Frequently Asked Questions
Throughout the change process common questions that arise from DPLS staff will be published on this website to share the information across the service. The project team will also publish Q&As that may be relevent to staff as and when they arise. View the list of DPLS FAQs below.
Department for Education FAQs
Although currently aimed at converter AP Academies the Department for Education has designed a useful FAQ document where you can view many helpful answers to key questions around PRUs converting to academies. Whilst the DPLS is becoming a sponsored academy, the converting academy guidance is almost wholly relevant too. View the guidance here: DfE Frequently Asked Questions
The Department for Education has recently published a ‘mythbuster’ document in relation to PRUs becoming academies to alleviate incorrect myths concerning staff and stakeholders. This document can be viewed by following this link: DfE Mythbuster for PRUs
Your questions or comments
If you cannot find an answer to your question on this site, or wish to submit a comment to the project team then you are able to by completing our questions and comments form.
What happens to a teacher’s terms and conditions if s/he transfers to an Academy under TUPE from a maintained school?
Redundancy, contractual maternity and sickness provision
Teachers transferring to an Academy will maintain their existing terms and conditions under TUPE legislation. When the PRUs convert to academy status, the statutory School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document (STPCD) will be incorporated into the teaching staff contracts, as will the Conditions of Service for School Teachers in England and Wales (‘Burgundy Book’) and any local agreements between the local authority and the recognised teacher unions.
Teachers who transfer under TUPE to an academy will have continuity of service preserved for redundancy entitlements.
Teachers Pension Scheme (TPS)
All teachers are automatically part of the TPS unless they have previously, or subsequently elect to opt out. So, on transfer, pension arrangements will carry on as if the teacher was moving between maintained schools. The difference is that rather than the Local Authority liaising with Capita Teachers’ Pensions, who administer the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, the Academy will do so.
What happens to a support staff member’s terms and conditions if s/he transfers to an Academy under TUPE from a maintained school?
Their continuous service and contractual benefits on transfer (redundancy, leave, sickness and maternity pay etc) are fully protected.
Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
All support staff are automatically part of the LGPS unless they have previously or subsequently elected to opt out. So on transfer pension arrangements will carry on as if the member of staff was moving between maintained schools. Specific arrangements will depend on how the Scheme is administered by the Local Authority pension fund to which the Academy belongs. On appointment, the Academy should be able to provide you with literature about the Scheme and keep you up to date with developments. The Academy should also be able to give you a contact point at the local authority if you need to contact them about your pension.
What stage in the process will TUPE consultation take place and the public consultation?
It is anticipated to begin both consultations soon after ministerial approval is granted at the end of November 2012. It is likely both consultations will run during January and February 2013 although further details will be published on the DPLS Comms website.
When will the conversion to academies take place?
The original date for conversion that is being aimed for is 1st April 2013. However, PRUs can convert into academies on the first day of every month and so should more preparation time be needed then this date could slip to a later month if required to ensure the process has been followed correctly and fully.
Will the three current PRUs convert as one academy or three?
Each PRU will become an independent academy however they will all be under one Academy Trust – namely a ‘multi-academy trust’ with the sponsor TBG.