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Education Act 2002

Section 125: Reference to Review Body

263.This section sets out the circumstances in which the Secretary of State may make an order under section 122. Usually, as at present, the provision in an order will follow a request for a report to the STRB, and the STRB's response. But the section also makes some changes to the Secretary of State's powers. At present, the STPCA allows the Secretary of State to make orders relating to matters which she does not consider so significant as to require referral to the STRB. The section here enables the Secretary of State to make an order where the matter concerned is subsidiary; or where the STRB's chairman is consulted on disapplying the provision requiring detailed consideration by the STRB.

264.The section explains what 'subsidiary' means for this purpose. It will cover the standards which the Secretary of State may set for different classes of teachers – for example, Advanced Skills Teachers – and criteria for progression from one pay scale to another – this would cover movement from the main pay scale to the upper pay scale following threshold assessment. (It should be noted that this does not mean that the Secretary of State will take decisions without involving the STRB on whether such categories of teachers or such pay scales should exist at all.)

265.Minor but necessary amendments could in future also be made to pay orders without reference back to the STRB in order to cover issues arising from the implementation of their recommendations, for example to ensure that groups of teachers are not disadvantaged, or to make recommendations work in practice. This might cover matters such as the complex arrangements necessary for the payment of recruitment and retention allowances, and assimilation arrangements resulting from changes to the pay structure. The matters might also be those which are minor in policy effect and therefore do not need to be subject to the full rigour of the STRB process, such as a desirable adjustment following on from a main policy or an interpretation of the intention, for example a change in the way training days are calculated to enable teachers to be paid for additional training undertaken in the evenings.

266.The section also gives the Secretary of State power by order to determine that provision of a particular kind should be, or cease to be, subsidiary, and to describe this provision by reference to her own opinion or to the opinion of another person. Section 210 provides for an order making such a determination to be subject to affirmative resolution procedure.

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