Toby Lester
2 minutes length
Posted: 4th October 2019

Why education payroll needs to grow a backbone

Managing payroll for the education sector is hard. Ask any school bursar or member of financial staff, and they’ll be able to give you a list of payroll problems longer than the national curriculum. This is a modern problem that has crept in over time; payroll systems are designed to meet old requirements, and they are failing to meet the demands of a fast-paced industry.

That’s why schools and trusts are turning to modern solutions.

Payroll needs to grow a backbone

Old-school payroll is spineless. Deprecated payroll processes haven’t grown up alongside new school payroll regulations, academisation and the maturing needs of multi-academy trusts. Most payroll software and processes simply can’t keep up with the complex needs of the education sector.

That’s why modern solutions like IRIS Payroll Professional have incorporated a Pay Spines module. This functionality has grown up alongside modern academisation to enhance payroll provision. It enables schools and trusts to define and maintain national, local and bespoke pay scales – or ‘spines’ – making it easy for schools to manage their ever-changing payroll. This means however your school or trust scales over time, your payroll has space to grow.

If you’re transitioning to academy status, a well-established academy or managing a growing multi-academy trust, Pay Spine functionality scales to your needs, whether you take care of payroll for a single school or for a hundred.

The weak vertebrae of graded pay

School staff pay structures are graded and increase in line with national standards over time. However, modern academies can also set their own bespoke pay grades, which can quickly become painful for any payroll professional to manage – especially if their payroll system is inflexible.

Thankfully, modern solutions can easily handle your bespoke pay grades and even build them into its Pay Spines system, so your payroll has a strong, flexible backbone.

Pensions: the tailbone of education payroll

When obsoleted payroll systems were built, they neglected to consider the shifting landscape of pension schemes. This has become something of a vestigial tailbone; the pension functionality can’t keep up with schools’ needs, and ends up being unused.

Again, modern pension technology can step in to provide a solution. IRIS Payroll can seamlessly calculate for the Teachers’ Pension Scheme alongside Monthly Data Collection. There’s even support for banded pension schemes and multiple pensions per employee, and you can configure the Local Government Pension Scheme returns, so school pensions are made simple.

Complete modernisation

It’s time for schools to catch up with commercial payroll. Businesses have started to go digital, and features like ePayslips and eP60s are becoming standard – there’s no reason schools shouldn’t also look to ditch costly paper payslips.

Modern payroll systems ensure that schools don’t lose any functionality when transitioning, but can offer a slew of other features, such as customisable dashboards, multiple user logins and payroll journal interfaces for costing reports. There’s no reason not to update your payroll process.

IRIS Payroll Professional has been designed to solve all of the education sector’s payroll problems, and comes with support from IRIS’ market-leading support specialists. If you’d like to find out more about payroll with backbone, visit our website to see how we can support your school.