0370 1500 100

Half of top 50 worst gender pay gaps are in school academies

Public authorities have until Friday 30 March 2018 to publish their gender pay gap for 2017. According to Personnel Today, 23 of the 50 organisations with the largest gender pay gaps so far are school academies or multi-academy trusts – five of which are in the top 10 worst offenders for paying men more than women.

Peninsula Learning Trust, based in Cornwall, had the largest gender pay gap of the 91 organisations providing primary and secondary education to have reported figures to date, with a median hourly gender pay gap of 59.8%.

Analysis by Personnel Today found that across the 91 primary and/or secondary education trusts where men were paid more than women, the median hourly gender pay gap was typically 29.7% – well above the 18.4% national average calculated by the Office for National Statistics.


Education worker fined £850 following conviction for data protection breach

An investigation by the Information Commissioners Office found that an apprentice in a school’s admissions department took a screenshot of a council spreadsheet which gave information about children who were eligible to receive free school meals. She then sent it to the estranged parent of one of the children via Snapchat. The image included the names, addresses, dates of birth and National Insurance numbers of 37 pupils and their parents. She also sent a copy of a school admission record relating to another child. The apprentice had received training on data protection.

She pleaded guilty to three offences of unlawfully obtaining and disclosing personal data, was fined £850 and had to pay prosecution costs of £713.


New figures show 90% increase in employment tribunal claims

The Ministry of Justice has published provisional employment tribunal statistics for October to December 2017 which indicate that the abolition of tribunal fees has resulted in an increase in the numbers of claims lodged. Judged against the same period in 2016 (when fees were required) single tribunal claims have increased by 90%.

Even with this increase claims are still significantly lower than they were prior to the introduction of fees and it will be interesting to see how far the numbers climb over the next few years.

The knock on effect of the increase in fees is that our tribunals are not coping with demand. These statistics suggest that there is a reduction in the time it takes to dispose of single and multiple claims but our recent experience is that complex claims are not being listed for hearing until 2019. We’ve also had several cases which have been cancelled the day before the hearing at huge cost to the parties.

Government review to see how employers are improving ethnic minority progression in the workplace

The government has commissioned research into the steps employers have taken to remove barriers to workplace progression for ethnic minorities.

The research will investigate how employers have implemented the recommendations made in the independent McGregor-Smith Review into black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) participation and progression in the workplace. It will focus on the measures employers have used to prevent the bullying and harassment of BAME staff members and the frequency at which companies have reported their ethnicity pay gap.

The review is expected to last one year.

DfE to ask heads and pupils about “period poverty”

The Department for Education is to ask headteachers, pupils and parents about "period poverty", amid concerns that girls are missing school because they cannot afford sanitary products.

The department plans to add extra questions to its regular "omnibus" series of surveys aimed at determining the attitudes of school leaders, pupils and parents on a range of issues.

The news comes as campaigners demand national government funding to help girls who are missing out on school due to period poverty. Ministers have so far put the onus on schools to support these pupils.

Ofqual cracks down on exam board reviewers’ marking changes

According to Schools Week, Ofqual is considering what action should be taken against boards which fail to crack down on marking changes. New rules designed to reduce marking inconsistencies were introduced last year. These limited the circumstances in which grades could be changed to those where an error had occurred, rather than giving the pupil the benefit of the doubt.

Statistics published in December showed the number of GCSE grades changed after marking review last year had increased by 52 per cent, with over 25,000 more changes than in 2016.


Key Contact

Jenny Arrowsmith