Special School Trust decides teachers and managers are more deserving of pay rise than school support staff

Download as PDF

GMB London slams Queensmill Trust for choosing to award its management and teachers a pay rise but not its school support staff who have been waiting to receive agreed pay increases for the last two years.

Queensmill Trust has two specialist schools one in Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) and the other in Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC). In a letter seen by GMB, the Trust appears to have been in dispute with the Hammersmith & Fulham Council for some time. In one letter sent to H&F Leader Steven Cowan in December 2022 the Trust stated ‘owing to the recent exceptional financial pressures, we have had to delay as a trust, some of the nationally agreed pay awards to our dedicated and hard-working staff who consistently go over and above the call to meet the needs of children.’ The Trust did not state that the ‘some’ referred to is all the support staff employed by the Trust.

GMB members working in the Trusts’ schools in the two London boroughs are upset, angry and frustrated. Tension is growing because of the action of the school’s Trustees, who in making their decision, have sent a message that support staff are not respected or valued despite their hard work and the essential role they play in the delivery of education and care for the children attending the schools.

Mick Lancaster, GMB London Region Organiser said:

“Whilst GMB is sympathetic to the budget constraints facing schools it cannot accept our members, the lowest-paid workforce in the school, not receiving their pay increases. The Trust must be challenged, GMB and our members will not tolerate the buck being passed by the employer.”

John Weir, GMB London Region Organiser said:

“K&C Council has paid the additional money to the school, so why have support staff at the Kensington Queensmill school not been paid the pay rise?

“The Trust must be transparent about their finances. At the moment there is concern that funding received has been taken to fund other costs across the Trust at the expense of support staff. GMB has members in many Trust academies but this is the only Trust that we are aware of that has singled out its support staff not to receive a pay increase.”

Lisa Bangs, GMB London Region, Lead Organiser for Schools said:

“Questions need to be asked about how suitable the Trust was to take over this school if it was in such a precarious financial position. In addition to being paid what they are owed for 2021/22 and 2022/23, members are rightly concerned about any award for 2023/24. It is not reasonable to expect loyal, hardworking and dedicated staff to wait for two years for their pay increases. The Queensmill Trust is the employer and needs to pay its staff and cannot expect them to wait indefinitely while it is in dispute with Hammersmith & Fulham.”

For more information please contact:

Lisa Bangs, GMB London Region, Lead Organiser for Schools 079 7026 2360