Welcome to our latest edition of Heads Up!
It’s been another busy start to the year and the operational challenges in the face of the various challenges linked directly or indirectly to Covid-19 remain very real. Many of these issues are discussed in this update and my team and I are always on hand if you need additional support or guidance.
- School Support helpdesk:0345 070 7437 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Schools HR helpdesk: 0345 026 8690 or email SchoolsHR@wslaw.co.uk.
On 1 December 2021, our Schools HR team hosted a successful webinar on ‘Managing staff sickness absence in Schools post Covid-19’. If you were unable to join us, you can view the recording of the session by clicking here.
I hope you enjoy reading our latest updates, links below.
Employment & HR
TUPE: Service Provision Changes
Most schools and academies are very familiar with the term ‘TUPE’, which is shorthand for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006. Staff may have “TUPE’d” on a conversion from a maintained school to an academy; staff in academies joining a new multi-academy trust will TUPE across to the MAT; schools and academies who provide services in-house and decide to outsource may see their staff transfer under TUPE to the new provider; equally, schools and academies may inherit staff from a supplier where such supplier may cease to provide the services and the school or academy take them in-house instead. These are just some examples of the way in which TUPE may apply to protect the employment of staff where, in commercial terms, a business is sold, or the provision of a service is changed.
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Special Severance Payments
The recent developments relating to special severance payments made to senior executive employees, or those in leadership roles, in academy trusts may have a significant impact on a Trust’s decision to raise settlement discussions where termination of employment is on the cards.
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The Covid Effect: Behaviour Issues Linked to Covid-19 and SEND and the Implications for Schools
The background: mental health in school aged children and young people
A BBC article from the beginning of the academic year highlighted the long waits that children who have been referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (“CAMHS”) across the country are having to endure. The article quotes information obtained by the BBC under the Freedom of Information Act from 46 of England’s CAMHS services (half of the total) covering just over 250,000 under 18s showing that the data from April 2020 to March 2021 revealed:
- Half of those who were seen waited longer than four weeks
- A fifth waited more than 12 weeks
- The average wait was more than two months – although in some areas it was more than eight
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Behaviour and exclusions
Consultation on proposed changes to behaviour and exclusions guidance
On 3 February 2022, the government launched a consultation on proposed changes to the behaviour in schools guidance and the suspension and permanent exclusion guidance for England in response to the Timpson Review of School Exclusion. The draft guidance proposes some significant changes, including to the managed move process and the removal of the headteacher’s ability to withdraw an exclusion. The consultation closes at 10pm on 31 March 2022 and is available via the following link: https://consult.education.gov.uk/school-absence-and-exclusions-team/revised-school-behaviour-and-exclusion-guidance/
We will circulate a detailed update and provide training for schools when the final guidance is published.
Challenging Ofsted: An Overview
Our School Support Service team receives many queries from members during and after Ofsted inspections, seeking advice on how to challenge the accuracy of reports and findings made.
This note aims to provide an overview of what action can be taken by schools in these circumstances.
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