Author Archives: Miles Banbery

Exciting teaching opportunity for September 2017

The Partnership Development Office would like to introduce you to an exciting teaching opportunity that has just arisen and is exclusively for Kent graduates.

Brompton Academy, for which the University of Kent has strategic responsibility for leadership and development, is inviting direct applications from our final year students, for trainee secondary teachers in the following subjects:

  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Geography
  • History
  • English
  • Media Studies

If you would like to sustain your relationship with the University of Kent and continue into a teaching career, please read the following Q & A section.

Questions and Answers

Who would benefit from this route into teaching?

If you are in your final year, considering a career in teaching and wanting to start in September 2017.

What are the benefits of this scheme above other routes into teaching?

As you are probably aware, there are numerous routes into teaching, which can be convoluted and confusing. The main benefits of this scheme are:

  • A placement starting in September 2017
  • A competitive salary in the region of £22k, which includes the salary and training costs
  • A guaranteed placement in a forward-thinking, local school for your main placement, for three years
  • Support from University of Kent staff, both during the application, interview and work placement stage and also once the programme has started
  • A guaranteed paid work placement in Brompton before starting the scheme, for approximately 6 weeks in the school Summer Term (in May and June 2017)
  • A significantly reduced teaching load in your first year, to allow for a gentler introduction into teaching while you train

How can I find out further information?

We are holding two information sessions about the scheme, on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 1 February, 13.00-15.00 (Stacey Building Lecture Theatre 2, Canterbury campus)
  • Tuesday 7 February, 10.00-12.00 (Keynes College Seminar Room 4, Canterbury campus)

If you would like to come along or have any queries, please email R.Spink@kent.ac.uk.

 

Funding for EU students to continue

Following the results of the referendum, the UK University Minister and the Student Loans Company have today confirmed that students from the European Union already attending UK universities will continue to receive financial support.

Students starting university courses in the UK this autumn will also have their student loans funding provided for the duration.

You can find out more from the BBC News site as well as the Student Loan Company.

Reminder of University’s snow policy

As there is a small chance of snow this week, here’s a timely reminder of the University’s snow policy for both the Canterbury and Medway campuses.

It is our aim to provide a complete and uninterrupted educational service to all of our students throughout the year and we also provide a residential accommodation and catering service, which needs to be maintained. We endeavour to provide these services in all weather conditions, including periods when there may be extreme ice and snow either at the Canterbury campus, the Medway campus, or both. In doing this however, the safety of our staff, students and visitors is our main priority.

In the event of snow and or extreme freezing conditions:

  • We will not normally close
  • Staff and students should attempt to get to campus, if it is possible and safe to do so
  • Staff and students who are unable to travel to campus must communicate the reasons for this to their line manager or academic school  and line managers should consider how to ensure that appropriate levels of service are maintained throughout the extreme weather in their school /department, for students, staff and visitors on campus.
  • Students will be informed by their school if any part of their teaching has been cancelled

You can read more about our policy and procedures.

If you have any queries relating to this policy, please discuss them with your line manager or academic school.

Guidance for manager is available on the HR webpages.

In the event of adverse weather, staff and students should consult the following for local/regional travel updates.

Should any University services be temporarily reduced or suspended, we will update you via the News Centre and also via the following Twitter accounts:

University Plan 2015-20

Following a period of consultation with the University community, including academic and professional services staff, and approval by Senate and Council, the University Plan 2015-20 now been published.

The new Plan’s key objective is to secure the University’s position as a top 20 university, and for it to be a globally recognised research institution by 2020.

The Plan comes at a time when there have been significant step-changes in Kent’s national standing and research achievement. There is much to be proud of and I would like to thank all members of staff for their contributions to this success.

It builds on what were the achievements of the previous University Plan 2012-15, and focuses on three main strategic objectives: Research, Education and Engagement. Within each objective, we have set ambitious but quantifiable targets which each school and professional service department will be expected to work towards delivering as part of their own strategic objectives.

There is no doubt we are facing challenging times, but we are committed to protecting our reputation as collegial university.

This Plan sets the direction for the next five years for all members of staff, and I would urge you to read it.  Hard copies are available from Corporate Communications (ext 4343, communications@kent.ac.uk)

David Nightingale
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Changes to National Insurance contributions

The government has announced changes to National Insurance contributions from April 2016 as a direct consequence of changes to the State Pension.

Who is affected

  • Kent staff who are below State Pension Age and are members of a ‘contracted-out’ occupational pension scheme such as USS or SAUL.

For all other staff, National Insurance contributions will remain unchanged.

What this means for USS and SAUL members

From 6 April 2016, USS and SAUL members will no longer receive the 1.4% National Insurance rebate and will pay a higher rate of National Insurance, with contributions increasing from 10.6% to 12% on middle band earnings (ie earnings between £8,064 and £40,044 per annum in the 2015/16 tax year).

Why is this happening?

The change in National Insurance contributions is happening as a direct consequence of a change in the State Pension which will also take effect on 6 April 2016.

Currently, the State Pension is made up of two parts:

  1. the basic State Pension
  2. the additional State Pension (often referred to as the State Second Pension (S2P) or previously SERPS).

Members of USS and SAUL are ‘contracted-out’ of the additional State Pension and consequently pay National Insurance at a lower rate.

For people who reach State Pension Age on or after 6 April 2016, a new State Pension will replace the existing basic and additional State Pension, which will end the practice of contracting-out.  As a consequence, all staff will pay the same ‘contracted-in’ rate as they build up the new State Pension in addition to their workplace pension.

How can I check if this affects me?

Members of USS and SAUL will be affected.  For confirmation, staff can check their payslips to find out the rate of National Insurance contributions they are paying. Contracted-out National Insurance contributions will have the letter ‘D’ next to the National Insurance number on their payslip. Payslips could also show the letter ‘E’,’ I’, ‘K’, or ‘L’. Employees are not contracted out if the payslip has a letter ‘A’, ‘C’, ‘J’, ‘M’, ‘X’ or ‘Z’ and their NI contributions will be unchanged.

Further information

A National Insurance calculator is provided by HMRC.  Please note that this provides information based on 2015/16 NI rates but will give an indication of the additional cost.

For further information on the changes and the effect on workplace pensions, see:

For more information, please contact Wendy Green in HR – W.Green@kent.ac.uk, ext 4982.

Research and Innovation Strategy presentation

Academic and professional staff involved in University research and innovation are cordially invited to a presentation and discussion of the draft Research and Innovation Strategy.

Prof Philippe De Wilde, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation will be presenting the draft strategy following the adoption of the University’s Institutional Plan 2015-2020 and its research objectives.

The sessions will last one hour and whilst some are intended for specific faculties, you are most welcome to any session.

Please feel free to bring this to the attention of any colleagues who would be interested in attending.

Medway – The Royal Historic Dockyard Church

  • Wednesday 25 November, 11.00
  • Monday 14 December, 11.00

Canterbury – Grimond Building

  • Friday 13 November, 12.00 in GLT3 (Humanities)
  • Monday 16 November, 13.00 in GLT3 (Social Sciences)
  • Friday 27 November, 12.00 in GLT3 (Sciences)
  • Tuesday 1 December, 15.00 in GLT2 (Humanities)
  • Friday 4 December, 11.00 in GLT2 (Social Sciences)
  • Monday 7 December, 13.00 in GLT3 (Sciences)

All enquiries please to Ros Swanston – Temporary PA to Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research & Innovation, R.Swanston-612@kent.ac.uk, ext 3907.

End of incident thanks

The University would like to thank students and staff for their co-operation on Wednesday (23 September) following the evacuation of the central part of the Canterbury campus after Kent police received a bomb threat.

 

We would also like to say thank you to members of the Estates team for all their hard work in keeping the campus safe and to Hospitality for keeping the refreshments going.

Denise Everitt
Deputy Vice-Chancellor