Living Wage is school minimum for staff

Orchard Fields Community School, Banbury, is paying staff the Living Wage. From the left, Dawn Shilston, head, Nicola Mclennan, lunchtime supervisor, Kerry Forster, lunchtime supervisor and cleaner and John Christie, chair of governors. NNL-150929-165634009
Orchard Fields Community School, Banbury, is paying staff the Living Wage. From the left, Dawn Shilston, head, Nicola Mclennan, lunchtime supervisor, Kerry Forster, lunchtime supervisor and cleaner and John Christie, chair of governors. NNL-150929-165634009

A Banbury primary school has become one of only two in Oxfordshire to pay its staff at least the ‘Living Wage’.

The decision of the Bretch Hill school’s governors means 16 staff received a pay rise when term began in September.

Those involved are six cleaners and ten lunchtime supervisors.

Chair of governors, John Christie, Labour county councillor for Banbury Ruscote, said: “The cost is around £6000 pa and can be afforded without adversely impacting on the education provision to children.

“I understand Orchard Fields is one of only two schools in Oxfordshire to commit to the Living Wage for all staff. We decided all staff should be paid at least the Living Wage recommended by the Living Wage Foundation which calculates the wage in relation to the cost of living.”

All local authority community schools and their governing bodies have the power to set pay and conditions for non- teaching staff.

The Minimum Wage is £6.50 per hour and the Living Wage £7.85 per hour. The Government is to raise the national minimum (the ‘National Living Wage’) to £7.20 from April, 2016. The Living Wage will also be raised for 2016.

Orchard Fields’ cleaners and supervisors were paid £7.06 per hour. From September their pay increased to the Living Wage of £7.85 per hour.