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Frequently Asked Questions

  • I’m currently working part-time; will Waveney Valley Academies Trust honour my contract after conversion?

    Yes, all staff are valued and all contracts will be honoured as part of the TUPE process. Work patterns for individuals will continue to be the responsibility of the headteacher, based around the needs of the school.

  • What will happen to my pension following conversion?

    Nothing will happen to any member of staff’s pension.

  • How does Suffolk pay differ from Norfolk pay systems?

    Teaching staff pay is in line with the STPCD in both Norfolk and Suffolk. Support staff oay scales do differ slightly but, as part of the TUPE process, all existing terms and conditions will be honoured. Over time, the trust may look to standardise support staff pay scales but this will not be undertaken without full and appropriate consultation with both staff and Trade Unions.

  • How does the Trust support staff on maternity or paternity leave?

    The trust policy regarding maternity and paternity leave offers full support in line with that of local authorities and all reputable employers.

  • Will current salaries transfer across following conversion?

    Yes, as part of the TUPE process, all terms and conditions of existing contracts will be transferred.

  • Who would I be employed by?

    All staff within our academies are employed by Waveney Valley Academies Trust.

  • If I work additional hours, can I still be paid supply? And at what rate?

    Additional working hours/days for individuals, along with the rates for such duties, will continue to be the responsibility of the headteacher, based around the needs of the school.

  • Will applying for a flexible work pattern or change to contract be similar to our current process?

    Requests for flexible working are made in line with the trust policy which mirrors that of local authorities and all reputable employers. All requests will be considered by the headteacher, based around the needs of the school.

  • Will I still get paid carers days?

    Decisions regarding authorised staff absence and remuneration will remain the decision of the headteacher, based around the needs of the school.

  • Will I ultimately be an employee of the trust rather than the school? Would there be the expectation that staff would move to other schools within the trust? Would we have a choice?

    Staff at all of our academies are employed by Waveney Valley Academies Trust. Our academy staff contracts will not include a ‘mobility clause’ either now or in the future. As part of a Trust, there will be many exciting opportunities to work across schools but this will not be mandatory.

  • Will members of staff be supported to make improvement if they are facing difficulties or issues?

    The trust fully supports all staff members. Any identified areas for staff development or improvement will be discussed and addressed appropriately and fairly. In all cases, the desired outcome will be for the support plan to be successful for the benefit of all. We are proud that we have raised standards within our schools by believing in, supporting and working alongside our staff members.

  • Will the school’s money be held centrally by the Trust? Will we have control over how the money is spent for our students? Or will the decision be taken by the trust?

    All funds within a MAT officially ‘belong’ to the trust. However, other than the top slice payment, the allocation of individual school funds remains the decision of the headteacher. This will include the use of surplus monies which will remain with the school. Any deviation from this would need to be approved by the Trust Board and would only be considered in the most exceptional of circumstances.

  • Will our money be used to support other schools rather than our own students?

    All funds within a MAT officially ‘belong’ to the trust. However, other than the top slice payment, the allocation of individual school funds remains the decision of the headteacher. This will include the use of surplus monies which will remain with the school. Any deviation from this would need to be approved by the Trust Board and would only be considered in the most exceptional of circumstances.

  • Will notice periods remain the same?

    Yes, as part of the TUPE process, all terms and conditions of existing contracts will be transferred.

  • Who does the trust buy in for payroll? Will our pay day change? If so, how long would I have to rearrange my monthly payments?

    The trust purchases payroll services from Education Personnel Management (EPM), based in Huntingdon. Currently, the pay date is the last working day of the month, although we are in discussion with staff regarding the possibility of changing this. The academy conversion process takes a few months so staff will have plenty of time to change financial arrangements if necessary.

  • Will our pay follow the same pay scale we use now? Or will we follow a completely new pay scale?

    Teaching staff pay is in line with the STPCD in both Norfolk and Suffolk. Support staff pay scales do differ slightly but, as part of the TUPE process, all existing terms and conditions will be honoured. Over time, the trust may look to standardise support staff pay scales but this will not be undertaken without full and appropriate consultation with both staff and Trade Unions.

  • What will support be like for staff with a disability?

    The trust fully supports all staff members. All reasonable adjustments will be made to support all staff to undertake their duties. This will include, but is not limited to, staff with a disability.

  • Will our redundancy package stay the same?

    As part of the TUPE process, continuous service and existing redundancy arrangements with the Local Authority will transfer across to the trust.

  • Will Performance Management become more numbers focused?

    Our Teachers’ Charter states that Performance Management targets will not be based on external examination/test results.

  • Will it be run like a business rather than thinking about what is best for the students?

    Students are at the heart of everything we do and this is clearly underpinned through our values on page 6 of our Scheme of Delegation. However, it is important that, behind the scenes, the trust is properly managed with a robust business approach to ensure financial security, legal compliance and risk management.

  • What would happen if Waveney Valley Academies Trust were to fail after we joined? Would we become an ‘orphan’ academy with no one to support us?

    It would take an extraordinary combination of circumstances for Waveney Valley Academies Trust to fail, to say the least. However, were this to happen, the DfE would ‘rebroker’ the school into a different multi-academy trust. This is the same as would automatically happen to a school which was not an academy, or in a trust.

  • Will we have an academy review each year?

    We undertake informal reviews of the work of our schools, conducted by headteachers from within our trust. These are supportive and developmental, open and transparent, and are not designed to ‘catch out’ schools or colleagues. In fact, this is the way that schools learn good ideas from each other, all benefitting as a result.

  • What will happen if the budget changes? Will we have to reapply for our jobs? Will there be a staff restructure?

    Future budgetary constraints are likely to be a challenge within all schools, whether they become an academy or remain as a LA maintained school. However, the allocation of individual school funds and any decisions regarding financial savings remain the responsibility of the headteacher.

  • What guarantee do we have, if any, that Waveney Valley Academies Trust will not collapse?

    It would take an extraordinary combination of circumstances for Waveney Valley Academies Trust to fail, to say the least. However, were this to happen, the DfE would ‘rebroker’ the school into a different multi-academy trust. This is the same as would automatically happen to a school which was not an academy, or in a trust.