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Total Contribution Pay (TCP)

Annual Kent Scheme Pay Award
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Pay negotiations with our recognised Trades Unions have followed the usual process and the annual pay award will be confirmed to Kent Schools after the required formal County Council approval. This year, it is expected that we will be able to send communication on the pay award and pay scales to schools in March.

In response to the significant impact COVID-19 has had, Kent County Council’s Corporate Management Team have taken the considered decision to treat everyone consistently in relation to any pay award this year.

Read the full update regarding the annual Kent Scheme pay award for 2020/21.

View the Kent Scheme Annual Pay Award for 2020/21.

School’s Pay Policy and Process
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Every School should have a pay policy explaining how pay progression operates for teaching and support staff. KCC and SPS has produced a model Pay Policy for Schools which can be viewed on the SPS website

The Local Authority expects that all KCC Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools will use this document as the basis of their Pay Policy. This document is also strongly recommended for consideration for adoption by Foundation and Voluntary Aided Schools.

Kent Scheme Pay Scales and Total Contribution Pay for Kent Schools
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The process by which support staff employed on Kent Scheme Conditions of Service are awarded pay progression is called ‘Total Contribution Pay’ (TCP).

Kent schools are able to exercise local discretion regarding certain elements of the TCP process where the Governing body has made provision within their pay policy to do so. Schools should ensure appropriate consultation has been undertaken with employees and trade union representatives:

  • Timescales for awarding pay progression
  • Percentage increase applied to each of the TCP performance levels
  • TCP Assessment Deadlines.

KCC determines annually any increases to be applied to the minimum and maximum values of each Kent Range Grade and any changes are are effective from 1 April. Schools which follow Kent scheme are required to apply these increases and new grade bandings effective from 1 April. For other schools operating a September to August pay cycle, an appropriate Pay Policy needs to be in place.

Kent Academies which follow Kent Scheme conditions have discretion as to whether to apply these increases.

KCC also determines the percentage increase applied to each of the TCP performance ratings.Schools may wish to follow the percentage increase assigned to the performance ratings each year by KCC. Alternatively, a school can choose to exercise discretion to determine locally year on year the percentage uplift they wish to apply to each of the performance levels. This enables schools to budget for pay progression decisions at a local level. It should be noted that even where the school exercises local discretion regarding the percentage increase, three performance levels must be retained.

Lump Sum Payments

If, as a result of TCP, an employee’s salary reaches the top of their grade, the salary position will be retained. Any remaining payment will be made as a single amount (known as a lump sum payment). The Lump Sum payment) is consistent with the percentage increases paid to staff not yet at the top of their grade.

Individuals have the choice to receive this payment as one full payment or spread into 12 equal payments which will paid each month alongside your monthly salary.

Employees who wish to receive their lump sum payment in instalments, should discuss this with their Headteacher and the School should make arrangements with their payroll provider to ensure pay is calculated correctly. Please refer to the TCP Rules and Examples (PDF, 272.5 KB) for details.

TCP Policy and Process
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TCP allows staff to progress through their grade based on evidence of their performance. Five aspects of their performance are considered; Objectives and Accountabilities; Values and Behaviours; Wider Contribution; Personal Development; and Working Better. Performance is assessed against one of four contribution levels; Outstanding; Excellent; Successful; and Performance Improvement Required. Please refer to the TCP Guidebook for Schools (PDF, 340.8 KB) for details.

As a principle, a total contribution assessment should be carried out for all employees at the time that the assessment is due, and a rating submitted. Schools are permitted to identify an assessment deadline locally. Please refer to the TCP Rules and Examples (PDF, 272.5 KB) for details.

The principles underpinning Kent County Council’s approach to TCP

  • The intended outcome of the Managing Performance and TCP process is to offer a way in which employees can be engaged with positively and productively, this includes:
    • help set targets and expectations about delivery in the role
    • recognise and reward personal contribution in its widest sense
    • develop and motivate employees in a way which treats them as individuals.
  • There is a requirement that people will receive a pay increase related to their personal contribution in the normal pay cycle. Only where there is a justifiable reason would there be a delay, or no award given.
  • Managers need to be able to evidence the reason for a particular appraisal rating.
  • People who have an appraisal rating of Performance Improvement Required (PIR) should be subject to the Performance and Capability process, conversely, if a P&C process is underway then PIR should be the appropriate appraisal rating to apply.
  • The principles and approach to TCP need to be applied fairly and equitably independent of grade, hours worked or contract type etc

Assessment discussions should provide the main source of evidence on which to make a judgement about an Employee’s TCP rating. Some schools prefer a structured approach to assessment discussions with formal, start, mid and end of year review meetings. KCC has moved towards a more fluid approach to assessment discussions with regular conversations taking place throughout the year.

This more flexible approach is recommended for consideration for adoption by schools. See more information on the KCC Managing and Supporting Performance Approach page.

Regardless of the approach taken assessment objectives, performance throughout the year and outcomes should be clearly documented to ensure TCP assessments can supported by appropriate evidence.

TCP Rules
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Please be reminded that for pay decisions effective from April 2019 onwards the TCP rules have changed:

The rules which define whether an employee is eligible to have a Total Contribution assessment can be found on Kelsi called TCP Rules and Eligibility (PDF, 272.5 KB).

As a principle, a total contribution assessment should be carried out for all employees at the time the assessment is due, and a rating submitted. This is to include as many people as possible and reduce the likelihood of gender pay gap issues arising.

A manager has the option to defer a rating IF there is not enough evidence to make sufficient assessment. This illustration should guide you to applying the TCP rules correctly. A comprehensive guide to the TCP rules is available here (PDF, 272.5 KB).

When can a manager consider deferring an assessment?

New Starters


Maternity/Shared parental leave


Long term absence


Short-term absence


Moving to a different job on the same grade


Promotions (pre assessment deadline)


Seconded posts (pre assessment deadline)


Career Break


Permanent Relief


Flexible Retirement


Formal procedure


Inclusive Management
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Headteachers and Managers are advised to take into account an employee’s opportunity to deliver when setting objectives and reviewing performance. For example, employees on part time hours, scope within the role given the level and grade they deliver at and employees with a disability. For more information about Managing and Supporting performance inclusively see the TCP Guidebook for Schools (PDF, 340.8 KB).

Overall Anticipated Distribution Curve
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Headteachers and Managers are advised to consider carefully the distribution of performance ratings.

As a guide it is anticipated that in any year:

  • 55-65% of people will be rated as Successful
  • 30-40% of people will be rated as Excellent
  • the remainder will be employees who are assessed as Outstanding or where Performance Improvement Required.

Schools are advised to undertake their own internal moderation of pay decisions to ensure the application of performance ratings are fair, equitable and affordable.

TCP, Pay and Allowances Documents
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