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I 9
Contractsofemployment
shouldofferthesame,orbetter,
provisionsthaninthemaintainedsector.
9.Sickpayandleave
Thisisworthchecking,especiallythe
entitlementinthefirstfewyearsof
employment.Academiesdonothaveto
honourtheentitlementtosickleavethat
youhavebuiltupinthemaintainedsector
orwithotheracademies(unlessyouhave
transferredundertheTransferof
Undertakings(ProtectionofEmployment)
[TUPE]Regulations).Checkthe
arrangementsforsickleaveandpay.
Likewise,ifyoumovefromanacademy
toamaintainedschooloranother
academy,theserviceinyourcurrent
academymaynotcounttowardsyour
sickpayentitlement.ATL’sfactsheet
entitled,LeavinganAcademyand
ContinuousServicehasmoredetail.
10.Pension
AcademiesaremembersoftheTeachers’
PensionScheme(TPS)andLocal
GovernmentPensionScheme(LGPS)
andmustofferaccesstotheseschemes
forallemployees.
11.Retirementage
UndertheEmploymentEquality(Age)
Regulations2006itisunlawfultodismiss
staffwhoareaged65oroverunlessthis
canbeobjectivelyjustified.ATLdoesnot
envisagecircumstanceswherethismay
occur.
12.Researchtheschool
Researchinganemployerisimportantin
applyingforanyjob.Inadditionto
obtainingtheschoolprospectus,itis
advisabletoresearchtheacademy’s
website.Ensurethatyouarehappywith
theacademy’sethosorcharacterwhich
maydependonthesponsorofthe
school.
Checklistofissuestoconsiderabouta
newjob:
IsthereajobdescriptionandamI
contentwithit?
Whatisthejobprofile?
Whatisthestartingpay?
IsthereapayscaleandhowdoI
progressupit?
Whenismypayreviewed?
Whataremynormalworkinghours?
Whatextra-curricularactivitiesare
expectedofme?
Whatarethepensionarrangements?
Whatisthesicknesspolicyandmy
sickpayentitlement?
Whatisthematernitypolicy?
Istherearedundancypolicy?
HaveIbeengivenacopyofthestaff
handbook?
Issuesspecificto
supportstaff
Thereareoftenparticularproblemswith
thecontractsofsupportstaff,whoare
regularlyemployedonterm-timeonly
contracts.Yourpayshouldinclude
holidaypay.From1October2008all
employeeswereentitledtoaminimum
28days’paidannualleave(witha
pro-rataentitlementforpart-timestaff).
Anotherissueforsupportstaffisthat
theirrolesfrequentlyevolveandtheymay
beaskedtotakeonextraresponsibilities.
Itisthereforeevenmoreimportantthat
yourjobdescriptionorroleprofile
adequatelyreflectthetasksand
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10 IWorkinginanacademy
responsibilitiesexpectedofyou.Ifyou
haveconcernsthatthisisnotthecase
thenthemattershouldberaisedwith
youremployer.Thiscanbedoneviayour
appraisalorjobevaluationscheme
(ifapplicable),or,asalastresort,through
thegrievanceprocedure.Itisobviously
importanttoaddresssuchissuesatthe
earliestpossiblestage.Forinstance,if
youaretakingonmoredutiesand
responsibilities,sayinMay,whichare
notacknowledgedinyourpayorgrade,
thenyouwouldnotwanttowaituntil
September,ifthatiswhenyouhaveyour
annualappraisal.
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I 11
Workingpart-time
Part-timeteachersandsupportstaff
makeanimportantcontributionto
academies.Workingpart-timehas
advantagesfortheschoolandforthe
employee,andATLsupportsthis
flexibilityandthepossibilityofchoice.
Unfortunately,part-timeworkerscanbe
vulnerabletoexploitation.Employersmay
viewpart-timestaffasaflexibleresource
forthebenefitoftheschoolwithout
recognisingthattheyhavethesame
rightsandsecurityofemploymentas
full-timeemployees.
ThePart-timeWorkers’(Preventionof
LessFavourableTreatment)Regulations
2000statethatpart-timeworkershave
therightnottobetreatedlessfavourably
byanemployerwhencomparedto
full-timeworkerswithregardstothe
termsoftheircontractsofemployment
unlessthattreatmentcanbeobjectively
justified.‘Terms’includessalary,holiday
entitlement,rateofsickpayormaternity
pay,accesstopensionschemesor
trainingschemes,andthecriteriausedto
selectjobsforredundancy.
