LEAs and behaviour
In February, the secretary of state wrote to all LEAs requesting that they make arrangements to use all measures available to deal with pupil misbehaviour.
By now, all LEAs should have consulted with schools and should have published a code of practice on using these measures, including parenting contracts, parenting orders and fixed-term penalties. Members are encouraged to contact their LEA if they have not been consulted.
By 2007 a proportion of funds held by LEAs to deal with pupil misbehaviour must be delegated to groups of schools to organise their own provision. The vehicle for this will be education improvement partnerships. Watch Leader for more information.
Hard to place pupils
By September, admissions forums will need to have in place protocols - agreed with schools - for admission of all hard to place children except excluded pupils. If your school has not already been consulted on proposals, contact your representative on the admissions forum.
Heath and safety vs discrimination
A case before the employment appeals tribunal has established that health and safety legislation takes precedence over the Disability Discrimination Act.
This particular case refers to a person with a skin condition that prevented him wearing plastic safety clothing. By ruling that he was not allowed to do that job without the safety protection, the tribunal said that health and safety takes precedence.
There are many implications for this in schools. It is not clear how far this principle will go, but it will be important for schools to consider health and safety as well as disability discrimination when making 'reasonable adjustments', for example, for wheelchair access.
A recent Court of Appeal decision has allowed the Protection from Harassment Act (the anti-stalking act) to be applied in the workplace if the offence is serious enough.
This allows a member of staff to obtain redress without proving psychological damage, which would normally be the case in a suit for damages.
Since employers are generally liable for their employees' actions, leadership teams should be even more alert for harassment and quick to do something about it. Schools' anti-harassment policies should cover both harassment by staff on staff and by others on staff.
The rules for calculating statutory maternity pay (SMP) have changed, under new regulations introduced on 6 April. Previously if an employee received a backdated pay rise when on maternity leave, SMP was recalculated only if the pay rise increases the employee's salary during the 'set period' calculated before maternity leave began.
Under new regulations, the employer must recalculate the level of maternity pay if the pay rise takes effect at any time between the start of the set period and the end of the maternity leave.
Schools that plan to restructure beyond the scope of the TLR scheme need to check extremely carefully with their personnel advisers and consult their established procedures to avoid action for constructive or unfair dismissal. This is especially true when making changes at the leadership team level.
© 2017 Association of School and College Leaders