in our forthcoming response to the next STRB remit – we will call on members to support our evidence
  • continuing to engage with support staff unions on their pay negotiations to press for a greater focus on SBLs
  • supporting members on an individual basis for pay negotiations through our regional teams
  • exploring how SBLs could support any action taken by other members.

Join us at a regional event near you

Alongside these, we would encourage our SBL members to join us at one of our forthcoming briefings. These are open to all members and provide you with any opportunity to have your voice heard by NAHT staff and officials, as well as colleagues. See below for more information.

First published 28 November 2022