HR advisory project service

HR Advisory Project Service for Education

What's on offer

Absence Management Review

The impact of employee absence is significant in terms of the cost and impact on the performance of your School or Academy. It is important that all employees are treated fairly and consistently in line with your absence policy, and that they receive timely and appropriate support to return to work, however experience has shown us that there are often areas of absence management within any School or Academy which could be improved.

What will we do?

Review your current absence management arrangements and costs, and provide a detailed report of our findings and recommendations.

Areas covered by the Absence Management Review

  • Your absence policy and reporting procedures
  • Strategic joint work with your Occupational Health provider to identify improvements
  • Return to work interview process concentrating on the consistency and the quality of the interviews and record keeping
  • Knowledge and skills gap analysis for managers responsible for managing employee absence
  • Absence trends, rates and costs over a defined period
  • Management reporting arrangements to governing bodies and trusts
  • Identification of absence hot spots, and case review management

How will an Absence Management Review benefit my school / academy?

  • A clear focus on managing absence will help to reduce absence levels and the direct and indirect costs associated
  • Concise and up to date policy and procedures for managing absence
  • Clarity for employees and managers on their responsibilities for reporting, recording and managing absence
  • Identification of training needs supported by a programme of manager development to ensure managers have the knowledge and skills to apply your policies
  • Confidence in meeting the requirements of the Equalities Act by ensuring that managers are knowledgeable and confident to discuss reasonable adjustments and support for disabled workers thus reducing the opportunity for valid legal challenge
  • Any employees experiencing health issues will be supported in an appropriate manner, ensuring an engaged workforce

Undertaking Investigations

Whenever a formal grievance has been raised, a formal allegation of bulling or harassment has been made or there is a potential misconduct issue to deal with it is vital that a thorough, fair and timely investigation is undertaken before any actions are taken against an employee. Investigations can be complex and emotive to manage, requiring an impartial investigator to understand and interpret complex information, “think outside the box” and to use a range of communication skills.

What will we do?

Provide an experienced HR Adviser to undertake an impartial investigation into any employee relations issue. As specialist education HR Advisers we have an excellent knowledge and understanding of the sector and the particular challenges it brings. As a result you can be confident that a thorough investigation which can stand up to scrutiny will be undertaken.

What the Investigations service includes

  • An initial discussion with a Commissioning Manager to understand the scope of the investigation
  • Provision of an investigation plan including details of interviews which will be required and expected timescales
  • Provision of regular progress updates are required
  • Arranging and conducting formal interviews as appropriate to the situation
  • Collation of other relevant evidence as appropriate, e.g. copies of any policies or procedures, copies of emails, CCTV evidence, and training records etc.
  • Production of an objective and comprehensive investigation report
  • Attendance at meetings/hearings as required to present the investigation report, question witnesses and respond to relevant questions.

How will an Investigations project benefit my School / Academy?

  • More cost effective than training an in-house manager “just in case” and investigation is required
  • Ensures investigations are carried out in a timely manner in accordance with your policy and HR best practice
  • Leaves your managers to deliver their day job
  • Ensure impartiality of the investigation
  • Using an impartial third party investigator can emphasise how seriously you view the allegation

Managing a Tupe Transfer

Whether you are transferring employees into or out of your School / Academy TUPE can be complex and time consuming. There are key steps which must be undertaken at set points and some specific actions to be completed to reduce the opportunity for valid legal challenge.

What will we do?

We provide a HR Advisor to work with you through each step of the process, ensuring that the transfer is managed in a legally compliant way.

What will the TUPE service include?

  • An initial consultation with you to discuss your plans
  • Provision of a project plan including required activities and timelines
  • Support during the consultation process with employees and / or unions
  • Provision of draft communications for the TUPE transfer
  • Co-ordination of the data transfer “due diligence” required within legal timeframes
  • Recommended actions for post transfer

How will a TUPE service benefit my School / Academy

  • You will reduce the opportunity for valid legal challenge from employees
  • Reduce the risk of delays as a result of legal procedures not being followed
  • You will experience minimal disruption to service delivery as employees will receive timely and comprehensive information on the changes and what they mean for them
  • Maintain employee engagement as employees will be fully aware of the transfer and its implications for them

Academy Conversion - Managing the HR Implications

If your school is converting to an Academy it is vital that legislative requirements are followed precisely to ensure that the new Academy starts off on the right footing.

