Information for new teachers

This page is intended to be a helpful guide for new teachers as to certain basic information about their employment. It is not exhaustive but has been subject to consultation with the Teachers' Professional Associations and covers the areas which are most likely to cause concern.

The main purpose is to provide a guide as to the location of important information and, in this context, teachers will wish to ensure that they also seek advice from heads of department, heads of year, the appropriate deputy headteacher or senior manager, or the headteacher. For newly qualified teachers it will also be important to liaise closely with the appointed mentor.

The Teachers' Professional Associations will be able to provide support, help and advice especially with regard to, for example, grievance, disciplinary capability or redundancy issues.

There are three important documents which teachers need to be able to access from time to time and a copy of each should be available in school.

  • The School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document (published annually by the DfES) has the force of law on pay and conditions matters.
  • The Conditions of Service for School Teachers in England and Wales (The Burgundy Book) sets out the national agreements between the local authority employers and the teachers' professional associations.
  • The Personnel Handbook is a local document, specific to Bedfordshire which provides local interpretation of the law and the national agreements as well as advice, guidance and support on matters relating to pay and conditions of service. The Handbook should be readily available to all school based staff.

The Schools' Personnel Team based at Borough Hall will be happy to deal with questions and concerns on personnel related matters. Please telephone 01234 228297.

First day at work

Birth certificate, P45, NI Number; signed bank credit slip (if not already returned) signed Statement of Particulars (if not already returned).

Salary information

Salaries are paid monthly and each school must provide an annual statement to teachers as to their salary level.

27th of the month for IT Net (the County Council's preferred payroll provider) but this will vary with the payroll providers and NQTs are advised to check with the school on pay arrangements.

Hours of work

Know the school hours and the timetable commitment. Teachers must be available on 195 days, of which, 190 days shall be days on which the teacher may be required to teach pupils. The 1265 hours per annum must be allocated reasonably throughout the academic year and directed time should be agreed with the head. (The School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document and the Personnel Handbook – Chapter 3, Section 1 – provide more information).

Leave of Absence

Where a teacher requires leave in term time, this policy outlines the agreed recommendations of the Local Authority.

Personnel Handbook, Chapter 3, Section 4. It should be noted that the entitlement to leave of absence either with or without pay is likely to vary according to the circumstances of the request.

Maternity Leave

Conditions of Service for School Teachers in England and Wales (the Burgundy Book) Section 5.


During the first four years of teaching a teacher will accrue an increasing entitlement to sick leave where this is necessary. The Regulations relating to NQTs provide that more than 30 days sickness in the induction year can lead to an extension of the induction year.

Conditions of Service for School Teachers in England and Wales (the Burgundy Book) Section 4.

The Management of Sickness Absence (Personnel Handbook Chapter 4, Section 6).

Whenever a teacher is absent from school owing to sickness the headteacher should be informed.

Teachers' Pensions

The Local Authority is an agent of Teachers' Pensions for the purpose of recording a teacher's reckonable service for pension entitlement.

Teachers' Pensions
Mowden Hall
Staindrop Road
Darlington DL3 9BG

Telephone: 08700 012345
or The Personnel Support Manager (Schools) (01234) 228297

Trade Unions and Professional Associations

The Council recognises six teachers' professional associations for consultation and negotiation purposes. (A list of Branch Secretaries is at Appendix 1).

Personnel Handbook Chapter 1, Section 2. (Appendix 1).

Occupational Health

Accident injuries and assaults should be reported to the School (and then to the LEA). Matters of concern should be referred to the appropriate professional association.

Occupational Health Services can be accessed via the Personnel Support Manager (Schools) (01234) 228297. Advice and assistance can be obtained on employee health matters, illness and injury caused by work.


Teachers may be entitled to claim travelling expenses for certain authorised journeys. (For example, an extra journey to school to attend a parents evening).

Personnel Handbook: Chapter 3, Section 8.


A portfolio of courses made available by the Local Authority is published each year. The portfolio should be available in the staff room or some other place notified to you by the school. Teachers will wish to check with training co-ordinators the arrangements to access training (see also the booklet 'A Guide for Newly Qualified Teachers').

Performance Management

Teachers will need to know who is responsible for the annual performance management review and agree the targets.

The school will have a performance management policy. The guidance of the Local Authority on this matter is set out at Appendix P to Chapter 3, Section 1, in the Personnel Handbook.

Health and Safety

The school will have a health and safety policy and there is an obligation on all schools to ensure that such policies are readily available to staff.

Equal Opportunities

Equal opportunity underpins the policies of the LEA.

The Borough Council's equal opportunity policy statement is in the Personnel Handbook at Chapter 2, Section 2.

Grievance Policy

For internal disputes which cannot be settled informally a teacher can access the grievance scheme. (Before using the Grievance Procedure, teachers are advised to contact their professional association).

Personnel Handbook Chapter 3, Section 9.

Disciplinary Procedure (Conduct)

Teachers are strongly advised to contact their professional association if they become subject to formal disciplinary action.

Personnel Handbook Chapter 4, Section 1.

Capability Procedure

Teachers are strongly advised to contact their professional association if they become subject to formal capability procedures.

Personnel Handbook Chapter 4, Section 2.

Redundancy and Premature Retirement

In the event of a contract being terminated teachers are strongly advised to contact their professional association.

Personnel Handbook Chapter 5, Sections 1-3.

Minibus Driver

Before driving a school minibus teachers will need a medical, a Midas training assessment and a D1 designation on their licence. Minibus drivers must be over 21 years of age.