Archived Legal Articles from 2016
A recent report, following a Freedom of Information Act request, suggested that asbestos could be present in at least 12,600 maintained schools in England alone. The report was based on data collected from 135 Local Authorities across the country which outlined that Local Authorities had paid out in…
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In the case of R (On the application of The Interim Executive Board of X School) v Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services and Skills , The Interim Board of X School mounted a successful claim for judicial review of an Ofsted report, which had concluded that the School…
Q: Is it necessary to inform a member of staff if they are subject to an investigation into safeguarding allegations?
A: According to DfE guidance, it is necessary to inform the member of staff. In any event, in order to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter, the member of staff…
It will come as no surprise to most that funding shortages in Schools across the UK have been a cause for concern for a number of years with consistent headlines shouting of cuts, redundancies, deficits and strikes. But now, with the Government revealing that almost 1,000 local authority schools and…
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Q: What is best practice for dealing with staff complaints about the behaviour management of a problem pupil?
A: Problem pupils who display confrontational behaviour towards staff should ideally be taken out of the classroom to minimise disruption for both pupils and staff alike. Ideally a…
Can the criticism of a teacher give them grounds to resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal? In the case of Bethnal Green and Shoreditch Education Trust v Dippenaar , the EAT concluded that a teacher had been subjected to an unjustified capability process with a view to securing her resignation…
The Northern Ireland Court of Appeal has finally handed down its decision on the "Gay Cake" case. This case, more formally known as Lee v Ashers Baking Company, has clarified the position of whether one person's religious beliefs outweighs another's sexual orientation.
Megan Murray v Mark Mccullough, as Nominee on Behalf of the Trustees and on Behalf of the Board of Governors of Rainey Endowed School  NIQB 52
The claimant was 15 when she was struck with a hockey stick whilst playing in a match for her school. She was not wearing a mouth guard and she…
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Q: Am I obliged to give an employee time off to look after a sick child, and does this time off have to be paid?
A: All employees have the right to reasonable time off during working hours for dependants to deal with unforeseen matters, therefore an employer is unable to refuse leave for this…
Mr Schleicher criticised the new plans in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) annual report comparing education systems across the developed world.
The plans, published by education secretary Justine Greening, call for the opening of new grammar schools in England…
The General Data Protection Regulation is set to overhaul the data protection regime in the UK. Some questions remain as to how it will be implemented due to Brexit since this is a measure introduced at European level. However, taking into consideration the changes that it brings it is likely to be…
An important aspect of managing any organisation is making effective use of resources. Procuring for the right price as well as complying with procurement law is crucial and school staff accountable for budgets and buying have a key role to play.
Schools may have access to a range of frameworks…
The Women and Equalities Committee has published a report espousing legal recommendations to address the documented surge in workplace pregnancy discrimination over the past 10 years.
The proposals include:-
· Increased protection from redundancy for new and expectant…
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Across today's headlines is the news that recent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) research shows the difference in pay between men and women in the same job is on average, a staggering 18%, and the earnings gap widens significantly after women have children.
The issue revealed by the research…
A recent study has revealed that 52% of women surveyed have suffered some form of sexual harassment whilst at work. The Trades Union Congress and Everyday Sexism Project conducted the surveys which found that more than half of the women asked had experienced unwanted sexual behaviour at work, including…
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Employment and HR queries we have received this month:
Q: Can I insist that employees undertake training? If they refuse, what are our options?
Generally speaking attending training sessions are a requirement in any professional job to ensure continued professional development. Certainly…
A Claimant has been awarded £25,000 by the High Court for the psychological harm caused to her by being encouraged to send explicit, sexual text messages and images of herself to the Vice-Principal and Child Protection Officer at a Special Educational Needs School that she attended in Kent.…
All schools have a risk management policy, do regular risk assessments and have the safety of the pupils as their highest priority but does your risk management process cover all eventualities?
In a case which has been rumbling along for several years Essex County Council as Local Education…
Can we advertise available positions internally only?
There is no specific legal obligation to advertise positions either internally or externally or in any particular way at all: it is an organisational decision to make.
However, there are a few potential risks to be aware of in choosing how…
Most schools will be aware of the challenges that social media plays in the bullying of pupils. But what of teachers? Take the case of Calliope Tardios, who is head teacher of St John's Preparatory School. She was subject to a social media campaign by a disgruntled parent, Pamella Linton, who made…
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Article 8, the Right to Privacy, is not engaged by an employer investigating emails
How far can an employer go in investigating an employee's conduct where that conduct has had an impact on the workplace and / or their ability to do their job without encroaching upon an individual's right…
You may have seen coverage of the case, which involved a father who was fined £120 for taking his daughter out of school during term time.
Mr Platt had booked to take his daughter to Disney World in Florida, in April 2015 on holiday, which meant she would miss 7 days of school. However, her…
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International DBS Checks
Q: What Disclosure and Barring Service checks should be carried out on individuals who have lived or worked outside of the UK for a period of time?
A: Disclosure and barring checks provide schools and colleges with one method for assessing job candidates and / or…
This week the Chancellor has confirmed plans for all schools in England to become academies. Here we look at the potential implications of this and what the change means.
An academy is an independent, state-funded school, who receives their funding directly from the central government, rather than…
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Employment and HR queries we have received from schools this month:
Q: Is it possible to place an employee on formal absence review for sickness absence whilst still signed off?
A: Should a situation arise where an employee is absent due to long term sickness, it would be best practice to send…
There has been recent media coverage regarding an employee at a nursery taking a photograph of a child on their first day of nursery playing with their friends to send the photo to the child's parent in order to reassure the parent that their child is settling in. It has been reported that Ofsted…
It is a common occurrence to find numerous parents illegally parking outside the school gates, be that; parking on double yellows, parking on the yellow zig zag keep clear signs, or directly in front of school gates in order to save time when dropping their children off.
Illegal parking is…
Data Breaches in the Education Sector
The unusual occurrence of data breaches are a thing of the past. 2014 was dubbed "the year of the data breach' (report by Experian) and it seems more and more we are seeing a range of organisations including educational institutions affected by data…
On 7 January 2016 the School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations 2015 came into force. The regulations which are made under Part 2 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 were the subject of an earlier consultation that took place from 11 September 2015 to 13 November 2015.
The Department for Education (DfE) consultation on its plans to change parts one and two of its Keeping children safe in education guidance closes on 16 February 2016.
Within the consultation the DfE have proposed draft guidance for input from school and college staff, governing bodies,…
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