HR Advisory Service

About the HR Advisory Service 2024-25

Our experienced HR professionals have extensive expertise in HR work across the education and public sectors.

Our priority is to support schools to focus on improving learning outcomes for children and young people by providing advice and guidance to school leaders in managing and developing their workforce, providing accurate, timely advice and helping manage risk.

Our HR Advisory and Advisory Plus packages provide an adaptable and responsive service with generous and flexible hours of contact time. Multi-year discounts are also available.

Summary of our services (see below for further information)

i) HR Advisory and Advisory Plus packages

ii) Pension Services

iii) Services available to purchase on an ad hoc basis include:

a) Recruitment

b) Employee Wellbeing

c) Learning and Development


Contact details:

HR Advice line



Carol McCrone, Senior HR Consultant


Labeeb Aslam, HR Consultant




i) HR Advisory and Advisory Plus packages including:

The HR service will deliver the advisory package in the most cost-effective way, which will include remote working where possible. The service includes:

  • Casework advice (disciplinary, grievance, probationary, performance and sickness and attendance issues)

HR Responsibilities

School Responsibilities

·     Initial case review and advice on managing case and timeline

·     Procedural and employment law advice

·     Briefings for investigator, chair and panel

·     Advice and feedback on school’s draft letters and reports

·     Support with employee meetings, case conferences and hearings

·     Provision of template letters and reports

·     Pre-meet conversations with TU reps

·     Liaison with Pensions team in relation to early/ill health retirements

·     Respond to workforce matters in a timely manner

·     Read and follow procedures and guidance, seeking advice as required

·     Decision-maker to provide full case briefing to HR, plus relevant information

·     Provide timely progress updates to HR

·     Commission and instruct suitable investigator

·     Related admin, including arrange meetings, draft correspondence and arrange clerking

·     Make reasoned decisions based on evidence and advice


  • Advice on restructuring and TUPE transfers

HR Responsibilities

School Responsibilities

·     Initial review of proposals and guidance on timeline

·     Procedural and employment law advice, including pooling and selection methods

·     Briefings for investigator, chair and panel

·     Provision of template documents and FAQs

·     Advice and feedback on school’s draft letters and reports

·     Support with employee meetings, presentations and dismissal hearings

·     Liaison with TU reps on specific issues

·     Liaison with Director, Finance and Pensions teams in relation to redundancy costs and early/ill health retirements

·     Provide LGS redundancy quotes

·     Work with legal and new employers on TUPEs

·      Schools to ensure Governing Body approval for restructures and provide minutes to HR

·     Read and follow procedures and guidance, seeking advice as required

·     Provide staff information and payroll data

·     Provide timely progress updates to HR

·     Related admin, including arrange meetings, draft/print/send correspondence and provide clerking, including for dismissal meetings

·     School leader to produce and present report on process and proposed outcome to dismissal panel

·     Make reasoned decisions based on evidence and advice

·     Liaise with payroll provider to ensure correct monies are paid, ensuring appropriate approval for spend





·        Policies, procedures, guidance and terms and conditions

HR Responsibilities

School Responsibilities

·     Advice and interpretation, as required, for clarification or in relation to emerging issues

·     Ensure policies and procedures are compliant and up to date

·     Liaise with other services for advice on issues arising and risk to schools/Council

·     Liaise with TUs, for consultation and to seek resolution for issues arising

·     Make documents available at

·      Self-serve by accessing policies, procedures and guidance available on the Extranet in first instance at

·      Seek additional clarity and advice from HR on their application in relation to specific matters, as required

·      Consider advice and make appropriate decisions based on consideration of risk to School and Council

·      Update new policies and procedures in a timely manner, seeking ratification from governing bodies


·       Communication and access

HR Responsibilities

School Responsibilities

·     Provide email access for queries

·     Responses may be by email or phone call

·     To provide initial response to queries within 24 hours – unless ‘out of office’ message indicates unavailability for a period of time – an emergency contact will be provided on ‘out of office’ messages

·     Where urgent situations arise, response will be prioritised to these

·     In addition to the information in the People Management Handbook for Schools, provide timely updates on schools’ workforce matters, as they arise


·      Self serve HR policies, procedures and guidance on the Extranet where possible

·      Email queries in the first instance to named contacts – please try avoid ‘cold calling’ as we may be in other meetings, out at schools or on leave

·      Prioritise the urgency of queries and advise HR of any deadlines

·      Note and act on advice in a timely manner and record for future, to save repeat questions



·       Job Evaluation and Occupational Health

HR Responsibilities

School Responsibilities

·     Job Evaluation team to advise on job design, and evaluate new/revised jobs, in line with JE scheme

·     Job Descriptions and JE advice found at

·     Job Evaluation team contact

·       Maintain integrity of the Council’s job evaluation scheme and Single Status agreement, minimising risk for schools/Council

·       Self-serve to obtain job descriptions and instructions, using link to in box to left

·       Ensure all new and revised job descriptions are evaluated via the JE team

·       Allow sufficient time for this process - evaluations can take 4-6 weeks)


 Contact details:

HR Advice line


Carol McCrone, HR Consultant




ii) Pension Services

Our experienced pensions team provide a professional, responsive and value-led pensions administration service.

