Part 2: Who gets the money docked from striking teachers?

Back in November, I wrote a post asking who gets the money docked from striking teachers. The question came from @schoolgate and it’s a very valid question.

I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the DfE and a few weeks ago, I received a response.

In short, the answer to the question is that the teachers are docked 1/365 salary. Individual schools keep the docked money and can then use it towards any part of their budget they want. So, yes, it stays in the education system. Unfortunately, the DfE doesn’t keep documentation on how this money is used by each and every school. That would require asking the individual schools.

One of our readers, Caz Parra, commented on the original post that “At Queen Mary, University of London, we were told the striking teacher’s pay went into the students hardship fund.” Do you know how your school uses this money?

Here is the letter reproduced in full.

Dear Ms Zak,

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 25 November 2011. You requested “any documentation showing where money deducted from teachers during the last strike in June went.” You also asked, “Is it put back into the education system? Also, how much are teachers officially docked?” I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

A teacher in a maintained school loses 1/365 of annual pay per day of strike action, as stipulated in the ‘Conditions of service for school teachers in England and Wales’ (also known as the Burgundy Book). This money is retained by individual schools and they may redirect it to any part of their budget they consider appropriate.  It is, therefore, still spent in the education system. The Department for Education does not, however, hold documentation showing more specifically how this money has been used because it does not request budgetary information from schools at this level of detail. You would need to approach individual schools to get this information.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should make a complaint to the Department by writing to me within two calendar months of the date of this letter. Your complaint will be considered by an independent review panel, who were not involved in the original consideration of your request.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the Department, you may then contact the Information Commissioner’s Office

Yours sincerely,
Andrea Boughey

Teachers Group
Department for Education
Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street
London
SW1P 3BT
Andrea.boughey@education.gsi.gov.uk
0207 340 8120

 

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2 Responses to Part 2: Who gets the money docked from striking teachers?

  1. Joy G says:

    I find it interesting that they get 1/365th subtracted, yet teachers in England are not paid an annual rate (for 52 weeks work) but rather according to contact time (around 40 weeks). I would have expected them to have lost about 1/200th of their pay, particularly as quite a few teachers I know personally are very quick to point out that they aren’t paid for their (long) holidays.
    I am fairly sure that after November’s strike I (a local government officer) lost 1/260th of pay not 1/365.

    • Paul Bradshaw says:

      When I left my job in local government many many years ago, I do remember being paid my unclaimed holiday at a rate of 1/365th, which surprised me as I expected it to be calculated based on working days, as you say. It seems in some sectors that practice continues – and also that there are pros and cons to the calculation (although the frequency of unpaid holiday presumably outstrips the frequency of strike action).

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