Questions we have been asked this month

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19 October, 2018

Q. What would happen if, during a restructuring process, a teacher opted to move to part-time working? Would his/her salary be safeguarded at the original level or at a pro-rata level?

A: 36.1 of the states that

"Whether the teacher was a full-time teacher or a teacher in regular part-time employment before losing a post, if the teacher is then employed as stated in paragraph 29.1(a) as a teacher in regular part-time employment, the teacher must be paid that proportion of the safeguarded sum attributable to the loss of post to which the teacher would have been entitled had their employment been as a fulltime teacher which the part-time employment bears to full-time employment."

In accordance with the STPCD, safeguarding will apply in the following circumstances:

  1. A discontinuance of, a prescribed alteration to, or a reorganisation of, a school; or
  2. The closure or reorganisation of any other educational establishment or service.

In this instance, it would depend whether the teacher 'opted' to move to part-time working as a direct result of the re-structure. If the move to part-time working was attributable to the re-structure, then the teacher's pay would be safeguarded on a pro-rata basis.

Q: On moving jobs is a teacher able to take resources (such as lesson plans, power point presentations) they've created to a new school provided they don't contain sensitive information? Does this include electronic copies of the resources?

A: Essentially, this will be governed by the teachers' contractual terms of employment. In all likelihood, there will be a clause within the teacher's contract of employment which states that the school retains property rights for work undertaken as part of the teacher's normal duties (i.e. teaching materials) and that this covers both physical and electronic copies. There may, however, be provision for materials to be removed from the school premises with the school's express consent.

If it is established that the school does retain property rights to the materials and they are subsequently taken from the school, the teacher would be in breach of contract. Whilst it is difficult to assess what loss the school would suffer as a result, the school would be entitled to seek an injunction against the teacher, seek an order for the return of the intellectual property and/or pursue compensation.

For more information contact Ruth Rule-Mullen in our Education department via email or phone on 01772 220195. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.

Learn more about our Education department here

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