HFL Education contract services provide maintained schools with a portfolio of services that can be purchased to help facilitate school improvement and business support.

Contract services planning and renewal process

Annual contract service renewals are released to schools in the Summer 1 term and provides a proposal of services that your academy may wish to purchase. 

Below, you will find a range of FAQ’s to help answer your most common generic and service specific questions.

If you would like to discuss our contract services package or have any questions, please call us on 01438 544464 (option 6) or email contracts@hfleducation.org

General FAQs

When will I receive my contract?

Proposals are sent to Academies during the first week of May.

Who will receive a copy of the contract?

The Headteacher, school business manager/finance manager (where we have the information) and the Chair of governors will all get a copy of the contract.

Can I have another copy of the contract sent to me?

Yes – please contact us and we will email a copy to the school.

What is included in the contract?

A full breakdown of our services including, Advisory, Occupational Health, Financial and Technology for Schools services.

What if I want to make changes to my contract?

If the school would like to make a change to any of the services on the contract they can either:

If I have not received my contract, what should I do?

Please check in any spam or junk folders your email software may have in the first instance. If you still have not received it, please contact contracts@hfleducation.org or call 01438 544464

Where will I find the terms and conditions?

Our terms and conditions can be found here. Please review all sections including section 6 relating to term and termination of contract services. For Governance training please see our training terms and conditions. Section 7 relates to cancellation.

Who do I contact if I have a problem?

If you are unable to find an answer within these FAQ’s please contact our contract services team by email on contracts@hfleducation.org or call 01438 544464” 

Will I have a breakdown of details for my technology in schools and finance contract?

A full-service breakdown is available on your contract. If you require further information regarding these services, please do not hesitate to contact us at contracts@hfleducation.org

Do I need to sign and return the contract?

No we do not ask for a signed copy to be returned. Contracts automatically roll over every 12 months and a final copy is sent each year for your records. Any amendments to contracts can be made during the contract renewal window which is communicated when your contract proposal is sent. Changes received outside of the renewal window will fall in line with our terms and conditions, section 6.

Will I receive a final contract?

Final contracts will be received in September.

How does HFL know what I want to purchase?

The contract shows the services that the school has purchased in the previous financial year.

How do I find out about my PAYU services?

If you would like details about our PAYU services please contact us on info@hfleducation.org

Advisory services

I am a Secondary school – why does my contract not show the amount for the SEA/TLA support I currently purchase?

The contract service is for the financial year 2023/24 (April 2023 to March 2024); the secondary advisory services were purchased on an academic year (September to August). To avoid any confusion about double payments, as the service has already been agreed to, the contract does not show the amount.

When will I know who has been allocated as my SEA?

The school effectiveness adviser (SEA) is allocated on an academic year cycle, therefore the school will retain their current SEA until the end of the summer term. SEA’s will be allocated for September, being mindful of the following:

  • If your current SEA is able to continue to work for HFL in the new academic year.
  • How long your SEA has been working with your school- sometimes parties appreciate a fresh pair of eyes!
  • If there are any circumstances that mean your school would now be more venerable. in the eyes of OFSTED and therefore requires additional SEA time.

The Directors of Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Special Education will make every effort to allocate a requested advisor, however this is not always possible’ 

Your designated SEA will be confirmed in the second half of the Summer term.

Can I choose my SEA?

Where possible we will try to allocate the same SEA to maintain continuity. If you request a change of SEA we will endeavour to fulfil the request, however, sometimes this may not be possible.

If I purchase the four day saver package can I use if for what I want?

Yes. Many of our schools choose the successful programme of:

  • A half day Autumn visit reflecting on pupil outcomes from the previous academic year
  • Support with Head Teachers appraisal
  • A full day Spring visit for a more in depth review of the schools practices
  • A half day Summer visit to review the year

We are also very happy to work with senior leaders to agree an appropriate bespoke and flexible package for our schools if this is better suits their needs.

If the SEA needs to write a report will this be taken from the allocated time or does the school pay extra?

If a report is necessary, the time to write the report will be taken from the four day allocation. If the school has already used its allocation the time would have to be charged at the standard rate.

Can a school purchase extra days after the contract has renewed?

Yes, you are able to purchase extra days (at the standard rate) on a pay-as-you-use basis. This would not be shown on your contract.

Teaching and learning

If I purchase the four day saver package do they have to be split equally between English and maths?

No. You can allocate the support to the needs of your school.

Does the support have to be used for just consultancy?

No. The TLA super saver package would allow a menu of options (a), (b), (c) or (d):

a) four days consultancy

b) three days consultancy plus two twilight sessions

c) three days consultancy plus half a day inset

d) two and a half days consultancy plus one day inset

Can I choose my TLA adviser?

HFL will make every effort to allocate the requested adviser, although this is not always possible. However all of our team subject specialists offer a wealth of school improvement experience. The team provide nationally acclaimed bespoke training, guidance and support to school leaders, teachers, teaching assistants and parents to improve outcomes for children.

Are the visits structured to a defined set of requirements?

No. Once you have been allocated an adviser they will liaise with you to agree the nature of support that would best fit your school’s needs.

Early years advisory services

What is included in the Early Years two day saver package?

The EYA Super Saver package allows school leaders a menu of options (a, b or c) to tailor the support in a way that will be most beneficial to their individual school’s needs:

a) two days bespoke consultancy

b) one and a half days bespoke consultancy and a twilight staff training session

c) one day bespoke consultancy plus a half day INSET

What elements are covered as part of the package?

The package is designed with leaders to meet the professional development needs of their EYFS team, to support self-reflection and to offer ongoing support for continuous development of high quality practice and provision.

Elements of EYFS provision and practice that could be considered useful to explore are:

  • self-evaluation and action planning support for senior leaders
  • review, design and development of an effective curriculum for the early years
  • developing high quality learning environments
  • support with monitoring in the EYFS for headteachers and senior leaders
  • support with deep dives in the EYFS for subject leaders
  • helping new EYFS team leaders to understand their leadership role, to lead and develop a high-performing team
  • exploration and review of school’s home learning offer and advice to further enhance parental engagement and empowerment
  • joint lesson observations with leaders
  • scrutiny of assessment procedures including learning journals and progress tracking
  • safeguarding and welfare audit
  • empowering staff to adapt provision for two year olds
  • developing the role of the adult to support effective teaching and learning by all staff
  • coaching/lesson study/team teaching
  • staff meeting (delivery and planning)
Is there an option for some of the package to be used remotely?

Advisers are well equipped to deliver support online in agreement with the school and dependent on focus. The option for staff meetings to be delivered online can also be considered.

Do we need to use our support package within this year?

Yes, in line with the terms and conditions as set out in your contract, the package would need to be completed within the contract period.

How can we develop the package so all the schools in the trust can benefit?

A bespoke package can be devised to meet individual and collective needs of schools in a Trust. This is best done in consultation with one of the senior EY advisers.

Can we increase the number of days in our package?

Yes, this can be agreed at the point of setting up the package or increased during the year.

Data management services

What is the Data Management Services (DMS) charge for?

The DMS Team provides support for a school’s Management Information System, such as Arbor, Bromcom, Scholarpack and SIMS.  This includes Service Desk support and guidance documentation via the DMS Portal.  

Why does my contract show licence costs where previously with SIMS it didn’t?

As the school is now purchasing the licence through the HFL MIS Framework the contract is with HFL therefore the MIS suppliers Arbor, Bromcom and Scholarpack charge HFL upfront for all licence Fee’s and then HFL reclaim the licence cost from schools.

What is the Framework Fee of 2% or 5%?

The Framework Fee is based on a percentage of your total licence costs of either 2% or 5% dependent on whether DMS Support has been purchased. This is explained in Schedule 1 of your licence agreement.

Why has my contract price gone up?

In addition to any small pricing increase to cover inflation, an additional increase may be reflective of changes in your pupil numbers on roll.  If the school has increased or decreased in numbers since the previous year, this can result in a change in price.

Contact the DMS team

For further details, or any additional queries not covered here, please email the DMS Team at help@sd.hfleducation.org or call the Service Desk on 01438 544466 option 1, option 1.

Governance Services

What do I get with my Governor training package?

