All Saints Church of England (Controlled) Primary School
CODE OF CONDUCT AND
STAFF CODE OF CONDUCT
1. INTRODUCTION TO DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE
2. LEVELS OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION
5. INFORMAL ACTION/ORAL WARNINGS / FORMAL ACTION
6. STAGE 1 – FORMAL WARNINGS
7. STAGE 2 - DISMISSAL (OR OTHER SERIOUS ACTION)
8. STAGE 3 – APPEAL
8.1 APPEAL AGAINST A FORMAL WARNING
8.2 APPEAL AGAINST DISMISSAL
10. REVIEW OF WARNINGS
11. SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES APPENDICES:
APPENDIX 1 MODEL WRITTEN WARNING
APPENDIX 2 GROSS MISCONDUCT CASES
All Saints Church of England (Controlled) Primary School
STAFF CODE OF CONDUCT
All Saints’ holds a code of conduct which protects pupils and colleagues but which also has regard for
the need to ensure that staff have freedom within the law to question, put forward new ideas,
controversial or unpopular opinions, without placing themselves in jeopardy of disciplinary procedures.
The Mission Statement / Values / aims statement
The Equal opportunities Policy
The Race Equality Policy
The gender equality scheme
The Data Protection Policy
Harassment and bullying policy
The school staff Handbook
Contracts of Employment
Acceptable use policy (ICT)
Charging and remissions
Child protection guidance and safe working practices / safeguarding policy
Whistle blowing policy
Performance management policy
Teaching and Learning Policy
Health and Safety Policy and Risk assessments
Even if it were desirable to do so, it would not be possible to write an exhaustive list of rules governing
staff conduct. Staff should be trusted in the discharge of their responsibilities, which implies allowing
room for initiative and judgement. In fairness to staff, however, it is important to set out guidance as to
where the exercise of that initiative and judgement could potentially bring them into conflict with others.
Whilst there are clearly areas of our professional lives, for example finance or health and safety, where
rules simply have to be obeyed, the Staff Code of Conduct is, by and large, not a document that can be
adhered to in that sense. Its purpose is to communicate to all staff, a shared expectation of each
member of staff’s duty to the rest of the school community. There may be occasions when a member of
staff wants to know how a particular aspect of conduct might be regarded, when measured against the
Staff Code of Conduct. Staff should seek the Headteacher’s advice if they are in any doubt of this kind.
All members of the school community – teaching and non-teaching staff, parents, pupils and
governors, work towards the school aims by:
Working as a team in school in which all are fully aware of behavioural expectations
Treating all children and adults as human beings and individuals by respecting their rights,
values and beliefs
Fostering and promoting good relationships and a sense of belonging to the school community
Offering equal opportunities in all aspects of school life
Encouraging, praising and positively reinforcing good relationships,behaviours and work
Rejecting all buying or harassment in any form
Helping to develop strategies to eliminate undesirable behaviour
Caring for, and taking pride in, the physical environment of the school
Working as a team, supporting and encouraging each other
Attendance and Punctuality
Good attendance and punctuality include arrival at school, to classrooms before the children for
the beginning of lessons and arriving at meetings on time.
Ensures that staff are performing their duties to the maximum of their ability and that deadlines
Ensure the safety of all stakeholders and be aware of any potential hazards that could be
Unauthorised disclosure of information regarding all stakeholders.
Employees are expected to act in a courteous, respectful manner at all times and have good /
appropriate standards of dress.
Staff are prohibited from consuming alcohol and non-prescribed drugs whilst working.
Use of Schools Assets
Staff must not deliberately misuse or damage school property in their possession, care or
custody and must not use school assets, intellectual property for private use or gain.
Working with pupils:
In their dealings with pupils the school expects that all staff will:
Promote and safeguard the welfare of children and young persons you are responsible for or
come into contact with.
Ensure that all students receive a broad, balanced and stimulating curriculum at
the appropriate level, using suitable materials.
Ensure that lesson objectives and work requirements are clearly set out and
progress is monitored carefully.
Ensure that lessons start and end on time.
Ensure that pupils are emotionally and physically safe in school.
