A facility that enables Academies to buy-back the arrangements for teacher trade union facilities
There is an obligation on employers to allow for paid time off for trade union facility time.
For LA maintained schools, the costs of this are met by a trade union facility fund, which has been de- delegated by representatives of LA maintained schools on the Schools Forum.
Academy representatives on the Schools Forum do not have the same opportunity to hold back funds centrally because all Academy funding is delegated to individual schools.
The 'buy-back' facilities arrangement means that academies can buy in to trade union facility time.
This means that individual academies or trusts do not need to provide release time for employees to participate in relevant trade union activities (such as representation, consultation etc.), Buying in to the centralised facilities fund means that designated local trade union officials deliver the statutory facility time requirements.
This allows the school to retain its teaching staff in the classroom rather than on facility time, and allows for meetings to be held in the school day. The intention is to enable experienced representatives to deal with things at a local level, rather than have to involve regional officials for routine trade union activities. This facilitates early resolution of issues. It also allows for attendance at consultative forums such as trust wide or academy focussed Joint Consultative Committees.
The Trade Union Facilities fund is managed by the HR Business Partner (Schools).