Single Academy Trusts:

  • 1 in-house session
  • reduced rate to attend group training courses
  • access to Herts for Learning and Modern Governor’s suite of online training courses
  • reduced rate to attend Governor Induction course
  • reduced rate to attend Safer Recruitment accredited course

For Multi Academy Trusts, training options are available and include a combination of the benefits listed above.  To obtain a cost, please email Governance with your requirements at governance@hfleducation.org

Note: if you are new subscriber to the training package, you will need to have GovernorHub to access training.  If you do not purchase GovernorHub HfL can set this up for a reduced rate.  Please contact governance@hfleducation.org for costs.

How do I book onto face to face training or complete an online course?

All governor training is via GovernorHub and should be accessed using your single sign on. Please select the ‘training’ tab in the HfL Governance Services area (accessed from the “washing line” at the top of your page) and search for the course that you are interested in attending or completing online. The Governance Training Team can be contacted if you have any queries either via email at gov.courses@hfleducation.org or calling 01438 544478.

How do I book our in-house sessions?

Agree which in-house course your board would like to book, identify at least 3 dates convenient to your board (ideally at least a calendar month notice to allow time for a trainer to be allocated and administration to be set up). send an email to gov.courses@hfleducation.org requesting your ‘in-house’ training allocation; course name; dates; preferred start time (course duration approximately 2 hours).  The training team will seek a trainer for one of your chosen dates and confirm by return:

Please note not all courses are offered as an in-house.

The Chairs’ Service provides opportunities to work collaboratively through a range of training courses and networking opportunities designed to meet the specific needs of chairs and help chairs develop in their role. The service also includes a termly online chairs’ strategic briefing providing presentations from expert speakers on a range of topics and interactive Q&A sessions; a monthly e-bulletin with all the latest news and updates; and the Chairs’ Handbook to support Chairs of Governors in managing their board effectively and sharing best practice.

The Chairs Portal provides users with focused news and information direct to their inbox on upcoming events and training. There is also a comprehensive resources section that includes relevant articles, guidance, tools and templates to enhance the effectiveness of their role.

For Multi Academy Trusts, options are available and include a combination of the benefits listed above.  To obtain a cost, please email Governance with your requirements at governance@hfleducation.org

Note: if you are new subscriber to the Chairs’ service, you will need to have GovernorHub to access the portal.  If you do not purchase GovernorHub HfL can set this up for a reduced rate.  Please contact governance@hfleducation.org for costs.

What is the difference between an in-house and group training?

An in-house is for the individual governing board only* and held on the school site or remotely.  Group training is open to any governor and can be held at venues across county or remotely.  A reduced rate of £15 is charged for governors of schools who subscribe, and £52 for non-subscribers. *For MATs who have subscribed to the MAT training package, the in-house session(s) can be held for the boards across the Trust.

What are the benefits of the Chairs’ Service?

The Chairs’ Service provides opportunities to work collaboratively through a range of training courses designed to meet the specific needs of chairs and help chairs develop in their role. The service also includes a termly chairs’ briefing providing networking opportunities and presentations from speakers on a range of topics; monthly e-bulletin updates; and chairs’ handbook to support Chairs of Governors in managing their board effectively and sharing best practice.

The new Chairs Portal provides users with, focused news and information direct to their inbox, relevant articles, guidance, tools and templates to enhance the effectiveness of their role. The Portal also gives access to a rolling series of Modern Governor online training modules for Chairs.

For Multi Academy Trusts, options are available and include a combination of the benefits listed above.  To obtain a cost, please email Governance with your requirements at governance@hfleducation.org

Note: if you are new subscriber to the Chairs’ service, you will need to have GovernorHub to access the portal.  If you do not purchase GovernorHub HfL can set this up for a reduced rate.  Please contact governance@hfleducation.org for costs.

What is the cost of having an in-house event?

If your school subscribes to Governor Training and this is your first training event of the financial year (September – August) there is no cost as it is included in the package price*, and no minimum number required to attend. If you have purchased a MAT training package, you may be entitled to more than 1 in-house per annum, please check with governance@hfleducation.org if unsure. If your setting does not subscribe, please contact Governance for prices.

*If you have had your in-house session for the financial year and would like to book an extra one, this can be arranged at an additional cost. Please contact gov.courses@hfleducation.org for details.

