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HR Policies for Schools and Academies

hr policies for schools

HR professionals working in education face many challenging circumstances, from tight budgets and teacher shortages to never-ending paperwork. Furthermore, they often report directly to either a provost or CAO instead of being part of the core leadership of an institution.

Studies conducted to date demonstrate that teachers’ perceptions of effective human resource practices are positively associated with work engagement and, consequently, school performance.

1. Recruitment

Schools face unique HR issues, including teacher shortages, paperwork demands and compliance needs. Crafting an inclusive recruitment policy can help schools attract and retain talented teachers.

Not only should schools ensure they have enough staff members, but a comprehensive recruitment policy can also ensure that new hires fit well into both their role and school culture. A recruitment policy might include guidelines for interviewing and selection processes that help the school assess whether an applicant can effectively work with children or young people.

Recruitment of talented teachers can be challenging during times of a national teacher shortage (Runhaar 2017). Many schools have taken steps to identify and hire talented educators through innovative techniques like social media campaigns, mentoring opportunities for prospective teachers and offering competitive salaries.

Schools may hire agency workers when necessary; however, this must be done carefully and in accordance with the School Staffing Regulations 2009. Furthermore, it is vital to implement a robust safer recruitment process with all members of the selection panel being given appropriate training on this process to deter unsuitable individuals from becoming part of school staff; additionally it is also a legal requirement that one member has undergone safer recruitment training prior to making selection decisions.

2. Pay

Pay and benefits provided to teachers are critical components of their recruitment and retention, especially among professionals requiring similar qualifications and training. Local and state policies can set minimum salaries, while some districts provide bonus programs or loan forgiveness incentives to encourage teachers to teach in high-need schools.

CCSD’s compensation program integrates market value with recognized industry pay practices to create equitable pay. Employees can gain more information regarding pay structure, job classification and compensation processes by visiting Backyard (intranet login required).

A school’s pay policy must meet the National Education Union (NEU) checklist requirements to provide fair and transparent processes for making decisions on teacher pay. This includes how eligibility for progression to higher pay ranges is determined as well as whether clear criteria exist for determining Teaching and Learning Responsibility payments and allowances (TLR).

The National Education Union’s model school pay policy can help identify key points of your school’s pay policy that need consideration. A policy meeting the NEU requirements will help to ensure teachers are recruited, retained and motivated while providing an ideal basis for financial and personnel planning as well as minimising risks of discrimination or unfair treatment claims.

3. Training

Clear training policies can ensure staff adhere to them and can eliminate disputes regarding what constitutes policy or not. For instance, school dress code policies must clearly state which clothing items are not allowed and define “revealing,” so teachers don’t need to subjectively decide whether a student’s outfit is acceptable or not. School policies must also clearly define bullying or sexual harassment so victims can come forward safely and be treated fairly.

Teacher work engagement is one of the main predictors of school performance (Bakker, Hakanen, Demerouti & Xanthopoulou2007), so it is critical that human resource practices assist teachers’ attempts at fulfilling their job role effectively. Therefore, this study explores how HRM practices influence teachers’ perceptions of their availability, fairness and effectiveness (Runhaar2021).

The findings demonstrate that human resources management policies have a positive influence on teachers’ work engagement, with this impact mediated by perceptions of availability, fairness, and effectiveness of HRM practices. Furthermore, HRM practices may stimulate organizational citizenship behavior within teachers which is particularly useful considering teaching requires commitment and effort in order to produce professional results and provide high-quality services to students (Rivkin Hanushek Kain 2005). Accordingly, schools should prioritize improving the quality of HRM policies in order to create an optimal learning environment for employees.

4. Performance

Schools and academies need a robust performance management policy in place that supports staff to meet high standards while offering guidance to those who might need additional help and support. This should include goal setting, appraisal, feedback coaching as well as development/CPD initiatives as well as reviews.

This can take place either directly between principal and teacher or, alternatively, through end-of-cycle reviews conducted by a review panel comprised of members from the leadership team. A reviewer can then make recommendations to their principal regarding performance and development of each teacher under review.

An essential aspect of an effective performance management process is recognising that teaching is complex and that not all teachers can be expected to perform perfectly every time. A focus should be put on supporting all teachers regardless of career stage or training needs in making improvements over time – while still acknowledging there are various factors which impact pupil outcomes and progress. It is recommended that schools provide feedback within their system at least twice each cycle – mid-cycle discussions as well as at the end. This allows teachers to reflect upon their work during the year as well as set goals for the next year.

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