We round-up the latest news affecting schools.
Government publishes new guide on holiday entitlement
The government has updated its
guidance on holiday entitlement which explains how to work out holiday entitlement for staff that start or leave part way through the year. It doesn’t specifically mention term-time workers – but does make it clear that workers who’re in employment for a full leave year are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ annual leave.
It has also published an
Excel holiday calculator which looks as though it replicates the useful online holiday calculator that was removed following the decision on term-time workers in Brazel v Harpur Trust. This is a handy tool, although it only works out an individual’s holiday entitlement based on 5.6 weeks. Secondary teacher recruitment in England falls short of targets
According to the
Guardian newspaper, the government has failed to reach its recruitment targets for secondary school teacher trainees for a seventh year in a row. Figures published by the Department for Education reveal that while there was a slight increase in overall numbers starting teacher training in 2019, the figure for secondary school teachers was just 85% of the total required by the government’s teacher supply model.
The figures show particularly high failure rates in recruiting specialist physics, modern foreign languages, maths, chemistry and computing teacher trainees, including just 43% of the estimated numbers for physics, which was even lower than last year’s 47%.
Should schools do more to support children with allergies?
Data from NHS Digital reveals that the number of children who received hospital treatment for allergies has increased by 65% across England in the past five years – with rates particularly high amongst teenagers. Allergy UK said this could be because this was the age when sufferers started taking responsibility for themselves rather than relying on their parents.
The figures also showed the number of children treated for anaphylactic shock increased by 41% in the past five years. For teenagers, the increase was 36% while for those aged 19 and over, it increased by 10%.
As a result, many schools have asked for better guidance from the government.
Pupil background 'should be part of league tables'
Research conducted by Bristol University indicates that a fifth of all secondary schools would see their national league table position change by over 500 places if additional factors were included in Progress 8 data.
It argued that schools should be judged on a more contextual Progress 8 measure that takes into account other factors that can play a part in a child's achievement. This includes their gender, age, ethnicity, residential deprivation, whether they’re eligible for free meals, whether English is their first language and whether they have special educational needs.
Schools that pay senior staff over £100,000 will be penalised when applying for government funding
According to the
Telegraph, academies and sixth-form colleges seeking cash from the Department for Education to build new buildings and facilities will now face extra scrutiny over the salaries of senior staff members.
Organisations with two or more employees paid more than £100,000, or with one employee earning over £150,000, will now have four points deducted from their funding application.
It’s the first time that the DfE has attached a salary-based condition to applications for its £400 million Condition Improvement Fund, an annual pot of money which usually approves around 1,500 school building projects each year.
Change in 2020 May bank holiday date
To mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day in 2020, the government has decided to move the early May bank holiday, which is usually scheduled for the first Monday in May, to
Friday 8 May.
Schools will need to plan accordingly.
Head teacher awarded £700,000 after being sacked over Grindr threesome with teenagers
This is a case that has attracted widespread – and slightly misleading – press interest. Mr Aplin, a primary school head teacher, was dismissed after the school discovered that he’d had consensual sex at his home with two 17 year old men he’d met via a dating app. The investigation and disciplinary process was flawed and he successfully argued that he’d been unfairly dismissed and had been subjected to discrimination based on his sexual orientation. The Employment Appeals Tribunal agreed that Mr Aplin would’ve been treated differently if he was a heterosexual male having sex with two teenage girls, or a woman with two teenage boys.
The case was remitted back to the
tribunal to determine compensation, and he was awarded almost £700k – £300k of this related to pension losses and £20k representing the injury to his feelings. His award would’ve been higher, but the tribunal deducted 20% because, it found, Mr Aplin could’ve been fairly dismissed for his conduct. It said that although there was no child protection issue and having sex with 17 year olds is not illegal, in law they are still children. Mr Aplin was in a position of trust, and the governing body could have fairly determined that teachers should not have sexual relationships with children of any age. No statutory bar on unregistered teachers being employed by Scottish education authorities
In Dumfries & Galloway Council v Carroll (General Teaching Council of Scotland intervening), the Employment Appeals Tribunal held that regulation 4 of the Requirements for Teachers (Scotland) Regulations 2005 only excluded unregistered teachers from being employed by education authorities
The issue in this appeal was whether the term ‘registered teacher’ means a teacher whose details have been entered on to the register maintained by the General Teaching Council of Scotland, or whether it requires that the teacher is listed in the register that is relevant to the right type of teaching. In other words, whether registration is in the part of the register dealing with primary schools, secondary schools or further education institutions or which deals with a particular subject matter which the teacher is engaged to teach.
In this case, a teacher was dismissed from his role as a secondary school teacher once it emerged that he was only registered as a Further Education teacher. His employer stated that the dismissal was by reason of there being a statutory bar on continued employment within the meaning of s.98(2)(d) of the Employment Rights Act 1996. The Employment Appeals Tribunal agreed with the original decision that there was no statutory bar to continued employment.
Read more about Dumfries & Galloway Council v Carroll (article behind paywall)
Read more – December 2019
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