Our technical experts will ensure that your school keeps pace and remains compliant with changing legislation.

Services provided include:

  • An administration service for  the Local Government and Teachers' Pension Scheme
  • An auto-enrolment service for EMSS paid schools
  • Completion and submission of statutory pension returns
  • Provision of information and calculations of financial implications for pensions as a result of employment changes such as restructures, redundancies and retirements, in line with current and changing pensions regulations.
  • Provide information and estimates on age retirements
  • Provision of Pension Service Statements to members
  • Actuarial pensions support for TUPE transfers and academy conversions

Please note, in order to ensure that a pension service can be provided and statutory duties are met, schools will be required to comply with requirements set out in our Terms of Business document in respect of reporting requirements and the provision of information from the school and their payroll provider.  Consideration of these requirements should be given when selecting a payroll provider.

iii) a) Recruitment and bespoke training including:

  • Headteacher recruitment support
  • Bespoke HR training for schools delivered by the HR Advisory team  

These are charged on an ad hoc basis according to the rates below.

School Leader Recruitment Support

We provide specialist recruitment support for headteacher recruitment, tailored to the needs and requirements of your school, to assist you to appoint the best candidate.

We offer:

·          Extensive experience working with schools in Nottingham and a good understanding of the City, our communities and schools

·          A proven track record in the successful recruitment of headteachers

·          Strong links across the Council including with the Education Division, Legal Services and Governor Services, and also with the Nottingham Schools Trust, to ensure the support we offer you is based on a wide range of intelligence

·          Local support, providing you with a face to face service

·          You will have a named HR contact throughout the process

Our full service includes:

·       Scoping of your recruitment requirements and timeframe

·       Support and guidance on employment legislation, best practice, equality, diversity and inclusion considerations

·       Advice on salary ranges in accordance with the School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document and Pay Policy

·       Advice on the content of the application pack including the review of the job description and person specification (school to manage further candidate requests and queries)

·       Guidance on the advertisement (advertisement placement and costs are not included)

·       Advice and guidance on the design of assessments and interview questions, including the preparation of a timetable and interview/assessment materials for the selection process (school to produce panel packs)

·       Support and guidance on the shortlisting process and on the decision making process

·       Advice in relation to feedback to unsuccessful candidates throughout the process (Chair/SIA to provide feedback)

·       Template letters inviting candidates to interview and for reference requests

·       Review of references received prior to interview

·       Professional facilitation of the assessment process, including HR (and local authority) representation on the interview panel, providing technical advice and challenge  

·       Feedback to panel on candidate performance in assessment process

·       Attendance at ratification meeting

·       HR input into the induction process

Contact details:

Carol McCrone, HR Consultant



iii) b) Employee Wellbeing

The service provides support from occupational health professionals to help keep the workforce healthy and effective.

Services available to purchase on an ad hoc basis include:

·        Pre-employment screening and medicals

·        Covid vulnerability assessments

·        Wellbeing / mental health referrals and well checks

  • Vaccinations (e.g. Hep A and B, and Flu)
  • Health surveillance in the workplace (e.g. hearing tests, lung function)
  • Occupational health referrals and advice
  • Physiotherapy assessment and treatment

·        Assessments of workplace needs such as display screen, physical ability to undertake task.

  • Return to work and fitness appraisals
  • Health interventions and awareness programmes
  • Training on issues such as stress management, healthy eating, menopause, back awareness and mental health, or other topics , on request
  • Briefing sessions on personal safety and infection control
  • Support in the prevention of occupational diseases
  • Support and attendance at Wellbeing Events
  • Liaison with appointed medical advisors and outside agencies including HSE, Medical Council and Occupational Health Professionals


Council employees at maintained schools are able to access to confidential counselling (including debt counselling), support and information through the employee assistance programme, PAM Assist.


iii) c) Training, Development and Change

HR training

The HR Advisory team will, from time to time, run some specific training for school employees and governors, including Safer Recruitment and essential HR skills. These will be advertised directly to schools and schools will be notified of prices separately. We are also able to run bespoke training to individuals and groups on request.

Corporate Development and Change

Schools are able to access the training courses run by the central Development and Change team. These include a range of generic skills, specialist training and leadership development. Please contact them directly for further information.

They are also able to provide bespoke training and coaching for individuals and groups on request.

The team can also provide consultancy support with change management in schools to improve morale, change attitudes and improve working practices

Contact details:

Email: or telephone 0115 876 2953 for further details of our services and a copy of our price list.