Teachers' Pensions
Executive Head / CEO Eligibility

Executive Head / CEO Eligibility

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It’s long established practice that the post of head teacher - as the academic head of the school - falls within the scope of 'teacher' for the purposes of the Teachers’ Pensions Regulations. Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Executive Head Teachers overseeing a number of Academies may also be members of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme under regulations, but the following points must be considered by participating employers:

  • There is no definition of ‘teacher’ in the Teachers’ Pensions Regulations, but ‘teaching work’ is described in other education and teaching legislation. Regulation 5 of the Education (Specified Work) (England) Regulations 2012 sets out the specified work, albeit in relation to work in maintained schools in England.

    “...5. The specified work referred to in the Specified Work Regulations is defined in regulation 5 as:
    (i) planning and preparing lessons and courses for pupils;
    (ii) delivering lessons to pupils;
    (iii) assessing the development, progress and attainment of pupils ;
    (iv) reporting on the development, progress and attainment of pupils...”
    The same definition is used for “Teaching work” in regulation 3 of the Teachers’ Disciplinary (England) Regulations 2012.
  • Whilst CEOs and Executive Head Teachers may not be involved in planning and delivering lessons or front-line teaching, they may be actively engaged in the academic side of the school and report to other Board members in respect of items (iii) and (iv) above, i.e. assessing and reporting on the development and progress of students. Employers may therefore consider their role to be within the scope of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. However, if there is little or no ‘Teaching work’ and the role is akin to that of a business administrator, it may be more appropriate for the CEO post to fall outside the Teachers’ Pension Scheme and come under another arrangement e.g. the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS).
  • Employers participating in the Teachers’ Pension Scheme are required to consider individual roles to determine whether the post-holder meets the eligibility requirements in relation to their contract of employment.  Teachers’ Pensions would expect an employer to satisfy themselves that the detail of the role has been accurately captured within the person’s job description and that the employer could defend their decision on membership of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, if challenged.

It’s for each employer to determine the eligibility of the individual to membership of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme in accordance with the Teachers’ Pensions Regulations. The person must undertake some academic and teaching roles. Any CEOs and Executive Head Teachers that occupies a financial or administrative role would not be eligible for membership of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme. If an individual is incorrectly placed into membership of the Scheme, action will be taken to correct the position and the contributions refunded; so it’s important that employers carefully consider and assess individual roles before taking a decision as to which pension scheme is most appropriate.

Last Updated: 07/12/2018 13:52


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