What is the training cancellation policy?

1.  It is your responsibility to cancel off any course you have booked on, through your single sign on within GovernorHub, including remote.  To avoid your school being charged please ensure you read the following:  

All notification of cancellations for governor training bookings must be communicated by:

  • signing in to GovernorHub ‘Training’ and selecting ‘cancel’ against your booking which automatically sends Governance a notification (*Cancellation via GovernorHub is the preferred method)

If you are unable to cancel via GovernorHub, please use one of the following communication methods – you will need to confirm your name; school setting; course code and title:

2. Training may only be cancelled by the governor in accordance with item 1 above. If a governor fails to attend all or part of any Training, full payment of the Charges shall be required. Cancellation charges will apply as follows:

  • Days before event Proportion of liable cost
  • Cancellation due to an Ofsted visit 0%
  • Cancellation before 16 working days 0%
  • 15 to 6 working days 50%
  • 5 working days or less 100%
  • Non-attendance charge 100%

3.  Cancellation charges will not apply if a governor attends in your place. Please notify the Governance team by email at the time if governor is attending in your place, including their name – email should be sent to gov.courses@hfleducation.org

4.  For in-house sessions that are part of the Governor Training subscription package, five clear working days’ notice is required to cancel in-house (two-hour sessions). Where less than five clear working days is given, the governing body forfeit the session.

5.  If a refund is approved by HfL, it will be made through the original mode of payment only.

If we buy Modern Governor (e-learning) training only, can we still request an in-house session or attend group training?

Yes you can but this will incur additional charges. Signing up to Modern Governor only provides access to the online courses, however details of other group training courses are also listed and can be booked  as non-subscribers. If you require an in-house you should contact the team for details at gov.courses@hfleducation.org

How much is it to purchase GovernorHub?

£225 per annum for a Single Academy Trust.  For Multi Academy Trusts the cost would be £225 for the Trust Board, and £100 per local board.

How much is it to purchase GovernorHub and The Key for School Governors?

The cost for a single setting is £555 per annum.  For MAT settings wanting to buy it for the whole trust, the cost is £555 for the first purchase, and £450 per board thereafter.

I have bought into the Clerking Service but do not have the Clerk’s training and support package; why is this?

If you purchase our HfL Clerking Service (we provide the clerk) you do not need to purchase the training and support package as this is included in the package. The training and support package is for schools who employ their own Clerk and would like access to the training and support.

What happens if we don’t use the meetings we have purchased for clerking for that year?

Please only purchase the number of meetings required. We are unable to provide refunds for meetings not used or allow them to be carried over. The 6 meeting package has been discounted and should only be signed up to for boards who are confident they will hold this number of meetings per financial year (or more).   We offer a 3 meeting package, which can be increased to 4 or 5 if your board hold that number of meetings. To discuss your clerking subscription requirements please contact clerking@hfleducation.org

Will the HfL clerk pick up all admin related to the governing board?

The HFL Clerking service is a set service that’s supports the clerking of all contracted meetings.  Full details of the service are outlined in the HFL Clerking Service document which can be requested from clerking@hfleducation.org - Clerks are employed on a sessional basis to support a contracted number of meetings. Additional admin tasks are not provided within the service, but please contact the team if you have a request as we can liaise with the clerk regarding their availability, and provide a cost.

We are dealing with a school complaint/exclusion, can the clerk support us?

A high percentage of our clerks are trained and experienced to support with complaints, exclusions or disciplinary hearing but not all.  To ensure we allocate an experienced clerk, all requests should be made to clerking@hfleducation.org and details of the cost, service included, and terms and conditions will be provided. NB: individual school policies may refer to additional admin tasks by the clerk to governors, which may not be automatically included in our additional services.  Details of what is included, will be advised at point of enquiry but can also be found in the document HfL Clerking Service Document.  

GDPR services

What are the GDPR services?

We offer the following GDPR services

  • GDPR Toolkit with email and telephone support
  • Enhanced DPO Service.  HfL will be your nominated DPO and provide a wide range of support
“What are the main differences between the subscription to the toolkit and to the DPO Service?”

Our toolkit subscription provides access to the resources in the HFL GDPR Toolkit, plus support via email and telephone. 