There are specific requirements in relation to consultation with employees and unions, clear processes around staff contracts of employment and key milestones which must be met if the HR aspects relating to the Academy conversion are to run smoothly.

What will we do?

An experienced HR Adviser will discuss your strategic plans for conversion and advise on the HR implications of the conversion, and post transfer activity. We will then support you through the full HR process of conversion from the initial consultation stages through to conclusion of the conversion.

What does an Academy Conversion service include?

  • Supplying a detailed plan with specific project milestones and timelines
  • Provision of template letters to be issued to employees and / or unions as required ensuring that your legal responsibilities are met
  • Support as required at consultation meetings with employees and / or trade unions
  • Assistance with the “due diligence” process of information transfer which is a legal requirement
  • A review of your contract templates to ensure that contracts issued to new employees joining the Academy post conversion are accurate and legally compliant
  • A review of your HR policies and procedures to ensure that these continue to meet the aims of the new Academy. Please see details of our Policy Review and Development project for further details

How will an Academy Conversion project benefit my School?

  • Staff will transition smoothly to become employees of the new Academy Trust
  • Risks are mitigated as you can be confident that legal requirements in relation to the HR aspects of the conversion have been followed in full
  • The timescale for the conversion will be clearly planned at the outset of the project
  • Employees and union representatives will be consulted as required
  • Maintain employee engagement through an effective communication process
  • An opportunity to review HR policies and procedures for the Academy Trust thereby taking advantage of the additional freedoms available to Academies

Policy Review and Development

Every School and Academy should have adopted a suite of HR policies and procedures which make expectations of required conduct and standards clear to all.

  • Do you know when your HR policies and procedures were last reviewed?
  • Can you be confident that your current policies and procedures are still meeting the needs of your School / Academy e.g. post conversion and beyond?
  • Would you like to develop more bespoke policies and procedures but are not sure where or how to start the process?
  • Do you need to review and establish consultation arrangements and recognition agreements post Academy conversion?

What will we do?

We will undertake a comprehensive review of one or more of your HR policies and procedures; ensure that they are compliant with current employment legislation, provide you with recommendations and highlight any current risks. If you prefer to develop a more bespoke set of HR policies and procedures we can work with you to ensure these meet the needs of your School / Academy. If you choose, we can also support you through consultation with staff and unions.

What could a Policy Review and Development project include?

  • A full review of your current HR policies and procedures to check that they are comprehensive and legally compliant
  • Provision of recommended actions with RAG status
  • Development of bespoke HR policies and procedures to meet the needs of your School/Academy
  • Support with staff and union consultation and the communication process if required
  • Provision of an implementation plan to   ensure that any policy changes are effectively   communicated to all staff and implemented in a consistent manner
  • Policy briefing sessions for employees, managers and / or Governors as required
  • Training for managers on the application of one of more of your HR policies
  • An annual review of your HR policies and procedures to ensure they remain legally   compliant and that they reflect any changes in employment law

How will a Policy Review and Development project benefit my School / Academy?

  • You will have reduced the opportunity for any valid legal challenge
  • Developing a set of bespoke HR policies and procedures means you can be confident that   these are exactly meeting the needs of your School / Academy
  • Employees will be aware of their responsibilities under your adopted policies
  • You can be confident that Managers understand your policies and that they have the knowledge required to implement them in a consistent and fair manner
  • Improve organisational performance


Mediation is a voluntary, structured process which can be used to resolve conflicts or issues between individuals. Often those in dispute can end up pursuing their own interests and can lose sight of the bigger picture. Mediation can help by facilitating the process of bringing the parties together to discuss the issues with a view to finding an appropriate resolution.

In certain situation, full mediation is not necessary, e.g. underlying dissatisfaction not raised formally, or low level disputes, and in these instances we offer a facilitated conversation service.

