11th February 2000 at 00:00
I READ, with interest, Joan Sallis' Agenda item (TES, November 12) on job-shares.

I do believe Mrs Sallis is technically correct that there is nothing in education law about job-sharing and that the matter is for governors - not local education authorities - to decide.

But the matter is far from clear-cut.

Her response may, therefore, put heads and governors in a difficult position if an employee disputes a refusal to job-share.

My education authority made it clear that they have a policy on job-shares, and that the school would not be supported if we did not accept them.

Also, even though education law contains nothing, it was made clear to myself and the governors by the authority and my professional association that equal opportunities (sex

discrimination) law, backed up by cases, protects job-shares. P> In fact, I was told that job-shares could not be resisted for management or even

educational reasons - it seems that the sex discrimination claims would override these!

Having said that, we now have several job-shares at my 10-class school, which certainly has an impact on management (developing a team, whole-school expectations and approaches, attendance at staff meetings and training etc). It may also be linked to a recent dip in attainment.

There are advantages to job-shares but, equally, I do wonder if there is saturation point, where there is a negative effect.

I would welcome readers' comments and advice on this issue, either through The TES or to me personally.

London primary headteacher, name and address supplied.

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