26th May 2000 at 01:00
What is the appropriate provision for sick children in school?

All schools need to make provision for the care of sick pupils and also for routine medical examinations. This provision need not be a permanently-designated medical room but whether it is or not, such a room should have a bed, washing facilities and a separate toilet. Ideally, it should be situated in a quiet and private place but, at the same time, should be easily supervised and accessible.

Schools also need a clear policy on the management of pupils who report sick. This should include a procedure for both pupils and staff and identify those responsible for ensuring that cases are recorded, monitored and supervised. Pupils, staff and parents need to be fully aware of the policy, which might well be included in the school's prospectus and staff handbook.

What is the sick-pay entitlement of a teacher in the first year of service?

This is set out in the "Burgundy Book", the agreement between employers and unions on teachers' conditions of service.

In the first year of service a teacher is entitled to 25 working days on full pay and 50 working days on half pay.

In all calculations of sick-pay, the year is deemed to start on April 1. A new teacher probably started on September 1 and, in that case, there isa provision that four calendar months of service must be completed before half-pay can be claimed.

We have several sixth-form

students who have so neglected their work that they have no prospect of success at A-level. Do we have to enter them?

No. Section 402 of the Education Act 1996 allows governing bodies the right to refuse to enter pupils for public examinations where there are sound academic reasons for doing so. Subsequent government guidance suggested that failure to complete essential requirements, such as course-work, is an example. Although the power is vested in the governing body, they act on the advice of the head. Your professional judgment, backed by the reports of the teachers concerned, should be good enough.

There is a related issue which is worth a mention. Parents sometimes ask whether, in these circumstances, they can pay for the entry. The answer is that they cannot, at least, not at your school centre. While I suppose that you might have a semantic argument about whether they are actually prepared, the school has made the effort to do so. In this case, no must mean no.

Please send your questions to Archimedes, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX. Archimedes regrets he cannot enter into any private correspondence

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