Preparing your workforce for the impending train strikes

16 June 2022

Following a vote, members of the RMT union will go on strike on 21, 23 and 25 June. Disruption is also expected on non-strike days because of too few staff working overnight. A special timetable from 20–26 June will be in effect. The RMT union includes drivers, guards, catering staff, signallers and track maintenance workers, and the action will effectively shut down the national railway network. It is anticipated that the service across Great Britain will be reduced to a fifth of its normal levels.

Too hot to handle?

14 June 2022

Gordon Tranter summarises what employers and employees should know about the potential hazards of working outdoors during hot weather and how to manage them.

School attendance

13 June 2022

Parents have a statutory duty to ensure that their children start full-time education once they reach compulsory school age. This will be on 31 December, 31 March or 31 August following their fifth birthday. However, most children start full-time education in the September after their fourth birthday. Michael Evans considers some of the issues associated with school attendance.

A safe workplace for school staff

10 June 2022

There was a time when it was inconceivable that school staff would need to be able to defend themselves in the event of a violent assault. Sadly, this is no longer the case. Michael Evans looks at ways of ensuring that schools can be safe working environments for staff.

Right to be accompanied by an external lawyer

1 June 2022

It has recently been reported that the Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, is considering plans to amend the Employment Relations Act 1999 to give teachers the statutory right to be accompanied to grievance and disciplinary hearings by an external lawyer or representative of a body other than a trade union.

HR considerations of the monkeypox virus

27 May 2022

As cases of monkeypox begin to rise in the UK, there has been speculation that this will become the new coronavirus. However, this is far from the truth. Monkeypox is a rare viral infection, which is generally mild and self-limiting, and poses a very low threat to the wider public. It is not easily transmissible, full recovery is expected and treatment is available through the smallpox vaccine. This being said, it is still natural for employers to be prepared for what steps they need to take to manage this outbreak.

Inspecting the “real substance of education”

27 April 2022

The “real substance of education”, as defined by HMCI Amanda Spielman, is the curriculum and from September 2019 the curriculum moved centre stage in Ofsted inspections. This is important for all schools including privately-funded independent schools, since Ofsted evaluates their inspection arrangements and the DfE has confirmed Ofsted as the arbiter of school effectiveness. Tony Powell, Consulting Educationist, considers how inspectors might evaluate the statutory requirements for curriculum provision using the working definition devised by Ofsted during its research programme. Note: This article can only give some pointers about meeting Ofsted expectations because every school must determine its own curriculum. The first pointer is that inspectors will ask senior leaders and a range of staff how this determination was made.

Opportunity for all: a government White Paper

8 April 2022

In the knowledge that a White Paper is not legislation but spells out the intentions and aspirations of the Government, Michael Evans looks at some of its hopes for the future.

SEND Green Paper Consultation

8 April 2022

The Government has published a Green Paper, setting out proposals for changes to the education provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Jean Alder examines the Green Paper’s provisions.