The education sector landscape has changed significantly over recent years, with legislation introduced that allows educational organisations to increasingly take on more accountability as employers, often with the Local Authority playing less of a role in employment matters. This means that it is now more important than ever for those people who manage Education Sector organisations to ensure that there is an understanding of employment law and how this could have an impact on the organisation.
The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 defines the Governing Bodies as the employer for certain individual rights of complaint which can be pursued under current employment legislation. The order made under this act requires the Governing Bodies, and in most instances the head teacher/principal, to be the respondent in any Employment Tribunal proceedings, and is applicable to all maintained, independent or academy schools. In addition, as of 1st April 2012 the Department for Education (DfE) introduced a new executive agency, the Teaching Agency (TA), which replaced the GTC, and is the body responsible for, amongst other things, the regulation of the teaching profession. However, it was made clear in the Education Act 2011 that all GTC sanctions will remain in force following the GTC’s closure with the exception of reprimands. The act defined that all serious cases of misconduct that could lead to teachers being barred would be transferred to the Teaching Agency and that, where appropriate, all other cases would be dealt with by the educational organisation responsible for the employment of these individuals. This places a burden on the Governing Body, Head teacher/principal as employer to ensure that fair and consistent procedures are implemented in order to reduce the risk of claims of unfair treatment or even discrimination when dealing with employment issues, especially when there is limited support available.
Over the last 12 months we have received feedback from our existing clients in the Education Sector, and have also taken into consideration the numerous changes in legislation which affect the way education institutions are able to take more accountability for operational and employment decisions, and have decided to introduce a significant enhancement to the service we provide,
It is explicitly clear that we need to continually exceed the expectations of all of our clients and to also ensure our services are appropriately bespoke where that critical specialism and understanding is required, such as the Education Sector. For a number of years we have been providing support to our clients in this sector and have consultants who advise on employment issues relating specifically related to education. We have decided to expand this service under the banner of Peninsula Education Service and have introduced a dedicated team who will in this sector. This effectively means that we are able to provide Education Sector clients with the support and advice they need to be able to deal with employment law issues and HR issues. This specialist service is delivered though a dedicated team of specialist Consultants that fully understand the nuances and operational issues that all educational organisations face in areas such as Employment Law legislation, human resources and the on-going cultural changes and challenges.
For any further information about how Peninsula can help your educational establishment, please call the Peninsula Advice Service on 0800 028 2420.