Guidance from EAT on standard of investigation required by school on dismissal of staff
Mr Hargreaves ('the Claimant') was a teacher of Art and Design from 1 September 2005 until 17 June 2016 at the respondent school ("the Respondent"). He had an unblemished record until it was alleged that he had grabbed a pupil, pushed him against the wall and put his fingers to the pupil's throat. He was dismissed by a disciplinary panel following an investigation, and an employment tribunal ('ET') found the dismissal fair.
The Claimant then appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal ("EAT"), contending the school's investigation was inadequate given the career-changing impact of the allegation, and that the school had failed to disclose to the disciplinary panel evidence from potential witnesses who had said they had seen nothing. The Claimant argued that given the career-changing impact of the allegation, the Respondent's investigation was inadequate. More than the mere loss of a particular employment was in issue. The dismissal had a devastating effect personally, financially, and professionally and his, "hard-won career was potentially now in ruins."
Age Verification for School Online Services
It is a factor of modern life that more and more aspects of education are moving onto digital platforms. From school websites to mobile applications, cloud services to distance learning, more and more personal data is being processed online, and in the case of schools this would involve the personal data of children.
Given this, a major point schools should consider is whether they would have to apply age verification and consent systems procedures as laid out in Article 8 of the General Data Protection regulations (GDPR) and if so, what should they do about it.