Ideally,apart-timecontractshouldhave
set,specifiedhoursofworkandidentify
thedaysthattheworkshouldbe
undertaken.Yourcontractshouldstate
thepercentageoftimeyouareexpected
toworkinrelationtoafull-timeemployee
attheschool.Havingsethoursdoesnot
ruleouttheflexibilityofvaryingyour
hours,providingbothpartiesarein
agreement,butwhatitdoesruleoutis
youremployerunilaterallychangingyour
hourswithoutsuchagreement.
Ifyouareapart-timeteacher,itis
unreasonableforthecontracttostipulate
thatyouarerequiredtoobtainpermission
fromtheheadteachertoengageinany
outsideactivity,especiallyifitistotake
placeondayswhenyouarenot
contractedtoworkfortheschool.
Forclarity’ssake,ATLwouldrecommend
thefollowingshouldbeincludedinyour
contract:
‘Fortheavoidanceofdoubtthe
teachershallnotberequiredtoabstain
fromanyoutsideactivitywhichdoes
notpreventtheteacherfromfulfilling
his/herduties.’
Apart-timeteachermightparticularly
wanttoincludethisprovisionwherethere
isavariablehoursclauseinhis/her
contractofemploymentastheteacher
mightinthefutureneedtoseek
additionalemploymentelsewhereto
makeuphis/herhours.ATLwould
consideritunreasonableforpart-time
supportstafftohaveaprohibitionagainst
takingotheremployment,unlessthere
wasanapparentconflictofinterestwith
theirmainemployment.
Inthemaintainedsectorpart-time
teachersarerequiredtoattendfor
additionaldutiessuchastrainingdays,
staffmeetingsorparents’evenings,if
theyfallonadaywhentheynormally
work.Accountshouldbetakenofsuch
additionaldutieswhenallocatinga
teacher’sdirectedtime.Wherethisisnot
practicalthenprovisionshouldbemade
forthememberofstafftobepaidforthe
additionaltimeworkedbeyondnormal
hours.
Ifyouthinkthatyouarebeing
unfavourablytreatedbecauseyouwork
parttime,werecommendthatyou
discussthematterwithATL.
04
Working part-time
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12 IWorkinginanacademy
Academieshavegreaterfreedom
tosettheirowntermsandconditions
ofemployment.Thismeansthatpay
andotherremunerationcanvary
widelyfromacademytoacademy
andindeed,insomecases,from
employeetoemployeewithinthe
sameacademy.
TUPEtransferredstaff
Ifyoujoinedtheacademywhenit
firstconvertedfromamaintained
schoolyoushouldhavebeensubject
toaTUPEtransfer.Forteachers,
thismeansthatyourpayatyour
maintainedschoolstillappliesto
youandwillbeasdetailedinthe
SchoolTeachers’PayandConditions
Document(STPCD),availablefrom
ATL’swebsiteatwww.atl.org.uk.
Whilstyouremaincoveredbythe
TUPEtransferarrangementsyouwill,
forexample,receivethesameannual
progressionandpayincrementas
teachersinthemaintainedsector.
Therearenonationalpayarrangements
forsupportstaff.IfyouwereTUPE
transferredtotheacademythen
yourprevioussalaryattheschoolwill
behonoured.
IfyouhavebeenTUPEtransferredto
anacademythenyoumayalsowish
toreadATL’sfactsheets,Transfersof
Undertakings–aConciseIntroduction
andLeavinganAcademyand
ContinuousService,whichcanbe
foundatwww.atl.org.uk/academies.
Yourpay
Therearethreebasicthingsthatyou
needtoknowaboutsalary:
1.Whatsalaryyouwillstarton?
2.Whatistheacademy’spayscaleand
howdoyouprogressupit?
3.Isthereanannualcostofliving
increase?
Yourlevelofpaywillusuallybeagreed
onappointmentbuthowdoesitincrease
afterthat?Thiswillusuallybedetermined
byyourindividualcontractof
employmentandanysupplementary
documents,suchastheacademy’spay
policy.Thelevelofyourstartingsalaryis
obviouslyimportant,butjustasimportant
isapayscaleandknowinghowyouwill
progressupthatscale.
Itcannotalwaysbetakenforgrantedthat
yoursalarywillbeincreasedeachyearto
takeaccountofinflation.Again,this
provisionneedstobeinthecontract.
