Parliament has announced that a general election will take place in the UK on Thursday 12 December 2019. Schools are popular places for polling stations and whilst some larger schools are able to continue to operate on election day, many smaller schools are forced to close.
Parliament has announced that a general election will take place in the UK on Thursday 12 December 2019.
Schools are popular places for polling stations and whilst some larger schools are able to continue to operate on election day, many smaller schools are forced to close. Parents and schools are undoubtedly unhappy about this as a day of lost teaching and additional childcare costs for parents are not ideal. There are no conclusive statistics for how many schools will close but online lists suggest that some areas rely heavily on schools for their polling stations.
Some schools are also likely to face disruption to their festive activities as many have had to reschedule their nativity plays and Christmas concerts. Some local authorities are making use of alternative facilities but schools are often chosen as they are free, have disabled access and are 'tried and tested' locations.
Publicly funded schools, including academies, cannot legally refuse to be used as a polling station nor can they charge for any losses incurred as a result of the inconvenience.
Civil servants and public bodies cannot publish anything that could be considered political in the period before an election, known as ‘purdah’. As a result Ofsted will delay publication of its annual report and it is likely that expected Department for Education (DfE) announcements will be deferred until after the election.
If your school or trust has been asked to host a polling station and you would like advice on how best to respond and communicate this with your staff, pupils or parents please get in touch.
Regardless of the outcome of ballots on industrial action, unless there is drastic change to funding for schools in relation to pay increases, it will be unusual to find any organisational budget that is not impacted by the current economic situation.
There’s been little evidence of interventions or financial management reviews this year and it appears the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) has re-focussed on financial delivery. It’s also telling that there were no discernible changes to the reporting of financial irregularities in the Academies Trust Handbook 2022.
The Children’s Commissioner, Rachel De Souza, has recently published a report “Beyond the labels: a SEND system which works for every child, every time”, which she intends to sit alongside the DfE’s SEND Review (2019) and SEND Green Paper (2022) and which she hopes will put children’s voices at the heart of the government’s review of SEND system.
As well as providing day-to-day support to help you focus on managing your settings, we also provide training and professional development on a range of topics to keep you and your staff up-to-date.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHCR) recently issued new, non-statutory guidance regarding the wearing of natural or protective hairstyles, specifically in reference to their representation in uniform, behaviour or standalone appearance policies.
Emma Hughes, head of HR services at Browne Jacobson, explains how CST’s updated executive pay report and the linked benchmarking service from XpertHR can help trust boards make robust decisions on pay.
There’s greater opportunity than ever for parents, carers and guardians to voice any concerns they have relating to their child’s education and for their concerns to be heard and to be taken seriously. While most staff in schools and academies are conscious of their legal duties relating to complaints management, many are struggling to cope with such a significant increase in the volume of complaints they must manage.
Law firm Browne Jacobson has collaborated with Wiltshire Council and Christ Church Business School on the launch event of The Council Company Best Practice and Innovation Network, a platform which brings together academic experts and senior local authority leaders, allowing them to share best practice in relation to council companies.
This guidance has been prepared to support academy trusts (Trusts) who want to hold a fully virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) or a hybrid AGM, as we know that Trusts may want to be prepared for future disruption as well as having a general interest in holding more meetings virtually. The guidance also applies to other meetings of the Members (known as General Meetings).
We’re pleased to collaborate with Lloyds Bank, who recently asked us and audit and risk specialists Crowe UK to offer guidance that academy trusts would find helpful when considering setting up a trading subsidiary.
The DfE has published new guidance and opened the application process for window two of the Trust Capacity Fund (TCaF) for 2022/2023, with a fund of £86m in trust capacity funding focused particularly on education investment areas.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse was established in March 2015. We now have its report. As you would expect with such a broad scope, the report is long and makes a number of far-reaching recommendations. In this article, Dai Durbridge highlights seven of the 20 recommendations, sets out how they could impact on schools and suggests what steps to take now.
Browne Jacobson’s education team has been named as winner of the ‘Legal Advisors to Education Institutions’ category at the Education Investor Awards 2022 for a record sixth time.