Mediation can be used at any time to help resolve issues however it can be particularly effective if used in the early stages of a dispute before positions become entrenched. This is one of the reasons why it is now mandatory that mediation is attempted before any Employment Tribunal claim can progress to a formal hearing.

What will we do?

The role of the mediator is not to find or impose a solution but rather to facilitate a discussion between those involved in the dispute to help them find their own solution. We can support by providing a trained and accredited mediator.

What a Mediation service includes?

  • Discussion with a senior manager to obtain a full brief on the situation, details of the avenues explored to date, your preferred approach and timescales
  • Liaison with those involved in the dispute separately to establish whether mediation is an   appropriate approach
  • Recommendations for a suitable approach to be adopted
  • Arranging and facilitating the mediation meetings
  • Reporting the outcome of the mediation to  appropriate senior manager

Please note that as mediation is a confidential process, we are limited to advising on the outcome of the mediation i.e. whether or not it was successful and details of the agreed future working conduct arrangements unless the parties involved in the mediation agree otherwise. 

How will Mediation or a facilitated conversation benefit my School / Academy?

  • Issues may be resolved more quickly
  • Costs involved with the dispute are likely to be reduced
  • Engagement levels should remain higher
  • Mediation is much less adversarial than a formal process as it is about achieving an outcome both parties are happy with
  • As mediation is based on dialogue and discussion it is much more likely to get to the real cause of the dispute which will mean that long term resolution is much more likely
  • It is a very empowering process which can reduce levels of stress around a difficult relationship
  • Communication and working relationships should be improved
  • Mediation can also uncover other issues which  if resolved, may result in fewer issues arising  in future

Redeployment and Outplacement Support

When any organisation goes through a reorganisation or restructure programme employees may be displaced or placed at risk of redundancy.  As a result they are likely to experience a range of emotions including feeling anxious, angry or isolated and the morale of the whole team is likely to be affected, which in turn may affect organisational performance.

Our Redeployment and Outplacement Support service helps employees to prepare for new opportunities. We help employees to realise their potential and to search and apply for alternative employment.

What our service includes?

  • An initial project scoping meeting to discuss your requirements and to agree roles and   responsibilities
  • A combination of group workshops and individual one to one support sessions for those affected
  • Workshops include all aspects of a job search including CV development and presentation,   submitting an application, interview preparation and skills practice etc. 
  • Individual one to one support sessions, whereby delegates choose from a menu of options to either build on the topics covered at the group workshop or to practice their skills in a safe environment
  • If required we can manage all administration including preparing and issuing communications to employees and unions and managing workshop bookings

How will this service benefit my School / Academy?

  • You will actively demonstrate to employees your duty of care, and desire to support them into new opportunities
  • You will also be able to demonstrate how your School/Academy has complied with its legal responsibilities to minimise, mitigate and reduce the consequences of redundancy/redeployment on those individuals who are affected
  • Where employees are redeployed it will reduce redundancy costs
  • Your School/Academy will be seen as a positive place to work by prospective future candidates for employment

Senior Leadership Recruitment and Selection

Senior Leadership roles are crucial to the continued success of any organisation and our experienced HR Advisers can support you through every step of the recruitment process to ensure that you appoint the right candidate for your School / Academy.

What will we do?

We will provide expert and impartial advice and guidance at all stages of the recruitment process. We can project manage the whole recruitment process from start to finish, support with the administration of your recruitment project, work with you to develop an effective assessment process and support you through the process of interviews and / or assessment days as you require.

What the Senior Leadership Recruitment and Selection service includes?

We can provide support with as much or as little of the recruitment process as you need e.g.:

  • Planning the recruitment timetable
  • Drafting and placing your adverts
  • Provision of a full administrative package including responding to requests for information   from applicants, acknowledging applications, sourcing suitable venues if required, scheduling interviews and supporting with referencing
  • Design and delivery of an assessment centre
  • Provision of competency based interview questions
  • Advice throughout the selection process

How will this benefit my School / Academy?

  • It will maximise the opportunity of finding the right candidate for your post
  • The recruitment and selection service will comply with legislation and reduce the opportunity for valid legal challenge
  • You will present a professional image of your School / Academy to prospective applicants
  • You will have the benefit of an experienced and impartial HR Adviser providing advice, guidance and best practice suggestions at all stages of the process

HR Health Check

We provide a confidential and discreet diagnostic review of the effectiveness of one or more of your HR policies and procedures to establish how well they are operating, and to identify opportunities to improve the performance of your school.