Make explicit, in a constructive and positive way, what behaviour is expected of pupils and staff
and what is unacceptable.
Establish productive working relationships with pupils and staff acting as a role model and
setting high expectations. .
Ensure their relationships with pupils are never of a kind that could compromise their
Working with Colleagues
All staff must at all times treat colleagues with respect and courtesy. This includes attending meetings
on time and meeting other deadlines on which their colleagues depend. In order to assist their
colleagues, staff must adhere to the schools policies and procedures.
"There is no 'I' in team" Together we can Each Achieve More
Praise colleagues and celebrate success whenever possible
Promote the sharing of good practice – there are excellent models within school
Acknowledge our own mistakes and understand how they happened so that we do not
Speak well of colleagues to others and ensure that all criticism is constructive.
Never criticise colleagues in public, if you have an issue, as far as possible speak directly to a
colleague yourselves: if a comment comes via a third-party, it brings with it also a sense of
misunderstanding, hurt and/or guilt
Welcome and learn from constructive criticism
Err on the side of caution in judging situations
Consider confidentiality and never discuss matters of this kind with a third party – even when
the third party asks on behalf of, or regards themselves as a perfectly acceptable proxy for, the
colleague in question
Be involved in and contribute to whole school policy development.
Assist with the development of policies and procedures relating to child protection, health,
safety and security, confidentiality and data protection, reporting all concerns to the
All staff are expected to meet deadlines. A member of staff whose deadline is not met should
expect an apology for the inconvenience caused to them. Staff who miss deadlines must be
asked why. Support must be given to a member of staff who has repeated difficulty meeting
Disagreeing with school policy is not poor performance; failing to adhere to it, is. Policy grows and
develops and so disagreement and dialogue about it is a positive thing but the correct channels should
be used in altering policy and the discussions surrounding this.
Similarly, saying no – if asked to do something unreasonable or unachievable – is also sensible: it
Representing the school
In order to preserve the reputation of the school, staff must:
Wear their school ID at all times in school or on visits so that it is visible to others..
Preserve the confidentiality of information relating to the school’s staff, pupils, finances.etc. by
not speaking detrimentally about the school’s policies and procedures, about children and their
families or staff in a public situation
Gain approval from the Headteacher or chair of governors before speaking to the press or
committing school resources other than those for which they have responsibility
Take care over the use of school headed paper and the school logo
Maintain professional standards of conduct towards others when acting in a school capacity
Dress appropriately when acting in a professional capacity and with due regard for the
conclusions others may draw from their attire.
In order to preserve the quality of the school’s environment and physical resources staff must
They, and pupils for whom they are responsible, look after school premises and property which
Procedures for borrowing school equipment is observed
Energy is conserved wherever possible
The security of the school property is maintained as well as possible and not put at risk
Staff should also assist with the security of the school by directing to Reception anyone who
they think might be a stranger on site and ensuring visitors sign in and receive a visitor badge.
Additional items – staff are to:
Reorganise duties / assemblies far enough in advance of being absent – with the exception of
Provide planning, resources (everything needed) for cover supervisors - again with the
exceptiojn of illness
Minimum requirement for supply teachers is the learning objectives - in the event of an illness
otherwise planning and at least 1 copy of expected activities for supply teacher to copy /
Answer the door (unless Rascals – unless you are next to it) or telephone if you hear them and
Mrs. Palmer isn’t available
Complete half termly risk assessments on time
Formally present a written request for leave to the Headteacher (any relevant for governor
approval will be taken to Full Governors meetings which are held 3 times a year). This includes
funerals and appointments of yourselves or your children, special leave days etc.
