Written warnings

2 January 2019

A member of staff had a first written warning in the autumn term of the last academic year. There have been no further instances of the behaviour that resulted in the warning. How long should this warning remain on the file?

Changes to Ofsted intervention

28 November 2018

We are expecting an Ofsted visit and preparing ourselves for a difficult judgment as our examination results are not as good as we expected or had hoped. I understand there are some changes to the way Ofsted deals with schools this year. What are the changes?

Single-sex classes

31 October 2018

Our science department has put forward a proposal for improving our students’ examination performance that involves some single-sex teaching. Is this allowed?

Writing a reference

11 September 2018

Last year, a pupil made a malicious allegation against our deputy Head, which was proved to be false and she was completely exonerated. She has told me she is applying for a new post. Will I have to disclose the allegation on her reference?

Dress codes at work

28 August 2018

The very hot weather during the summer term raised issues about appropriate work wear, with some members of staff insisting on wearing shoes and clothes that the senior team felt did not set the right example to pupils, who have to adhere to a very specific uniform code. Our staff handbook has only a very general note about “dressing appropriately”. Can we insist on a dress code that is much more specific?

Parents who do not accept an exclusion

4 July 2018

We decided to exclude a pupil for one day and when we contacted the parent, she refused to accept the exclusion and said she would send her son to school as usual. The pupil arrived at school on the day of his exclusion and we were unable to contact the parent. We kept the pupil in internal isolation during the day but what action can we take against the parent?

Working on sick leave

29 May 2018

Our deputy Head had an operation a month ago and has a “fit note” for a further six weeks. I understood a fit note to emphasise what a member of staff might be able to do, while recovering from illness. It would be helpful if our deputy could work at home, planning for next academic year when on leave. Would it be appropriate to discuss this?

Using the correct fire extinguisher

2 May 2018

There are several different fire extinguishers available for use at our inherited premises. Could you advise us which extinguisher should be used and when?

Target setting

1 May 2018

A new member of staff has questioned our method of setting performance targets, complaining that the approach we use does not take into account individuals with a variety of challenges, such as poor attendance, etc. Is there a formula we can use?