Head to Head

Job sizing: Nursery and PEF

•    If you have a nursery or a nursery class you may be being underpaid
•    Why PEF doesn’t change your salary – yet…

AHDS has now supported members in multiple local authority areas where the Job Sizing Toolkit has been applied wrongly in relation to nursery schools and classes.  In these cases, employers have counted WTE (Whole Time Equivalent) pupils rather than counting all pupils as part of job sizing.  The members concerned have received salary increases and have had back payment of salary that they should have received over the years.
The SNCT guidance makes it absolutely clear that in relation to nurseries it is a headcount which should be input rather than WTE (whole time equivalent) pupils:
“1.10 School Roll
Tick the box to show the range into which the number of pupils on the roll falls using the most recent census data submitted. If the post is vacant and the circumstances in the school will have changed when the appointee takes up post (eg school amalgamations, new nursery classes) the best available estimate should be used. The actual number of nursery pupils rather than the full time equivalent should be used and the number used should be representative of the number of pupils in the nursery throughout the year. For example, a nursery with a morning class of 50 and an afternoon class of 50, 100 should be taken as the representative head count even if the nursery is not operating at fully 50/50 at all times throughout the year.”

If you are thinking that you may fall into category you need to do the following:
-    Look at the job sizing paperwork you received when your post was last sized.
-    Check the information recorded in relation to nursery roll.
-    If it looks like this has been completed incorrectly then your next steps should be to inform your employer as soon as possible indicating that your salary has been calculated incorrectly and that you are seeking to have it backdated to the point of the mistake in job-sizing.
-    If you would like AHDS support with this, or if your employer is not responsive, please contact your Area Officer (see page X for contact details).

2 year olds
In a recent FAQ document the SNCT sought to further clarify the position in relation to counting two year olds.  For those with these younger children in their establishments this will be an additional consideration.  The SNCT document says:

“A 2-year-old nursery group should be counted as a separate class, with a morning group or afternoon group counted as separate classes.  The roll for 2 year olds is based on the number of places in each session, not the uptake.”

Looking forward…
AHDS has asked what the plan is to accommodate increased nursery entitlements within the job sizing toolkit as this will have the effect of cutting nursery capacity in half unless additional physical capacity is added to your building.  We will let you know as soon as we have an update on this.  

PEF & Job Sizing
Members have highlighted that while they welcome the additional PEF money coming into schools it has a material impact on the budget under their control as well as their responsibility and accountability.  It is perfectly reasonable to consider that this ought to be reflected in job-sizing.

The current position is that the PEF money is specifically excluded from job sizing as it falls under the heading “Special funding from the Scottish Government/Executive or other sources” in the job-sizing guidance.  The reason this exclusion exists is so that short term project funding doesn’t cause this indicator in the toolkit to move up and down irregularly prompting a rash of job-sizing changes.  While that rationale is sound it was not written with a policy such as PEF in mind.   We have highlighted this point to Government which indicated that the issue is now under consideration at the SNCT.  We will keep you up to date with any developments.