Forexample,theschoolmaygive
contractualguaranteesthatpaywillrise
eachyearbynolessthanthemaintained
sectorpercentagepayaward,orbe
linkedtotheRetailorConsumerPrice
Index.
Threshold
Since2000,maintainedschoolteachers
atthetopofthemainpayspinehave
beenabletoapplyto‘crossthe
threshold’ontotheupperpayspine.
Progressionisbasedontheoutcomeofa
teacher’sannualappraisal.Oncea
teacherispaidontheupperpayscale
theymustbepaidatthislevelwhenthey
movetoanothermaintainedschool.
05
Pay andpensions
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I 13
Payandpensions
Asacademiesdonothavetofollow
thestatutorypayframeworkofthe
maintainedsectorsomeacademiesmay
notofferthethresholdorsimilar.This
couldbedisadvantageoustoyoushould
youreturntothemaintainedsector.
TheSTPCDdoesallowforteacherswho
workinacademiesandhaveatleastfive
yearsofemploymentandhavebeen
successfullyassessedagainstthe
maintainedsectorpost-threshold
standardstobetreatedasapost-
thresholdteachershouldtheyreturnto
themaintainedsector.
Ifyouhavenotyetcrossedthethreshold
thenyoumaywishtoensurethatthe
academyiswillingtoassessyouagainst
thepost-thresholdstandards.
Writtenpaypolicy
ATLrecommendsthateveryacademy
hasawrittenpaypolicy.Itshouldbe
clear,comprehensiveandappliedfairly
andconsistently.Ideally,thepolicy
shouldbeacontractualdocument.
Amongotherthings,itshouldinclude:
thepayscalesusedbytheschool
theannualpayreviewdate
therulesforincrements
thecriteriaforperformancepay
(ifused)
thecriteriaforextrapay,suchas
responsibilityallowances
howsalariesforpart-timestaffare
calculated
anyprocedureyouneedtofollow
beforeyourpayisreviewed,andan
appealprocessifyouarenotcontent
withtheoutcomeofthereview
thestaffingstructurewithinthe
academy,clearlyshowingany
allowancesapplicabletoposts.
Term-timeonly
contracts
Somestaff,particularlysupportstaff,
maybepaidonterm-timeonlycontracts.
Academiestendtousebroadlysimilar
formulastocalculatesalarieswhich
takeintoaccounttheproportionof
full-timehoursworkedaswellasthe
term-timeonlyaspect.Thesalaryis
usuallydividedby12andpaidinequal
monthlyinstalmentsthroughoutthe
yeartoensurethattheemployee
receivesregularpayments.Inessence,
aterm-timeonlycontractmeansthat
anemployeeisonlyemployedwhen
theschoolisopen-inmostcasesfor
39weeksayear.
Employeesonterm-timeonlycontracts
areentitledtopaidleave,andthis
entitlementisusuallyaddedontothe
weeksworkedtoestablishtheoverall
salary.Bylaw,full-timestaffareentitled
toaminimumof28daysofpaidannual
leaveperyear,inclusiveofbankholidays.
Part-timestaffareentitledtothesame
minimumofpaidleave,butonapro-rata
basis.
Forexample,aschoolwhichisopen
for39weeksandprovidesaleave
entitlementoffiveweekswouldemploy
youforatotalof44weeksinayear.
Thiswouldbeworkedoutinsalaryterms
asaproportionofthenumberofweeksin
theyear.Theannualsalarywould
thereforebe44/52thsofthefull-time
salaryforthepost.
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1
4
IWorking in an academy
One common problem with term-time
only posts is that the salary is often 
advertised at the full 52-week rate. 
The successful applicant then has a
nasty surprise when the actual salary is
revealed. This emphasises the 
importance of looking carefully at the 
details of a post at all stages of the
process when applying for a position.
Term-time only contracts create a 
disparity in schools and ATL’s view is
that academies should provide full-year
contracts for all staff.
National academy 
chains   
In some of the academy chains, ATL 
negotiates pay and conditions at a 
national level. The agreements reached 
at these negotiations are binding on all
academies within the chain. Currently
ATL negotiates nationally with AET, ARK,
E-ACT, Harris Federation, Kemnal 
Academies Trust (TKAT), Oasis, Ormiston,
United Learning and the Woodard 
Academy Trust.
Details of the arrangements for these 
national academy chains, including
recognition agreements and staff 
policies, can be found on ATL’s website
at www.atl.org.uk.
