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Q

Can a teacher be paid for leading in-service training after school? Can those who attend be paid too?

A

A teacher who leads a training session is in the same position as an outside lecturer who has been engaged for a fee. It is a separate contract and he or she is entitled to the rate for the job. The payment of teachers for attending is limited to weekends and holidays. They cannot be paid for attending out-of-hours on school days.

Q

Is it permissible to specify out-of-school activities in an advertisement for a teaching post?

A

What you put in an advertisement is one thing; what you can actually require in practice may be another.

The School Teachers' Pay and Conditions of Service Document lays down that a teacher may be required to work under the reasonable direction of the head for 1,265 hours spread over l95 days. A head can direct a teacher to undertake certain activities outside school hours - parents' evenings, for instance - but, for the kind of out-of-school activities I suspect you have in mind, there would not be enough hours to go round, unless you were offering a reduced teaching load.

For most schools, out-of-school activities rely on the voluntary participation of teachers. The honest way to advertise is to describe the kind of commitment which is a feature of your school and to express the hope that the teacher appointed will wish to share in it. It should not be a condition of appointment.

Q

We recently had a case where a pupil had to be rushed to hospital after taking an overdose of tablets in school. Who should be informed about this incident and what records of it should we keep?

A

Apart from the parents of the child concerned, I see no reason why anyone needs to know, unless it is in the interests of the child. If, for example, the pupil is already being seen by an educational psychologist, it would make sense to pass on the information.

I see no reason, either, to inform the governing body or, if it is relevant to you, the local education authority, unless you wish to do so without naming the pupil, as evidence of the efficient working of your emergency procedures.

As far as records are concerned, the incident should be recorded in the school's accident or emergency file, so that it could be produced in the event of any query arising about the way in which the school dealt with the situation. It should also be recorded in the pupil's own file, but in a confidential annexe, accessible only on a "need to know" basis.

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