Forbes Solicitors
Education eNews  December 2018


Schools - are you ready for winter?

As we head into winter, it is the ideal time to consider whether your organisation is prepared for all the season might have to offer. Here is a quick checklist to ensure that you have appropriate systems in place and taken the necessary steps to protect staff, pupils and parents.

Ice and snow

  • Have you risk assessed the school grounds and put in a system to manage the risks? Have you identified the areas most likely to be affected by snow and ice? i.e. entrances to school, car parks, bus stops.
  • If you already have a risk assessment, carry out a review and make sure you implement any areas of improvement.
  • Is someone responsible for monitoring the weather conditions?

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HSE Urges Schools to Review Traffic Arrangements after the Death of a Pupil

Bridgend County Borough Council has been fined after a boy ran into the path of a school bus and was killed.

In 2014, the boy had finished school and was crossing the road to board his bus home when the collision with a minibus took place. The HSE found that the layby created before the school opened in 2008 was not large enough to accommodate all the school buses at home time. As a result, some of the school buses had to park on the other side of the road, which had no pavement, leaving children to board in the middle of the road while other vehicles were able to travel in both directions between the waiting buses. Coach drivers described the area as a "free for all", with others describing it as "chaos".



Managing the performance of employees with disabilities

Where there are issues with an employee’s performance, employers should always consider whether a disability could be affecting their behaviour or ability to perform.

A disability is defined under the Equality Act 2010 (Act) as ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term negative effect on their ability to carry out normal daily activities’. The Act protects employees from disability discrimination and places a duty on employers to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees who are placed at a substantial disadvantage because of their disability.

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Mock Disciplinary Investigation and Hearing in a School Setting

8.00am - 11.30am, Thursday 31 January
Hays, 4th Floor, City Tower, Piccadilly Plaza, Manchester, M1 4BT

Handling investigations in a school setting - How to ensure your investigation process is fit for Employment Tribunal.

Forbes Solicitors' Education Team in association with Hays, are delighted to invite you to attend our interactive session on handling investigations based in a school setting.

The prospect of going to an employment tribunal can be daunting. Therefore, how you undertake an investigation and conduct a disciplinary hearing is crucial to ensure that any risk to your school is minimized, and limits any impact on your school and the pupils. Our Mock Investigation and Hearing will demonstrate a realistic insight into the workings of a disciplinary case in a School setting to demonstrate the issues unfolding, including the investigation meetings and disciplinary hearing. There will be the opportunity for discussion about the decision and evidence with learning points throughout where we will discuss best practice in preparation for Tribunals.

For further information or to book a place please click here


Former Headteacher prosecuted for unlawfully obtaining pupils' personal information

Darren Harrison of Twickenham was a Deputy Head teacher at Isleworth Town Primary School (the School). Six months into his role, he was suspended.

Following an IT audit carried out by the School, it transpired that there were large volumes of sensitive personal data on the School's servers from two previous schools that he had worked at.

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Questions we have been asked this month

Use of school facilities for breakfast clubs and other after school activities - what are the school's responsibilities when hosting these activities?

The responsibilities that a school may have when its facilities are being used for breakfast clubs and other after school activities will depend on the arrangements that it has in place for these activities.

If the school is providing these activities then it would need to ensure that its staff are recruited in accordance with applicable guidance and legislation such as Keeping Children Safe in Education. Further, that staff are trained in relation to health & safety, food safety and safeguarding. The school would also need to ensure that it has insurance in place such as public liability insurance should anyone suffer any accident or sustain injury, whilst on its premises. The school is likely to have insurance in place but it may need to consider whether additional cover is needed, as hosting such activities may not be covered by an existing policy.


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Save the Date // Education Forums

The next Knowsley Education Forum will be held at The Village Hotel, Fallows Way, Whiston, Liverpool on 6th February 2019.

The next Lancashire Education Forum will be held at Brockholes, Preston on 7th February 2019.

The forums, which are free to attend, are aimed at Head Teachers, School Business Managers, Finance & HR Officers, Senior Leadership Teams and Governors who want to keep up to date with relevant changes and developments in the education sector.

Full programmes will follow in the New Year.

Main Office: Rutherford House, 4 Wellington Street (St. Johns), Blackburn, BB1 8DD
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The content of this e-alert is merely informative and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice