Preparing for a Successful School Year with HR & Payroll Solutions

We understand that a successful school year begins with efficient HR and payroll solutions. We will help you navigate the complexities of finding the right HR and payroll system for your school, ensuring trust, confidence, and efficiency in school administration. 

Pre-procurement considerations

Before you dive into the world of HR and payroll solutions, it’s crucial to conduct thorough pre-procurement considerations. Here’s how to get started: 

  • Conduct Research: Begin by researching the various HR and payroll systems available in the market. Explore supplier websites, read customer reviews, and consult industry experts to gather as much information as possible. 
  • List Important Features: Based on your research, create a list of the most critical features and functions that HR and payroll systems should have. These may include employee onboarding, benefits administration, time and attendance tracking, and payroll processing. 
  • Evaluate Systems: Evaluate different systems against your list of features. Rate them based on their suitability for schools. Consider input from HR and payroll professionals within your school to make informed decisions. 
  • Primary Objectives: Determine the primary objectives for the new contract. Are you looking for better quality, improved staff management, cost savings, or the addition of social value? Clearly define your goals. 

HR - Key considerations for your systems

In the realm of HR solutions, there are key considerations to keep in mind for a successful school year: 

  • Agreed Contracts and Policies: Ensure that contracts and policies are available online and provide support when needed. 
  • Occupational Health Support: Access to occupational health support and guidance is vital for maintaining staff well-being. 
  • Records of Advice: Maintain written records of advice received through the service to ensure transparency. 
  • Site Visits: Determine how many site visits per year are available to support various meetings and cases that may require HR representation. 
  • Central Portal: A central portal that offers updates on key employment law developments and provides advice and support is valuable. 
  • Expertise in Education Sector: Your HR provider should have expertise in the education sector to address specific needs. 
  • Grievance and Disciplinary Cases: HR support should cover grievance and disciplinary cases, as well as tribunal cases when necessary, including casework management. 
  • Compliance Check: An annual compliance check of HR documentation with advice and updates on employment and contract issues is essential. 
  • Managing Poor Performance: Support in managing poor performance is crucial to ensure staff development. 
  • Settlement Agreements: The provision of settlement agreements as and when required. 
  • Addressing Discrimination: Guidance and support regarding discrimination in the workplace is necessary. 
  • Job Descriptions and Pay: Assistance with teaching and support staff job descriptions, job evaluations, and associated pay and grading is essential. 
  • Family-Friendly Rights: Advice and support for maternity and paternity arrangements, adoption, and ordinary parental leave. 
  • DBS Management: Act as the school’s DBS umbrella company for the management of school DBS checks and barred checks, along with advice and compliance with the single central record. 
  • Terms and Conditions: Support with changing terms and conditions and updating LGPS portal for employee details. 
  • Recruitment Initiatives: Support for effective recruitment initiatives. 
  • Wider HR Issues: Assistance with tier 2 visa registration, DBS checks, right to work in the UK, restructuring programs, redundancies, TUPE transfers, union engagement, references, and access to wider HR training. 
  • Helpdesk Support: A telephone/email helpdesk to support staff on HR-related issues, including up-to-date template documents and guidance notes, covering GDPR-compliant HR document management. 
  • Absence Management: Support in absence management and return to work arrangements. 
  • Pay and Policies Harmonisation: Support with harmonisation of pay and policies post-appointment, including advising on consultations and approaches. 
  • Redundancies and Restructures: Assistance with redundancies and restructures. 
  • HR Strategy: Support in the development of an HR strategy. 
  • Mediation and Conflict Resolution: Assistance in mediation and conflict resolution. 
  • Statutory Returns: Support in handling statutory and other returns to the DFE relating to workforce or HR. 

Payroll - Key considerations for your systems

When it comes to payroll solutions, you need to consider the following factors: 

  • Managed Options: Decide whether you need a fully managed or part-managed solution, taking into account data entry and reporting capabilities
  • HMRC Compliance: Ensure HMRC-compliant reporting, including Real-Time Information (RTI) where relevant. 
  • Training: Assess the availability of training for your staff to effectively use the system. 
  • Support Officer: Confirm if you’ll have a dedicated support officer to handle payroll queries. 
  • GDPR Compliance: Ensure that the payroll system is GDPR-compliant to protect sensitive employee data. 
  • Data Transition: Evaluate the system’s capability to support the transition of existing school payroll data to the new system and provider. 
  • User-Friendly Portal: A user-friendly portal/interface for uploading payroll data is essential for ease of use. 
  • Government Liaison: Assess the system’s support in liaising with HMRC, DWP, and other government departments on payroll-related issues, including the payment of deductions, levies, and taxes. 
  • Timely Processing: Ensure that payroll data is processed accurately and on time to guarantee staff are paid promptly. 
  • Pay Scales and Ranges: Confirm that the system can apply school-specific pay rates and ranges. 
  • Overtime and Hourly Pay: Check if the system can accurately calculate and process overtime and hourly pay. 
  • Tax Documents: Verify the provision of P45s, P60s, P11ds (if relevant), and other tax documents to individual staff members as needed. 
  • Sick Pay and Leave: Ensure the system can calculate and process Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP), and maintenance of appropriate records. 
  • Deductions and Contributions: Confirm that the system can accurately handle salaries, allowances, expenses, deductions for unpaid leave, strike action, tax, and pension contributions. 
  • National Insurance: Check if the system can calculate and process employer and employee national insurance to HMRC on a timely basis. 
  • Pension Management: Ensure that the system can handle pension returns to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) and the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) as required by the schemes. 
  • Payment Processing: Verify that the system can handle the payment of net wages to staff by BACs from the nominated bank account(s). 
  • Tax Updates: Confirm if the system can automatically update tax, levy, and pension rates as well as individual staff tax allowances. 
  • Flexible Payroll Dates: Assess the ability, at no extra cost, to run the payroll on a different date from time to time, such as at Christmas. 
  • Payroll Reports: Check if the system provides detailed payroll reports showing pay and deductions for each member of staff, as well as a BACs payment report showing payments to be made. 
  • E-Payslips: Confirm if e-payslips are available. 

With these considerations in mind, Education Buying is here to guide you through the process of finding the right HR and payroll solutions for your school. We understand that trust and confidence are paramount when it comes to school administration, and we are here to be your dependable partner. 

We believe that a successful school year starts with the right tools and support in place. Trust Education Buying to help you navigate the procurement challenges, ensuring that your school is well-prepared for the upcoming year. Let’s work together to make it the best school year yet!