Collective bargaining    
In those academies that are not part of a
chain or federation, union recognition
rights are transferred over to the new
school under the TUPE regulations. 
This means that staff, via their 
recognised unions, have the right to 
negotiate changes to pay and conditions
with the academy. The only exceptions 
to this are newly-created schools
(whether academies or free schools)
where union recognition will need to be
agreed. Please see chapter 14 on trade
union recognition for more information.
Union recognition gives the right of 
disclosure of relevant information, 
such as school income, salary costs 
and other relevant financial information.
Without this information, staff will be 
negotiating in the dark.
For instance, without key financial 
information how can you properly test
your employer’s negotiating position if it
argues that it cannot afford to increase
wages due to lack of money? Of course,
financial difficulty is a reality for some
schools and staff should take this into 
account when negotiating a pay rise. 
This is part and parcel of a proper
process of collective bargaining. 
However, schools will always have 
competing priorities and increasing
salaries may not be on top of their 
‘wish list.’
Individual pay 
negotiations     
It may be possible to negotiate your own
individual pay with the academy. It will
depend on how much the academy
wants you and what finances they have
available. They may also be limited by the
academy’s pay policy. Knowing your
worth and researching what salary you
might expect in another school obviously  
I 15
Pay and pensions 
helps. For instance, with the current 
shortage, if you are a maths or science
teacher, then you could be in a strong
bargaining position.
Academies, like maintained schools, may
be able to offer recruitment or retention
payments or other benefits over and
above their salary.
Benchmarking against 
the maintained sector      
It can be useful to benchmark salaries 
in academies against those in the 
maintained sector. The pay scales for
teachers in England and Wales are 
published by the Department for
Education at www.education.gov.ukand
are contained in the STPCD. They are
also available from ATL’s website.
In addition, you should consider that
teachers in the maintained sector can
only be directed to work for up to 1,265
hours per year on 195 days (190 days
with pupils and five additional days).
Teachers in the maintained sector cannot
be directed to work on weekends unless
their contract specifically states this.
These limits on working hours do not
apply to members of the leadership
group.
Classroom teachers can apply to ‘cross
the threshold’ when they have reached
the top of the main pay scale (usually
after five years). This gives them access
to a further three progression points on
the upper pay scale.
Classroom teachers who are required to
undertake a significant responsibility that
is not required of all classroom teachers
may be eligible for a teaching and 
learning responsibility award.
Headteachers, deputy and assistant
headteachers are all members of the
leadership group and are paid on a 
separate 43-point pay scale known as 
the leadership group pay spine. 
Headteachers’ pay is normally related to
the school group size, but governing
bodies have the discretion to pay more
where it is necessary to recruit and retain
headteachers at the most challenging
and largest of schools. Deputy and 
assistant headteachers are paid on a 
five-point range below that of the 
headteacher and above the pay of the
highest paid classroom teacher.
Schools can make extra payments for
teachers for recruitment and retention
purposes for a fixed period, and decide
the amounts paid themselves. Further 
information is available within the STPCD.
Teachers responsible for special needs
students may be eligible for a special 
education needs allowance.
Pension provision
Academies must offer membership of the
TPS to teaching staff and the LGPS to
support staff. You should check your 
pay statement to ensure that your 
contributions are deducted from your
salary each month.
Further information on the two schemes
is available from ATL’s website at
www.atl.org.uk. 
16 IWorking in an academy
ATL welcomes well managed 
appraisal systems which are 
developmental and supportive. 
Teachers and support staff should 
be able to have open and honest 
discussions with their line managers
about their performance and receive 
appropriate guidance, training and 
mentoring. ATL’s guidance on appraisal
can be found on its website at
www.atl.org.uk/appraisal.
For maintained schools, teacher 
appraisal is governed by the 
Education (School Teachers’ Appraisal)
(England) Regulations 2012. These 
regulations do not apply in academies 
although academies can adopt them 
if they wish. ATL’s view is that the 
appraisal system in academies should
mirror as closely as possible the system
implemented in maintained schools 
as this will ease transition. ATL has 
developed a model appraisal policy in
conjunction with the NAHT and NUT; 
the model policy and guidance on 
using it can be found on ATL’s website 
at www.atl.org.uk/appraisal.
Appraisal and its link 
with capability  
The appraisal and capability 
policies should be kept as two 
distinct policies. Appraisal is a 
supportive and developmental process
whereas capability is used to address 
serious concerns. ATL believes it is 
not appropriate to combine the 
two processes.
