Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Dismissing staff not directly employed

It is not often that a court or tribunal uses language as strong as in the case of a Mr Henderson: "...if indeed a man may be judged unfit to work with children and can lose his job in consequence, because of a conclusion reached on evidence which he does not see, by people whom he does not know and has no chance to address... and without any effective appeal, that is a deplorable state of affairs."

The tribunal, however, found itself in a position where it was unable to help. The situation was that Mr Henderson had faced an accusation of sexually abusing his nieces. He denied it. The police investigated and took it no further. He had a clean CRB check when hired by the transport company.

Later, information about the allegations was passed to the council. The local Safeguarding Board held a meeting (at which, of course, Mr Henderson was not represented) and decided that the council should demand that Mr Henderson be removed from school runs. The transport company had no other work to offer him and accordingly dismissed him.

Leaving aside the fairness or otherwise of the proceedings of the safeguarding board, it is worth noting that if the contract says so, then a school or college also can require a third party to remove a worker. Any action by the employer can not be brought home to the school or college.

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