When and How can I apply for threshold?

Any teacher on the M6 point can apply to pass through the Threshold. For most teachers this will mean after 6 years of teaching but includes anyone paid on M6. You can apply once in any year in which you are on M6. The application can be submitted at any stage of the year, but applications are considered only for progression from the following September. 

In Spring 2013 the government proposed making changes to allow any qualified teacher to apply to access the upper pay scale.

The suggested application form and accompanying guidance can be download from the Department for Education website.

What evidence do I need to provide?

You do not need to provide any evidence other than your previous 2 Performance Management reviews. It would be best if they contained evidence of the Post Threshold (P) standards.

The standards are:

: P2
: P3 and P4
: P6
: P7
: P8
8. PROFESSIONAL SKILLS: Team working and collaboration
: P9 and P10

When should I hear if I've been successful?

Pay determinations have to be made by October 31st in the Autumn term, according to the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Document

When will I get the pay rise?

Your pay will rise from September following your application, or backdated as appropriate if your application is approved in September/October. No backdating for previous years is allowed.

What if I'm unsuccessful?

You should receive written feedback on why you have been unsuccessful. The appeals process (as described in Section 19 of the support pack) is a shorter version of the model Pay Appeal process which is available to all teachers who wish to appeal against a pay decision.

Pay decisions can be challenged on a number of grounds. It must be shown that the determining body either:

a)  incorrectly applied any provision of the Document;
b)  failed to have proper regard for statutory guidance;
c)  failed to take proper account of relevant evidence;
d)  took account of irrelevant or inaccurate evidence;
e)  was biased; or
f) otherwise unlawfully discriminated against the teacher

What if I've worked in more that one school during the evidence period?

If at the time of application you are working in two or more schools, then you should apply to the school where you do most of your work.

If you have moved school during the evidence period, then you should apply to your current school, and your Headteacher has a duty to consult with previous Headteachers as necessary to ascertain that you have met the required standards

If you apply for threshold at one school, but move before your higher level of pay has begun, then your new school must honour the decision made by the Headteacher who assessed your application.

How is my application affected by maternity / sick leave?

Neither of these issues affect your right to apply to pass through the threshold, or to progress within the upper pay scale. However, depending on the length of your absence, you may need to arrange for your Performance Management review objectives and timescale to be adjusted.

What if I'm currently on the leadership scale?

Teachers who are paid on the leadership spine earn more than they would on the first point of the upper pay scale.

However, those teachers who have been employed on the leadership spine for a period of not less than 12 months and then return to a main scale post are eligible to be paid on the first point of the upper pay scale without being required to make such an application

Teachers with less than 12 months experience on the leadership spine can apply in the normal way once they return to the main scale at point M6. The application, once approved, can lead to pay being backdated to the date upon which the teacher returned to the main scale.

How do I move up within the post-threshold scale?

There is no application process for progression from UPS1 to UPS2 or from 2 to 3. 

Once you have passed through the Threshold to UPS1, progression to the upper points requires that you continue to meet the standards, making a “sustained and substantial contribution” to your school. This is evidenced by 2 successful performance management reviews. Unfortunately ‘successful’ is not defined but if no problems are identified at Performance Management and you are not progressed, your Headteacher would have to explain why, in writing. 

Under current Performance Management regulations, the responsibility for ensuring that PM reviews reflect the sustained and substantial contribution is shared between the reviewer and reviewee. A recommendation on progression should be made by the reviewer as part of the PM review.

Relevant bodies should (not must) take full account of the clarification document (see attachment at foot of page) in considering a decision to progress a teacher from one threshold point to the next. It does not outline standards to be fulfilled or additional criteria, bit rather is a clarification of the position. It does, however, provide force to the argument that decisions have to be “fair, transparent and rooted in evidence”

What if my school can't afford it?

Schools are not allowed to make threshold decisions based on budgetary considerations.

Headteachers must review applications solely in relation to the evidence given, and to verify that the required standards have been met. They are required to inform governors of the outcome, and in the event that standards have been met, governors are required to move the applicant to the upper pay scale at the relevant date.

Teachers who suspect that their application has been turned down mainly for financial reasons should consider the appeals process, with support and advice from their union.