Lesson observations  
ATL recognises that classroom 
observation is an integral part of 
ensuring that teachers meet the 
required standards for teaching and
learning; however, observation in itself
does not raise standards. Excessive 
observation is disruptive, demoralising
and stressful. ATL believes that 
observations can be kept to a minimum
by carefully planning their timing with the
elements of teaching and learning to be
observed to ensure that each observation
is used for multiple management and 
developmental purposes.
ATL’s guidance on classroom 
observations can be found on ATL’s 
website at www.atl.org.uk/appraisals.
06
Appraisal
I 17
Sick pay and leave 
As an absolute bare minimum, all 
employees who qualify are entitled to
statutory sick pay (SSP) and leave. 
A good employer will offer sick pay and
leave conditions at an enhanced rate 
beyond the minimum statutory provision.
If you are sick, then you need to consult
your contract of employment to ascertain
your rights to leave and pay and your 
responsibilities when exercising those
rights. The details of your employer’s sick
pay policy may be specified in a 
supplementary document, such as a 
staff handbook. If no such policy exists
then you will be reliant on the statutory 
provision.
Many academies reflect the provision of
the state maintained sector. If you have
transferred to an academy with protected
rights you may be entitled to the same
benefits as state sector staff.
The Conditions of Service for School
Teachers in England and Wales, normally
referred to as the Burgundy Book, sets
out the sick leave arrangements for
teachers in the state sector.
Teachers’ national sick pay entitlements
are based on a sliding scale according 
to length of service. Your service is 
aggregated and so if you leave teaching
or the maintained sector and 
subsequently return you do not start as 
if you were in your first year of service.
Sick pay entitlement in maintained
schools is:
During the first year of service
full pay for 25 working days and, after 
completing four calendar months’ 
service, half pay for 50 working days
During the second year of service
full pay for 50 working days and half 
pay for 50 working days
During the third year of service
full pay for 75 working days and half 
pay for 75 working days
During the fourth and subsequent
years of service
full pay for 100 working days and half 
pay for 100 working days.
Working days are days when the school
would normally be open. If you work 
part-time your entitlement is based on
school working days. Your sick pay will
be based on your normal earnings over
the period of your absence.
It is important to ascertain when your
school’s sick year begins and ends, as
entitlement often begins afresh in a new
year. In the state sector, the sick leave
year runs from 1 April to 31 March. New
entitlement starts on 1 April each year.
However, if you are absent due to illness
on 31 March and continue to remain off
sick into April and subsequent months,
you will not be entitled to the following
year’s allowance until you have recovered
and returned to work after 1 April. Your
sick leave in these circumstances will
continue to be counted against the 
previous year’s entitlement.
For support staff, the state sector 
provisions are contained in the National
Agreement on Pay and Conditions of
Service, normally referred to as the Green
Book. The sick leave provisions in the
Green Book are:
During the first year of service
one month full pay for 25 working days 
and, after completing four months’ 
service, two months’ half pay
07
Sick pay and leave 
18 IWorking in an academy
During the second year of service
two months’ full pay and two months’ 
half pay
During the third year of service
four months’ full pay and four months’ 
half pay
During the fourth and fifth years of
service
five months’ full pay and five months’ 
half pay
After five years of service
six months’ full pay and six months’ 
half pay.
Verification of illness 
If you are sick for seven days or fewer,
your employer can ask you to confirm
that you have been ill by filling in a self
certification form. The form usually 
includes details about your sickness as
well as the dates on which it started and
ended, which may be days on which you
do not normally work. Your employer will
normally require you to provide evidence
if you are sick for more than seven 
calendar days. They usually ask for a 
‘fit note’, the informal name for the 
statement of fitness for work from your
doctor.
Statutory sick pay  
You are entitled to receive SSP for a 
maximum of 28 weeks in any spell of
sickness absence. You are eligible for
SSP if you have been sick for at least four
or more days in a row (including 
weekends, bank holidays and days that
you do not normally work) and have 
average earnings of at least £97 per
week. If your employer pays enhanced
sick pay (ie more than SSP), when you 
receive sick pay, SSP is included. 
When you move to half pay, SSP will be
paid on top of that amount, although
there are some minor exceptions. At the
end of your entitlement to SSP you may
be entitled to employment and support
allowance.
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested