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Staff salaries.

Discussion in 'Governors' started by netherhead, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. netherhead

    netherhead New commenter

    I am a governor in an LA maintained secondary school.
    The recently appointed LA governor requested an "organogram" or family tree of the staffing structure of the school detailing responsibilities and to whom staff report.
    The chair has this evening circulated full details of all school staff and their salaries plus teaching and learning payments to all governors including me, the staff governor.
    I now know how much the site staff and all my colleagues earn which I feel is a breach of employer/employee confidence.
    Your comments and opinions are very welcome especially if you have seen my earlier post about when a governor is not a governor as that person has also been sent these details.
  2. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    The staffing structure should have job role titles and salary ranges. It’s usually fairly easy to see who is who but names and exact salary points shouldn’t be circulated like that.
    netherhead and TheoGriff like this.
  3. netherhead

    netherhead New commenter

    It appears to be a breach of the school data protection policy and the GDPR.
  4. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Salary information is regarded as confidential and is covered by GDPR. I'm surprised your chair doesn't know this.
    netherhead likes this.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Yes but... the governing body is the employer so telling members of the GB what staff are paid isn't disclosing personal information to third parties. A staff governor receives it in their capacity as a governor not as a teacher and is bound by the confidentiality obligations that apply to all governors.

    That said it isn't usually considered necessary to circulate all staff salaries to all governors. As Sundaytrekker says, the staffing structure usually shows the pay range for the post, not the salary of the current postholder. As a Chair myself I would not have circulated a list of all staff salaries.
  6. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    In an LA maintained school, the LA is the employer - unless a VA school of course...
  7. netherhead

    netherhead New commenter

    Putting my legal hat on and in my understanding, if there is a legal case against the employer, although the responsdent may be the GB it is the LA that suffers any enforcement. Essentially the GB in legal terms is not the employer it is the LA.
    Monthly payroll information was not relevant to what was requested and the information supplied was not limited to what was necessary. The same result could have easily been achieved in a far less intrusive way. Thus “legitimate interests” under the GDPR will not apply. Nobody asked for the monthly payroll and list of salaries plus TLRs.
    To my understanding, the test of "legitimate interest" is generally why payroll information is not circulated electronically to all governors and the most information needed at a meeting is generally the pay range for new staff appointments.
    According to the school's own Data Protection policy, An “illegal disclosure” is the release of information to someone who does not need it. The full GB didn't need it nor want it.
    It was a simple staffing structure that was requested; names and positions of teaching staff and reporting structures. Instead even the lunchtime supervisors and site staff salaries were included in the data released, basically everyone on the payroll.
    The problem still remains that all this sensitive information was sent out and opened on/downloaded to computers/tablets/phones that are not protected by the school data security system. Not third parties I agree, but equipment that can be accessed by third parties like family members or potentially anyone else if that equipment isn't fully secured and regularly updated to the same high level as school computers. Hence I feel it is a serious breach of the data protection act (GDPR) and should be treated as such.
    In order to access any school data (even just staff names) from my very secure home computer I have to go through two additional levels of security and password clearance yet for governors this doesn't apply?
    I think any Data Protection Officer might disagree that it doesn't.
  8. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I know that the LA is the contractual employer in Community and (most) VC schools but I didn't go into that in my answer to Lalad because it was a complication that wasn't relevant. The LA has almost no employer functions in Community/VC schools because the Education Acts require employer functions to be delegated to the governing body, which carries them out as agent of the LA. Hence it is the GB who is the employer for the purposes of data processing under GDPR.

    The LA does have some employer accountabilities still (eg being the Respondent in Tribunal claims as mentioned, also in H&S) but it's not relevant to OP's question.
    netherhead likes this.
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    What area of law did you practice in before becoming a teacher?
    netherhead likes this.
  10. netherhead

    netherhead New commenter

    Criminal law.
  11. netherhead

    netherhead New commenter

    Issue resolved in the fact that the school DPO feels that it was very close to needing to be reported to the Information Commissioner but just fell short due to the time elapsed between sending out and the instruction to destroy all traces.
    I agree.
    However, it should not have been sent out in such a manner in the first place,

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