I am a deputy head in a school which is about to move from Group 5 to Group 6. My salary is near the top of the range for Group 5. Does the upgrading entitle me to a salary increase?
Of itself, no. The only application of the school group system now is for the determination of the salaries of heads and deputies, although the salary ranges for all groups overlap. Thus, your current salary is at the lower end of the range for Group 6. The governors are not, therefore, obliged to increase your salary, unless they are persuaded that there is a case for doing so.
Your salary, like those of all staff, must be reviewed annually and you may wish to make a particular case this year on the grounds that the change of group reflects an increase in the number of pupils and thus an increase in the burden of managerial and administrative duties which you have to undertake. You may find that your governors are operating a policy of fixing the salaries of the head and deputies at a particular level within the relevant range. If so, you may benefit that way.
We shall be employing invigilators for some of our external examinations this year. Do we have to pay them in the same way as supply teachers?
Not necessarily. If you take on supply teachers and then ask them to invigilate, then you must pay them as supply teachers. Many schools take the view, however, that invigilation is not teaching and employ non-teachers or teachers who are happy to accept the job exclusively for this function.
There are no nationally agreed rates for invigilators and schools are, therefore, free to set their own terms. Presumably, market forces operate and schools will wish to ensure that they offer enough to attract competent and responsible people.
A teacher has just resigned from our school in order to avoid a disciplinary hearing for gross misconduct. Is this something which should be reported to the Department for Education?
It may well be. The DFE holds a confidential list, known as List 99, of teachers who may not be employed either at all or for work with specified categories of pupils. Inclusion results from dismissal or criminal conviction for gross misconduct of a kind which makes in undesirable for the individual to have contact with pupils. Decisions on listing are taken by the department, but the individual has the right to make representations and to appeal against the decision.
Where a teacher resigns in circumstances where, had he or she not resigned, dismissal for gross misconduct would have been the likely outcome, the employer has a duty to inform the department of the case for it to determine whether the facts warrant consideration for listing.
We have employed a temporary teacher for two years, but we are now advertising to fill the post permanently. Are there any problems if the temporary teacher does not get the job?
Indeed there are. By serving for two years continuously, your temporary teacher will secure full rights under employment legislation. If the job goes to someone else, your governors are likely to face an action before an industrial tribunal for wrongful dismissal and with no defence to offer. They certainly cannot make the temporary teacher redundant, because there is a continuing demand for the work. An urgent rethink is needed.
Questions should be sent to Helpline, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1 9XY. Fax: 0171-782 3200