30th May 2003 at 01:00
A POLICE officer came to the school office and demanded the address of a pupil. The receptionist complied. Did she act properly?

She should have referred the request to the headteacher or the most senior member of staff available. The head should then have asked why the information was required and, if it was in connection with the investigation of a suspected crime, the address should have been given. The head should have advised the officer that the parent would be told that the information had been released, unless the police could give good cause why this should not be done.

ONE of my staff has informed me that he has been diagnosed as epileptic and has been prescribed medication that sometimes affects his memory and concentration. Should he continue to teach?

Although the head, in the interests of the pupils, has the right to decide whether someone is fit to teach, this is not a decision one would wish to take without specialist medical advice.

The presumption must always be that a person with a disability should be allowed - indeed encouraged and helped - to do the job, unless this proves impossible. The issue is whether the effect of this medication impairs the teacher's ability to do his job to the point where the education of the pupils is adversely affected over time.

A TEACHER who has been granted premature retirement on the grounds of ill-health has not submitted his resignation. What do we do about his departure?

The fact that the teacher has been granted retirement does not, of itself, terminate his contract of employment. This has to be done either by resignation or by dismissal.

The teacher is required to take the pension within three months of the notice from the Pensions Agency and this would normally be arranged, by agreement at the next normal date for termination, ie December 31, April 30 or August 31. If the teacher refuses to submit his resignation, the employer must dismiss him on the grounds of incapacity, giving the required contractual notice.

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