Our DPO Service provides HFL as the named DPO, remote/onsite sessions and more in-depth, bespoke support, along with access to the toolkit resources. 

How do I sign up/cancel/change my subscription?

The GDPR toolkit can be purchased here. Alternatively please call 01438 544464 or email: info@hfleducation.org for assistance in purchasing this product.

To purchase the Enhanced DPO Service, please contact gdpr.sd@hfleducation.org

I chose not to auto-renew my subscription online but am still being charged

Please contact us to discuss at info@hfleducation.org

How do I access the email and telephone support?

Email: gdpr.sd@hfleducation.org

Telephone: 01438 544464 Option 3 then Option 4

Website support

I have a problem with my website. Who do I contact?

Please email schoolwebsitesupport@hfleducation.org or call 01438 567328. If you don’t already have a support contract with us, we will still try to help, but you will be asked to sign up to an annual support contract.

How do I find out more about the ‘new website’ option?

Please email schoolwebsitesupport@hfleducation.org or call 01438 567328. We can discuss your requirements over the phone or arrange a short visit to talk through the options available.

Is my website compliant with the statutory requirements?

Please email schoolwebsitesupport@hfleducation.org or call 01438 567328. We can arrange a half day visit to check you have all the necessary information on your website and do a full audit to check the structure, contents, consistency, ease of access etc and suggest improvements.

You have developed a new website for our school. What follow on support is available?

The ‘new website’ option provides you with telephone/email/Wordpress support for the remainder of the financial year in which you started the contract. After that you are under no obligation to continue with any level of support, but most schools choose to have 2 half day visits a year, which includes telephone/email support. You can also just take the telephone/email support and then use pay-as-you-use visits if required.

HR Services

What is the difference between the Core HR service and the Full HR service?

Both services give customers direct connectivity to our experienced team of HR Advisors, with unlimited telephone and email access to the helpdesk, as well as access to our online portal of HR resources. The Full HR service also provides the additional benefits of:

  • HR presence in specific agreed meetings to support school leaders address sensitive employment topics
  • support in managing risks in complex scenarios and difficult conversations
  • remote and in-person support to consider a range of options without adjourning hearings
  • implementation support for planned restructure/or change projects, with remote or in-person attendance at agreed stages
  • HR adviser support in formal remote or in-person meetings including disciplinary or performance management hearings, appeals and most scenarios where a dismissal sanction could be imposed
How is the cost calculated? If my member of staff is part time, does the school still pay ​​​​​​​ the full per person amount?

The cost is calculated per employee. We base this on the physical headcount within the customers establishment, using data taken from either payroll or workforce census submissions and verified by the customer. This is due to the nature of the subject matter we support with customers; as individual people management issues differ widely in their complexity, irrespective of the number of contracted hours for a employee.

What additional services are provided by HR Services?

The HR Service provide a range of services for customers outside of the core or full contract offer. For more details about these additional services please contact hrservices@hfleducation.org or call 01438 544463.


What is the HRBP service?

Our HR strategic Business Partner Service is designed to align your human resources with your vision, values, and objectives.  The HRBP service will provide strategic help, advice and guidance for senior leaders.  This can be high-level strategy or more of a bespoke business partnering element depending on where you are on your journey. 

What is an HR Business Partner?

You will be allocated a HR Business Partner who is independent and a professional expert.  They will work closely with your Senior Leadership Team to offer external support in identifying, developing, and implementing strategic HR management plans that are designed to meet your core objectives.  

How will my school/trust be supported?

Bespoke HR guidance by gaining a detailed understanding of your school, setting or trust, its successes, challenges, and your aims.  Your dedicated HR Business Partner will help you create bespoke strategies and develop people plans and practice to address your specific needs.  Whether it’s recruitment and retention, performance management, or employee development.  

How does the HR Business Partner service work?

Your dedicated HR Business Partner will work with you and your senior leaders to critically evaluate current practice, build your people plan, manage talent and develop approaches that achieve your agreed objectives. 

We can offer support and guidance in person and on-site, or remotely depending on your specific needs, ensuring your get the right support in the way that works best for you and your teams.  

What are the benefits of the HRBP service?

Our team of HR professionals come with extensive experience in the education industry.  We understand the nuances, challenges, and regulatory requirements that educational establishments face, enabling the team to provide targeted and effective solutions.

We don’t just act as consultants.  We work as close or as distant as you see fit, collaborating with your leadership team to empower them with the knowledge and tools they need.

  • Honest and transparent skills
  • Practical help and guidance
  • Bespoke advice support
  • Fair transparent pricing that reflects our belief that as much funding as possible should go into frontline education.
  • Great efficiency – our exceptional service means we save you time and money, ensuring you have more of both to do the important stuff. 
Who do I contact for more information

Hena Mahmood and Julie Thompson look after the HRBP service. 

They can be contacted via the helpdesk on 01438 544463 or email hrservices@hfleducation.org 

Technology in schools

Technical or logistical enquiries

Please note: where there is a technical or logistical issue this would need to be dealt with by the ICT team directly due to the complexity and specific subject knowledge needed. Please contact the service desk on 01438 544466.

How will my ICT be supported?

Support is underpinned by our ITIL compliant Service Desk where proactive support and advice is provided by knowledgeable staff that fully understand specialist educational requirements across a range of solutions, including Apple iOS, Google for Education, Managed Wireless and cloud backup.

I have a technical problem, who should I call?

Any issues should be raised via the Service Desk on help@sd.hfleducation.org or call on 01438 844777.

We have a technical triage team available Monday – Friday 8:15am and 5:00pm (4pm on Friday) to help support your problems. We will always aim to resolve your issues within our service level agreements. In the event of an emergency where your problem can not be resolved remotely, we will arrange to send out one of our technicians.

We would like to change the timing of our technical visits. Who should we contact?

All schools have designated slots so we will need to review what options we have available in your local area. Please call the service desk on 01438 844777 and ask to speak with the contract services manager to discuss options.

There are so many Educational Technologies out there, how do we choose which one is best for our school?

We have a team of experienced account managers and Technology in Schools advisors that can talk you through Ed-Tech, sharing case studies and testimonials from other schools to help you make the correct decision.

We are keen to develop our IT offer but budgets are tight. How can HFL help?

Our account management team can work with you to implement a 5 year plan with a phased approach to help spread the costs over the years.

Where can I find a full breakdown of my ICT services?

A full breakdown has been sent electronically to the school (Headteacher, Chair of Governors and SBM) within the contract services pack.

Does the ICT contract include data management?

No. The data management service is separate to the ICT services contract and is reflected on a separate line on the contract.

Teach in Herts

What do I get in the Teach in Herts subscription?

Teach in Herts was created as a schools’ recruitment site in 2001, originally for shareholders only, but has since become the place to find teaching and support vacancies at more than 600 schools and settings across the county.

On average there are over 10,000 vacancies advertised on Teach in Herts every year, across four main job types: teaching, leadership, early years and professional and support.

Schools will have access to the Herts for Learning recruitment platform and a custom-built, self-service portal for each school or setting.  This includes the ability to:

  • post and manage unlimited vacancies on the Teach in Herts website
  • upload images, information, documents and links to showcase your school/setting even when there are no live vacancies
  • all adverts posted automatically generate a tweet for additional exposure
  • specially discounted rates with additional advertising platforms and social media advertising
  • reduced agency rates for supply staff through the carefully selected and managed HFL Supply Framework
  • year-round promotion of education jobs in Hertfordshire through our own advertising, recruitment fairs and events as well as partnerships with universities, colleges and ITT providers throughout the UK
  • option to attend our popular Teach in Herts Recruitment Events where you can meet potential applicants in person
  • access to a wide range of guidance and support documents specific to school recruitment
  • discounts on the TES Institute Straight to Teach programme
  • rapid response admin support via email and telephone
Can the school sign-up to Teach in Herts if it is an out of county school??

No. The Teach in Herts service is to support schools in Hertfordshire only.

How does the school access Teach in Herts?

The school will have a log-in on the Teach in Herts website (www.teachinherts.com).

The school has lost the log-in details or has forgotten the details; what do they do?

Email support@teachinherts.com to recover the log-in details. 

Contact our Contract Services team to find out how we can help you.