Support staff roles – FAQs

Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about support staff roles in schools are below.

Are there formal entry qualifications for support staff roles?

This will vary depending on the role. Some support staff roles require formal entry qualifications; always refer to the job description and person specification. It is worth contacting schools to find out about the skills, qualities and experience that are required of a candidate.

What training is on offer to help my career?

A number of courses are available at local Adult Learning Service venues throughout Newham. These training courses can help you gain the entry requirements or to develop your career.

For more details of courses see Newham Adult Learning Courses
Skills for Schools is an online guide to careers, training and development for support staff in schools.
Further information about careers can be found at the  National Careers Service  National Careers Service which provides information, advice and guidance to help individuals make decisions on learning, training and work. The service offers confidential and impartial advice and is supported by qualified careers advisers.

The service has over 800 job profiles describing what each job entails, including:

  • what the entry requirements are
  • what you’ll do
  • what the working hours are
  • how much you’ll usually get paid.

What is the annual leave entitlement for support staff?

Support staff who are employed on a term time only contract take their annual leave during the school holidays. Holiday pay is included in the salary.
Support staff who are employed on a 52 week contract have a set number of days’ holiday, which they can take at an agreed time. Support staff cannot carry annual leave forward between schools. With the head teacher’s permission annual leave can be carried forward from one academic year to the next within the same school.

When do I get paid?

Support staff are paid on the 15th day of each month or the preceding working day if the 15th falls on a weekend or bank holiday.
The pay cycle is from the 1st to the end of the month, staff are paid 2 weeks in arrears and 2 weeks in advance.

Is there a pay scale for support staff roles?

Maintained schools use the local government ATP&C pay scales to pay their support staff in conjunction with the National Joint Council (NJC) terms and conditions. Click on the link below for support staff pay scales.

Support Staff Pay Scales

When will I get a pay increment?

A pay increment is awarded on 1st April until staff reach the top of their pay range. Staff who start on a date outside of this pay cycle receive an increment after 6 months, then another increment the following April. Staff who are appointed between 1 April and 30 September fall within the pay cycle. Staff who are appointed between 1 October to 31 March, fall outside of the pay cycle.

What is my notice period? 

The following notice periods apply for support staff:

Scale 1 to SO2 – 1 month
P01 to P04 – 2 months
P05 and above – 3 months

 How do I opt out of the pension scheme?

All new starters are auto enrolled in the local government pension scheme unless they choose to opt out.
For further information about pensions and opting out of the pension scheme contact:

Telephone: 0300 323 0260

When I join a new school how do I ensure that I do not have to pay emergency tax?
New starters must provide a  P45 from their previous employer, or complete a new starter checklist, which can be downloaded at