Sign and pecuniary interest form stating any interest they may have regarding the appointment
of staff, selection of pupils or contracts held or tendered for
Exercise proper professional discretion and formal gratitude in the event of their being offered
hospitality or gifts of any kind
To remain open-mined about changes in the work place and to positively support and embrace
new ideas which are put in place for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Examples of behaviours which will prompt disciplinary procedures
(please see Appendix 3 for items which constitute gross misconduct)
Poor timekeeping: Lateness to school / lessons / meetings
Inability to meet deadlines
Bullying / harassment of colleagues including deliberate exclusion of others
Inappropriate racial / gender / age comments
other serious forms of harassment or discrimination
Persistent negative attitude
Deliberate refusal to maintain school policy
Breach of data protection
Inappropriate use of ICT / Serious infringement of IT policies
Fighting, assault on another person
Deliberate damage to property
Being unfit for work through alcohol or illegal drugs
Serious infringement of Health and Safety rules
Victimisation (See whistle blowing policy)
Anyone who harasses or victimises someone who makes a protected disclosure will be subject to
P1.1 This procedure has been adopted by the Governing C1.1: The procedure must be formally adopted by
Body of All Saints’ C of E (C) Primary School for dealing the Governing Body and appear as a resolution
with instances of misconduct (including gross within the minutes of the appropriate meeting. Its
misconduct) by employees of the school. It follows the existence should then be made known to all
model procedure recommended by Staffordshire County employees at the school and it should be readily
Council, following consultation with the Trade Unions. available to them for consultation.
P1.2 The Governors are responsible under the Education C1.2: P1.2 makes a distinction between the
(School Government) (Terms of Reference) Regulations respective roles of the Governors and the
2000 for the direction of the conduct of the school. The Headteacher. Many of the detailed provisions of the
Headteacher is responsible for exercising supervision of procedure reflect this distinction, in particular the
the staff. delegation to the Headteacher of all disciplinary
matters up to and including the issue of a final
Governors should ensure that all parties are aware
of related documents in respect of disciplinary
issues: The County Council Code of Conduct and
the General Teaching Council (GTC) Code of
P1.3 It is important for employees to know the standards C1.3: The wording of this paragraph remains valid if
of conduct expected of them and, for this reason; the the Governors vary the County Council’s
Governors have adopted a code of conduct. Willful recommended code of conduct.
disregard of the code may be treated as misconduct
(which might be gross misconduct, depending on the
individual circumstances) and render the employee liable
to disciplinary action.
P1.4 It is also important that disciplinary decisions and C1.4: There are specific procedures and guidelines
action, where considered necessary are undertaken in a for investigating particular types of allegations:
fair and consistent manner and in accordance with the
procedure set out in this policy document. a)Child abuse. [See “Safeguarding Children in
Education: Dealing with allegations of abuse
This procedure is designed not only to achieve this against Teachers &other staff” – Nov 2005].
objective, but also to ensure that any decision made has
a solid basis that protects the Local Authority from b)Harassment and bullying at work.
c) General complaints against school staff.
P1.5 This procedure is intended to deal with instances of C1.5: P1.5 refers to other procedures which might
misconduct by employees of the school. It will not apply ultimately lead to the dismissal of an employee.
in circumstances where there is dissatisfaction with the These include competency procedure,
employee’s capability to undertake his duties (e.g. for arrangements relating to ill health and the guidelines
reasons connected with health or general competence) on achieving reductions in staff numbers.
or where the Governors are considering the employee’s
dismissal for any other reasons, as other procedures will
2 LEVELS OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION
P2.1 The levels of disciplinary action which may be taken C2.1 P2.1 distinguishes between the different levels
are, in increasing order of seriousness. This will be done of disciplinary action which might be taken and the
by the Headteacher. lowest level of management at which it might be
taken. This does not preclude action being taken at
a higher level (e.g. an informal warning being given
by the Headteacher or a final warning being given by
the full governing body).
However, this is to be discouraged because, if more
serious action is subsequently considered, questions
may be asked about the impartiality of someone
involved in the administering of the earlier
P2.1 (a) informal action: this will be given by the C2.1 (a): See paragraph 5 for definition of informal
P2.1 (b) formal warning: this will be given by the Where any formal action is contemplated it is
Headteacher or an appropriate committee of governors; essential that the process set out in P6 is
P2.1 (c) final formal warning: this will be given by the followed. A disciplinary sanction cannot be
Headteacher or an appropriate committee of governors; applied without a formal hearing being held.
