Leader magazineASCL - Association of School and College Leaders

Dismissal for illness or conduct?

Schools and colleges are reminded to be careful of the grounds on which they seek dismissal and not to confuse capability with conduct.

In a recent case a school dismissed, without waiting for a medical report, a member of staff who was alleged by pupils to have exhibited bizarre and inappropriate behaviour in relation to female pupils.

The employment appeal tribunal found that the failure to wait for the report and to take that into account in reconvened dismissal procedures was unacceptable. The safety of the children had been secured by suspension and dismissal could have waited.

However, it also ruled that the dismissal would have been inevitable in any case and therefore the compensation was reduced to cover only the period by which the dismissal would have been delayed had the school waited for the report.

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