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educational politics – supporting policies not parties

17 April 2015
With only a few weeks to go to the General Election, a recent TES article suggests that there is no overall winner when it comes to teachers’ votes. More than 40% of polled staff stated that they intended to vote for Labour but almost as many indicated they favour the Conservatives. With national polls indicating a similarly close race, the teachers’ votes seem to reflect national opinion. The TES article is also a timely reminder about the fine line that schools and other charities are required to walk during an election period. As per the Charity Commission guidance “Charities, Elections and Referendums” whilst individual members of staff are free to publicly support particular parties and candidates, charities must only support policies and not parties or candidates. Where the line between staff and charity is blurred, which can be a particular issue with social media, the charity should have a social media policy in which specifies what can and cannot be said using the charity’s 'voice'.

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