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Reporting on the gender pay gap - what schools must publish

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If your school has 250 or more employees, you must:

  • Publish your gender pay gap data
  • Report your data to the government online, using the gender pay gap reporting service

You must calculate the figures using a specific reference date, known as the ‘snapshot date’. For public sector organisations (which most schools are), this date is 31 March each year. Figures must be published within a year of the snapshot date.

You'll only have to publish gender pay reports if the legal entity you are part of has 250 or more employees.

  • Maintained schools' governing boards will be responsible for their own reports
  • For academies, the proprietor of the academy trust is responsible for reporting for all the academies in the trust
  • Pupil referral units (PRUs) will be included in their local authority’s gender pay gap reporting
  • Independent schools should follow the private sector gender pay gap reporting regulations, which use 5 April as the snapshot date. The responsibility for publishing gender pay reports for independent schools lies with the legal employer

This is set out in Acas guidance for the public sector.

What your school must publish

Your school should publish its:

  • Mean gender pay gap in hourly pay
  • Median gender pay gap in hourly pay
  • Mean bonus gender pay gap
  • Median bonus gender pay gap
  • Proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment
  • Proportion of males and females in each pay quartile

Acas says that 'a gender pay gap does not necessarily mean [your school has] acted inappropriately or discriminatorily, but it will need explaining.'

All employers should add a narrative which:

  • Helps those reading the statement to understand the organisation’s view of why a pay gap is present, and what it plans to do to close the gap
  • Can be used where measures to reduce a gap have already been taken, but need time to take effect before an impact is made
  • Provides the opportunity to report where the pay gap has successfully reduced over time

What's the current picture in the education sector?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has a tool which shows the gender pay gap across different sectors. It's based on the Annual Survey of Earnings and Hours 2016. You could compare your school's data against the wider sector picture.

It shows:

A negative pay gap percentage means that women are paid more.

Members of The Key for School Leaders can read this article in full at

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