Harlow Education Consortium
Email: info@hecuk.net
Phone: 01279 445917
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HEC - Harlow





An efficient and cost effective Payroll Service for Schools and Academies by a BACS Approved Payroll Bureau

The Harlow Education Consortium Ltd (HEC) is a not for profit partnership of Schools/Academies in Harlow which has been supplying a variety of cost effective and efficient services to schools for over 20 years.

HEC has been managing and running schools’ payrolls since 2012 and now has over 59 client Schools/Academies in Essex. The comprehensive payroll service we offer is professional, personal and excellent value for money. We put great emphasis upon creating a personal service for each individual client because our customer’s satisfaction is at the heart of everything we do.

The payroll service we provide supports both maintained schools and academies irrespective of whether the client is in the secondary, primary, special or independent sector.

Let us take the burden of Payroll from you – you will be allocated a named payroll officer to undertake all your payroll services giving you quick easy access via telephone or email.  They will deal with HMRC and Pensions on your behalf – something not all payroll providers do.

Our charges are per payslip produced each month – one payslip per employee regardless of how many posts they have which can produce significant savings for some schools.  Everything is included in the per payslip charge which means there are no hidden extras.

We are a BACS Approved Bureau        

HEC is a BACS approved bureau which means that we receive a 3-yearly independent assessment of our business practices, standards, procedures and controls covering 5 key areas of our operation:

  • Bureau organisation & financial information;
  • Physical security;
  • Computer operations;
  • Applications & system support;
  • BACS processing and operations

In our most recent re-assessment, August 2015, we were judged as Excellent in 3 areas and Good in 2.

HEC offers a full payroll service to schools which includes the processing of all payroll information, all HMRC submissions, payment of staff by BACS credit and the disbursement of all 3rd party monies and reports.

The payroll software that we operate is RTI compliant and geared to facilitate the operation of multiple job posts and aggregated National Insurance. Schools/Academies are provided with a suite of monthly payroll reports and information which includes a pre-payroll report approximately 10 days prior to payday, thus minimising payday queries.  Payslips and full payroll reports are sent prior to payday which includes the specific accounting journals required for each months payroll. Every client school has access to a secure data link with us so payroll information can be sent and received safely and promptly.

We have a friendly and knowledgeable payroll team who between them have over 50 years of combined Local Authority and private payroll experience which includes:

  • General payroll processes and procedures;
  • Knowledge of HMRC regulations and requirements;
  • Administration of statutory and occupational schemes including absence and pensions;
  • Operation of varying terms and conditions of employment.

    Summary of Services
  • Each client is allocated a dedicated payroll officer experienced in dealing with education payrolls
  • HEC become your agent with HMRC enabling us to deal with any queries on your behalf
  • We have a detailed service level agreement which clearly identifies the responsibilities of the school/academy and HEC as the payroll provider
  • A schedule of processing dates is provided at the beginning of each financial year
  • Data provided by school/academy is uploaded to the payroll system by your payroll officer
  • An input audit report is sent to school/academy for approval prior to actual payroll run
  • Calculation and reporting of all statutory payments (SMP, SPP, SSP,SAP) including student loans
  • Calculation and reporting of company sick pay and maternity pay etc.
  • Application of incremental progression and pay awards as instructed by school/academy
  • BACS payments are made direct to employees’ accounts from School/Academy Bank Accounts
  • Third party BACS payments (HMRC, Pensions, union fees, court orders etc.) processed within required time limits
  • Pressure sealed payslips delivered by Royal Mail signed for first class post prior to pay day
  • Assessment of employees to comply with Auto enrolment for workforce pensions regulations
  • Production of required monthly workforce pension letters for employees for school to issue
  • Monthly management reports sent prior to payday
  • Production of monthly and annual Local Government Pension returns including starters, leavers, variations and a breakdown in contributions paid as well as completion of EPF1 and EPF68’s for leavers
  • Production of monthly Teachers Pension Returns including starters, leavers, variations and a breakdown of contributions reported to the Local Authority for Community Schools and uploaded to the STU for Academies
  • Year End reconciliation and on-line submission via RTI to HMRC
  • Production of P45’s for leavers and Year End P60’s


Benefits of changing your payroll provision service to HEC

  • We understand schools/academies require a cost effective, efficient and responsive payroll service
  • We understand it is frustrating for schools to have to resolve payroll problems, so we know it is crucial that payroll is correct each and every month
  • Working solely within the education sector, our priority is to ensure that both our systems and our staff are always up-to-date in order to process, manage and advise in relation to relevant changes in legislation and Government policies
  • We provide individual attention to each client, irrespective of size or type of establishment
  • Having a dedicated payroll officer working closely with the client enables us to deal with all of the school/academy needs, no matter how complex. This ensures a comprehensive and accurate service
  • We pride ourselves on our telephone and email support – most queries are answered within half an hour or less
  • We have extensive knowledge of applying pay and conditions of service for Teachers and Support Staff
  • We have knowledge of most schools finance systems therefore can provide advice and guidance on how transactions should be processed on the accounting system
  • We fully understand the requirements implementing Teachers and Local Government pension deductions, payments and returns
  • Having the ability to preview monthly inputs to see whose pay has changed enables the school to view and adjust the payroll, if necessary, before final processing
  • We calculate and provide maternity schedules to inform the employee of their entitlement as well as the cost to the school
  • Full training is offered to prepare the client for the use of our service when joining and should it be necessary further training on site can be arranged

  •  How easy is it to change provider?

    Once you have decided you would like to change your payroll provider there are various steps you need to take:

    • Obtain Approval from your Governing Body/Trust
    • Give notice to your current provider (some may require up to 6 months)
    • Obtain your BACS service user number (currently used by your existing provider)
    • Inform your Bank that the Payroll Bureau will be changed and provide details – particularly their Bureau number
    • Set up the BACS payment limit with your bank
    • Make any necessary changes to your Finance Regulations

    HEC will provide you with support throughout and a check list to assist you through the process.  When we prepare your data for upload to our system we will send you a copy of your employee information for checking and once it has been uploaded to our system we will send you reports for checking again to ensure accuracy before the first payroll run.

    If you are thinking about changing your payroll provider, 1st April is the most convenient date to move as this is currently the end of the financial year and simplifies the transfer of tax information. There is no set up fee involved.   A part-year transfer is possible but due to the additional work involved balancing tax and national insurance information a charge may be incurred.

    For further information and prices please contact Jennie Rowan on 01279 446745 or by email jennie.rowan@hecuk.net.  If you would like a written quotation please provide your current number of employees.



    Harlow Education Consortium | The Study Centre, Netteswellbury Farm, Harlow, Essex CM18 6BW | Tel: +44 (0)1279 445917 | | Email: info@hecuk.net