Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders


Dispute resolution

Employment lawyers are warning that the new dispute resolution procedures are beginning to create problems. It is important to follow the three-part procedure to the letter for all dismissals, including redundancies and fixed-term contracts. For more on the new procedures visit www.acas.org.uk

ASCL has seen an increasing number of grievances taken out both against members and by members.

It is important to note that a grievance has only to be notified in writing. One lawyer has pointed out that this can consist of anything from an email to a sticky note and anything in between. The timescales for dealing with grievances are relatively short and the advice is to treat grievances formally rather than informally to avoid falling foul of the rules.

Funding for science labs

During the general election campaign, Patricia Hewitt, then secretary of state for trade and industry, announced £220 million of DTI money for secondary school science labs. This announcement was something of a mystery, since the DTI had no track record of giving money to schools.

Since May, John Dunford has been trying to find out what, how, when (and even why) this money will be handed out. The DfES appears to be as mystified as we are.

We have now written to the new secretary of state at the DTI, Alan Johnson, but have received no reply. As soon as we hear anything firm, members will be the first to know.

Safer recruitment

Headteachers are reminded to complete the Safer Recruitment online training course, if they have not already done so. To access the training go to www.ncsl.org.uk/saferrecruitment

The training was commissioned by the DfES in response to the Bichard Inquiry Report published in June 2004. It provides information on a safer school culture and guidance on safeguarding against employing unsuitable people.

The training will help schools demonstrate that they have effective recruitment processes in place which ensure students are well protected. This is part of the Every Child Matters agenda which Ofsted will look at through the self-evaluation form.

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