RET HR and Payroll Officer

Ridgeway Education Trust is a multi-academy trust (MAT) which currently comprises two secondary schools, Didcot Girls’ School and St Birinus School, and Sutton Courtenay C of E Primary School. The secondary schools also run a joint Sixth Form of some 300 boys and girls.

Didcot Girls’ School is a dynamic school judged to be Outstanding in its most recent inspection of the school in November 2015. The school has a commitment to the very highest standards in everything that it does and is an exciting and happy school where real attention is given to professional development and staff wellbeing. St Birinus School was judged to be a good school by Ofsted in February 2020 and aspires to become outstanding. The school has a strong sense of identity, a tangible ethos and a vibrancy which visitors always comment upon. Sutton Courtenay Church of England Primary School joined the MAT on 1 April 2019, giving us the potential for further collaboration and the opportunity to build an exceptional, coherent education provision from nursery up to, and including, sixth form.

Both secondary schools are unique as the only single sex state schools in Oxfordshire and share the same strong values of high quality teaching and learning and respectful relationships within an inclusive learning community. We work hard to ensure that all our students develop confidence, leadership skills and high levels of aspiration.

We are looking to fill a post in our Central Trust Finance Team, which offers an exciting opportunity, and potential for career development, for the right candidate.

HR & Payroll Officer

This post is for 15 hours a week and will work alongside a colleague to ensure the Trust continues to deliver an efficient and effective HR and payroll service for all our schools. The postholder, predominantly supporting St Birinus School, will be meticulous in their administration and processing, have a strong understanding of the importance of confidentiality and data protection and be flexible enough to support the wider Finance Team when needed. 

Pay will be within the range of £8,104 to £8,600 per annum subject to skills and experience for a 15 hour, term time plus one week, contract.

Terms and Duties

Pay scales are reviewed annually on 1 April and are subject to national local government pay negotiations. Postholders also have access to the local government pension scheme. This role must be performed in accordance with the provisions of the terms and conditions of employment of the Ridgeway Education Trust

Line Management

Accountable to the Trust Financial Services Lead.

Completed Applications

Completed application forms (available on the ‘Staff Vacancies’ page of each of our school websites) should be submitted to Frances Adley, the Executive Head’s PA at by 9am on Monday 2nd November 2020. We plan to carry out interview on Thursday 5th November for shortlisted candidates.

Ridgeway Education Trust is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects staff working in all its schools to share this commitment. The successful applicant will be subject to an enhanced DBS check along with standard pre-employment safeguarding checks.

Please be aware that you will be required to bring your original qualification certificate(s), proof of residence and photographic ID, as applicable, to interview. 




HR and Payroll Officer Job Description and Person Specification

HR & Payroll Officer

Grade: 7

Responsible to: Trust Financial Services Lead

Responsible for: There are no line management responsibilities for this post although the postholder is expected to be a key first point of contact for the Trust HR & Payroll external contract.  

Purpose of the Job

To take responsibility for the efficient and effective operation of the HR and payroll administration on behalf of the Trust and its schools.

The postholder will be one of two HR & Payroll Officers, who are expected to work closely together as a part of the wider Finance Team.

Principal Responsibilities

Personnel Records     

  • Maintain personnel records on SIMS or any alternative Trust HR system.
  • Print staff data collection sheets annually, distribute to staff for checking and update HR management systems accordingly with any changes to personal details.
  • Ensure the trust school annual workforce census returns, which provide details of staffing to the Department for Education, are accurately completed and returned, ensuring that any queries are resolved before submission.
  • Liaise with the Home Office as Authorising Officer, Key Contact and Level 1 User to arrange sponsor licence and apply, pay and keep details updated for sponsorship certificates allocated to migrant workers employed at school.

Staff Contracts

  • New appointments – prepare staff record files, enter details on SIMS, prepare contract letters and dispatch with all relevant documents to new employees to ensure they are set up correctly with the payroll contractor. Allow access to medical assessment and safeguarding websites by issuing usernames and passwords etc.
  • Changes – enter details on SIMS, prepare amended contract letters and dispatch to employees as needed.
  • Maintain list of temporary arrangements, ensuring that staff coming to the end of fixed term contracts are drawn to the attention of the Headteacher as needed in order that an early decision can be made as to whether they need to be renewed or will cease. .
  • Leavers – enter details on SIMS.
  • Maintain list of staff changes throughout the year and maintain records of training completed.                             


  • Act as the first point of contact in liaison with the Trust payroll provider in order to ensure an accurate and timely monthly payroll
  • Ensure all new starters, leavers and contract changes are input / set up correctly on the payroll system by submission to the school payroll provider in the required format.
  • Collect, check and input casual, overtime, one-to-one/, supply and expenses claims monthly in advance of the payroll deadline.
  • Maintain absence records on SIMS, issue absence forms for staff to complete on return to work, with doctors’ notes if required, prepare monthly absence report and send to payroll provider as needed.
  • Ensure all staff have access to salary slips and P60s .
  • Ensure the payroll provider records in respect of staff personal details eg name, address, bank details etc. are accurate and up to date.
  • Assist, as a part of the wider Trust Financial Services Team, with payroll cost forecasting


  • Help to ensure the Trust school’s Single Central Records are always up to date with details of safeguarding checks made for all staff, governors, volunteers etc for safeguarding/Ofsted purposes. There is a need for a SCR to be held for each school and, separately, the central Trust.  
  • Record details of all checks on SIMS.


  • Work to the Financial Services Lead in compiling list of eligible teaching staff for each school Headteacher in a consistent format and once outcomes confirmed action any changes through the payroll as notified by the Headteacher as agreed by the Trust Pay Committee.


  • Prepare and print various reports (including staff contact details, staff attendance figures etc) as requested.
  • Provide information to staff on maternity and paternity leave, send completed risk assessment forms and leave application forms to the payroll provider as needed.
  • Liaise with members of staff and pay and pension providers regarding general queries on pay, pensions etc.
  • Complete reference request forms for house rental agreements and mortgage applications.
  • Liaise with Headteacher PAs to ensure personnel records are kept up to date.
  • Distribute pension information to staff as needed.

Undertake such other reasonable duties and activities as may be required from time to time as directed by the Director of Finance & Services or the postholder’s line manager.

Operate flexibly as a part of a single trust finance team even if the postholder’s main work base is predominantly at one of its schools.

This job description sets out current duties of the post that may vary from time to time without changing the general character of the post or the level of responsibility entailed.

Person Specification:


  • Experience of working in a HR and/or finance environment
  • Ability to work well under pressure, prioritise work and meet tight deadlines
  • Attention to detail
  • Understanding of the importance of confidentiality and data protection in fulfilling the duties of the post
  • Good IT skills (including use of excel) and ability to learn and proficiently use the school payroll and HR management information systems
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate well with a range of stakeholders, including but not limited to Headteachers, staff and external contractors
  • Good numeracy and literacy skills / qualifications and strong administrative skills
  • Ability to work flexibly and constructively as a part of a team and on own initiative
  • A confident, helpful and friendly manner
  • Humour and resilience


  • Experience of working within the education sector
  • Ability to manipulate data and produce meaningful reports.
  • Experience of payroll processing
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