Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Know Your Rights

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Know Your Rights

Article excerpt

With three children in every classroom suffering from a diagnosable condition, schools need to ensure that they are making reasonable adjustments

Given the time and cost involved in recruiting staff, schools hope that all new recruits will fit in well. But what happens if a member of staff does not meet expectations?

Schools can do plenty to support staff before and during employment to safeguard against this occurrence, as well as setting a policy that needs to be adhered to if problems do occur.


It is helpful to have robust induction processes to discuss the role and the school's expectations. As part of the process, schools should share critical policies such as code of conduct, health and safety, safeguarding, whistleblowing, acceptable IT use and equal opportunities. It's also a chance to identify training needs or concerns at the earliest opportunity.

Probationary period

We strongly recommend that all new starters have a probationary period clearly stated in the offer letter and contract of employment. The period should be as long as is needed to assess performance. For teachers, this could be a year; for support staff, usually three to six months. It is helpful to have the right to extend it should concerns arise. Schools must review performance at regular intervals and diarise the period's end. Employees are deemed to have passed unless they are clearly informed otherwise prior to the end date.

Disciplinary and capability

All schools are required to have disciplinary and capability procedures. …

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