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Heads Up! January 2023


Welcome to our latest edition of Heads Up!

A belated Happy New Year! And a huge thank you to all our clients and contacts for their support last year. There’s no doubt we still live in interesting times. This edition of Heads Up! starts with some advice on how to prepare for industrial action which seems increasingly likely. We also explore issues around hair discrimination and what to do about defects in buildings – an eclectic mix!

Our School Support and Schools HR teams will be hosting a number of events this term, we hope you’ll be able to join us.

Contact us:

School Strikes

The threat of strike action in schools continues to loom. Falling pay in real terms will continue to stoke unrest. But there will clearly be disagreement as to the best way to address this problem. Here we explore the legal requirements for strike action and what arrangements school leaders should take to prepare.

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Safeguarding remains a recurring issue that both our School Support and Schools HR teams continue to advise on.   Our overview of safeguarding issues is available here.  We have also produced a note on the Online Safety Bill which is available here.

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Equality Act

Avoiding Hair Discrimination

There’s been a lot reported in the news recently about the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s guidance on Preventing Hair Discrimination in Schools.  Theresa Kerr, partner in the School Support team, shared her insights in the TES Magazine – her article is available here or click on the link below.

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Employment Tribunal

We have seen a significant increase in the last 12 months of claims from school employees being lodged at the Employment Tribunal. The first step when receiving the claim papers from the Tribunal is to notify the RPA, if you haven’t already done so at the ACAS stage. This will trigger cover under the legal expenses section of the scheme and we can start advising you immediately (we are an RPA approved provider).

For a guide on what to expect when dealing with the Tribunal, click here….

Building Defects and Capital Projects

We are frequently contacted by schools struggling with the impact of building defects which have emerged following the carrying out of works. We are asked what can the school do. The link below sets out some background and practical steps.

Click here to read more….

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