Sixth form colleges - pay background

The September 2013 pay agreement included the establishment of a joint working party involving the teacher unions and the Sixth Form Colleges Association (SFCA) to consider, on a without prejudice basis, issues relating to pay parity and the pay framework in sixth form colleges.

The first two meetings of the working party were held on 7 and 28 April. SFCA representatives put forward proposals for a review of the current national pay structure and the current frameworks for pay progression and performance management. These proposals are also currently the subject of consultation with college principals. You can find out more here.

You can download the Joint Staff Side Pay Claim for 2014/15 here. We anticipate receiving a response from the employers at a meeting of the National Joint Council on 10 July.

Click here to see the joint statement from June 2014.

September 2013 pay increased accepted 

ATL and the joint unions have accepted the Sixth Form Colleges Association offer of a pay increase of 1% on all scale points and allowances from September 2013.

ATL's decision followed a consultation of representatives who were unanimously in favour of acceptance. A joint union union statement has been published.

The unions and the SFCA have agreed to establish a joint working party to consider wider issues relating to pay parity and the pay framework in sixth form colleges. The working party will look at a range of factors including:

  • recruitment and retention data
  • current labour market trends
  • the issue of pay levels and conditions of service in comparator groups
  • the relationship between pay and performance in the sixth form colleges pay structure
  • the financial and economic context.

The working party will convene and conclude its discussions in time to inform pay negotiations in 2014, and ATL representatives will have the opportunity to discuss the relevant issues at a meeting in London on 27 November.

Pay negotiations 2013-14

At a meeting in July 2013, SFCA representatives said that they were unable to make a pay offer before consultations with colleges had concluded. The staff side was disappointed that the employers were unable to make a pay offer and stressed that an agreement would need to include both an acceptable pay increase for 2013-14 and a continuing focus on pay levels which are competitive with schools, ensuring that colleges can recruit and retain and teachers are fairly rewarded.

Earlier in the year, ATL and the other teaching unions in sixth form colleges have published a joint pay claim for 2013-2014, which deplored the employers' refusal to offer any pay increase to sixth form college teachers for September 2011 and 2012 or to begin the process of achieving the declared aim of restoring pay comparability with schools.

Pay negotiations 2012-13

The staff side unions met representatives of the Sixth Form Colleges Forum, the colleges' national body, on Monday 3 December 2012 to discuss sixth form college teachers' pay and conditions.

At the meeting, SFCF representatives repeated their refusal to offer any pay increase at all to sixth form college teachers for September 2012, arguing that any increase would be unaffordable given that the funding situation had not improved since the last meeting in July. They said, however, that they would be willing to discuss pay for September 2013 in early 2013.

The Staff Side responded that teachers had been extremely disappointed when the three unions had consulted their members following the meeting in July. The Staff Side stressed that it was imperative to begin restoring comparability with school teachers as soon as possible.

The employers did, however, agree to continue discussions on joint employment procedures, an agreement on facilities time and a review of the joint guidance on workload and working time.

For more details, see

Need further advice?

Your first point of contact is your ATL rep in your school or college. Your local ATL branch is also available to help with queries, or you can contact ATL's member advisors on tel: 020 7930 6441 or email us. Please have your membership number to hand when telephoning and include it with any correspondence - this will help us to answer your query more quickly.

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