What could the HR Health Check cover?

  • How effectively your policies and procedures are applied
  • A review of your HR policies and procedures to establish whether they are comprehensive ang legally compliant
  • The communications process within the School / Academy to establish how effectively key   messages and the requirements of your policies and procedures are communicated, understood by staff and consistently followed
  • Performance management arrangements for teaching and / or non-teaching staff to establish the quality and consistency of approach
  • Absence management procedures; please see the separate page detailing our most popular   health check, the Absence Management Review
  • Recruitment practices to check that that your processes and procedures meet the requirements of the DFE Keeping Children Safe in Education requirements, and are legally compliant
  • A review of your workforce profile and costs including the use of casual, fixed term contracts   and overtime levels
  • A review of your employee relations cases to establish whether there are any additional actions which could be undertaken to bring the cases to a conclusion or identify any underlying issues which if addressed may reduce the occurrence of future cases
  • A review of your single central record to ensure   you are recording everything required by the DfE
  • If you have a requirement for a HR Health Check in an area which is not mentioned here please contact us to discuss further.

How will a HR Health Check benefit my School / Academy?

  • Provide you with an assessment of the effectiveness of your policies and procedures
  • An independent and impartial review will provide you with peace of mind by reducing the   opportunity for any risks e.g. liabilities relating to employment status
  • The HR Health Check may identify opportunities for cost savings
  • If any training needs are identified we can work with you to develop a training plan to address these if required

Job Evaluation

A number of Local Authorities adopted job evaluation as a way of addressing equal pay issues and to ensure transparency in the pay and grading of support staff roles in schools.

Inevitably over time roles and responsibilities adapt to reflect changes in the school’s requirements or as a result of the changing structure or status of the school, e.g. if the school converts to an Academy.  As a consequence jobs may need to be re-evaluated to ensure that pay and gradings remain accurate and fair.

What will we do?

We will undertake independent and objective reviews of the support roles in your establishment, using your up to date job descriptions and your specific job evaluation procedures to ensure that all employees are graded and paid at the correct level.

What could a Job Evaluation project include?

  • A meeting with the Headteacher or senior member of staff as appropriate, to review the   roles to be evaluated
  • Completion of the review process in line with the requirements of your adopted scheme
  • Attendance at review meetings with staff and/or union representatives as required
  • Completion of associated paperwork
  • A summary of the outcome of the reviews and advice on the next steps
  • Liaison with the Local Authority regarding role moderation if required

How will a Job Evaluation project benefit my School / Academy?

  • You will ensure that an objective review has been carried out
  • Support employees will be graded and paid appropriately
  • You will reduce the opportunity for valid legal challenge from employees
  • Pay and grading decisions will be transparent and stand up to scrutiny
  • Employees can be certain that their roles have been fairly evaluated and that they are being paid at the correct level which may improve morale

Education to Employment

Recommendations from a study of 3500 business and educational leaders published in November 2015 included schools offering lessons around recruitment and training on interview techniques to young people to help to prepare them for the world of work. As HR professionals with over 20 years’ experience of working with schools Capita are ideally placed to be able to support schools who wish to provide this support to their students.

What the Education to Employment service includes?

  • A discussion with the Headteacher or other appropriate Manager to discuss your   requirements
  • Development and delivery of a package of training for students including:
    • CV development
    • How to sell yourself
    • Interview preparation
    • Interview skills practice

How will this benefit my School / Academy?

  • You will be able to demonstrate your support to young people wishing to progress to work rather than further study
  • An Education to Employment project may support your curriculum
  • Students will have a better understanding of the recruitment process and how to maximise their chances of securing an interview, how best to present themselves and what to expect at a job interview

Bespoke Training

We offer an extensive suite of HR training which has been specifically designed for Senior Leaders, Employees and Governors. Full details of which can be found in our Education Training Brochure.

Contact us

Contact us to find out more about how we can help your establishment.