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schools urged to dock teacher pay

13 December 2012

Michael Gove has written to head teachers encouraging them to take action against the ongoing ‘work to rule’. For the last 3 months, members of teaching unions NUT and NASUWT have engaged in industrial action in schools across the country. The action includes teachers refusing to cover for other staff, undertake any extra-curricular activities or submit lesson plans.

 So far, the majority of schools have tried to work around the difficulties that this poses and not sought to challenge the action. The Government have now issued advice urging schools to take robust action, including pay deductions ‘where appropriate’.

 Whether pay can legally be deducted is not necessarily as clear cut as Gove suggests. It will depend on exactly what work the teacher is refusing to carry out and the wording of their contracts. Schools should discuss this with their advisors before following the Secretary of State’s advice.

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