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full time trade union reps discouraged by DfE

17 January 2014

Today the DfE has issued guidance to all schools and academies discouraging teachers being employed as full time trade union reps.

The use of facilities time has been the subject of much debate across the country as schools converting to Academy status decide whether they want to contribute to trade union funds in the same way that local authorities have traditionally. The DfE has undertaken a review of funding of trade union activities in schools, with a public call for evidence. The review highlights the lack of transparency which often accompanies this area and urges schools to insist on greater accountability for any money they do contribute to pooled budgets.

Whether this will result in any changes to current practices remains to be seen, but the new requirement on all schools to provide separate information on spending on trade union facility time in their financial returns to the government may well result in greater scrutiny in this area.

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