P2.1 (d) action short of dismissal and as an alternative to C2.1 (d): At present, Governors do not have a
dismissal: this includes: contractual right to apply these sanctions but there
can be courses of action short of dismissal if agreed
- withholding of incremental progression; with the employee (i.e. if (s)he does not accept,
(s)he will be dismissed).
- transfer to other duties within the competence of the
Suspension in this context as a sanction should
employee and within the school’s authorised
not be confused with suspension under Section
5, which is for a different purpose and is with
- Suspension without pay for up to one week.
Such action may be taken by a disciplinary committee
consisting of no fewer than 3 members of the Governing
P2.1 (e) dismissal authorised by the committee referred C2.1 (e): It is recommended that the Governors
to in P6.1 will be with due notice (except in cases of maintain a list of 5 members to serve on this
gross misconduct where dismissal may be without committee. The three members to consider any case
notice). would then be nominated by the Chair or (in his/her
absence) the Vice-Chair, according to availability.
P2.2 The Chair or Vice-Chair of Governors may act in C2.2: It is appropriate to involve the Chair or Vice-
place of the Headteacher in giving final written warnings. Chair if the Headteacher has personally investigated
If the Chair or Vice-Chair gives a warning, (s)he may not
serve on the Appeals Committee if there is an appeal The Chair/Vice-Chair should not discuss the case
against his/her decision. with any member of the Appeals Committee prior to
P2.3 All references below to "dismissal" will be
deemed to include action P6.
P2.4 The level of action taken will depend on the C2.4: The sanction applied should relate to the
seriousness of the misconduct. Other than in exceptional seriousness of the misconduct.
cases no employee will be dismissed without previous For example, conduct falling just short of gross
warning, save in instances of gross misconduct. misconduct can justify’ a final warning, even though
there is no previous misconduct.
On the other hand, previous good conduct or
mitigating circumstances may justify’ applying a
lesser sanction than normal.
Where an employee who has previously been the subject
Similarly, further misconduct should not lead
to disciplinary action subsequently commits a further
automatically to the next more serious level of
breach of discipline, the normal response will be to
progress to the next more serious level of action – action; the misconduct should be sufficiently serious
provided the first sanction is still a matter of record. to justify a warning in its own right and account
should be taken of any mitigating circumstances.
No formal action (which can include a formal verbal warning a record of which would be placed on file) can be
taken without the employee being given the basis of the disciplinary action, appropriate notice of a hearing and the
right to representation and reply.
P3.1 It is essential that before any hearing is convened to C3.1: It is normal to involve the Internal Audit
consider disciplinary action there is an investigation of the Section in relation to possible financial irregularities.
facts to establish whether such a hearing is necessary, or In other circumstances, the person making the
whether the matter can be dealt with on an informal investigation should normally present the allegations
basis. if a disciplinary hearing is subsequently arranged.
(S)he should keep written records (agreed where
. appropriate) of the investigation.
Interviews, which may be carried out as part of the
investigation of a complaint, should not be confused
with disciplinary hearings.
P3.2 It will be necessary to clarify the problem by
gathering facts. This is best done at the earliest
opportunity; before memories fade and will always
include a discussion with the employee. Where
necessary, statements should be obtained from
witnesses. Records should be kept of all meetings as
these may need to be shared with the employee if a
disciplinary hearing is necessary.
P3.3 Relevant personal details such as previous C3.2: Advice is available from the C&LL HR Unit.
performance, length of service and current warnings will
also needs to be collated if the matter is to be progressed
P4.1 The Chair of Governors and the Headteacher are C4.1: Suspension is normally reserved for
empowered to suspend employees from duty where this is situations where an employee is suspected or
necessary to facilitate disciplinary investigations or where alleged to have undertaken an act or acts of gross
there are other substantial reasons justifying suspension. misconduct. As gross misconduct involves action
which makes it impossible to continue the contract,
Suspension is to protect both sides when an investigation it is clearly undesirable for the employee to be on
is taking place. Such suspension Is not regarded as duty if there is suspicion of gross misconduct: A list
disciplinary action and should be for as short a period as of actions that could be deemed gross misconduct
possible. is attached as Appendix 2.
During suspension, the employee will continue to receive The complaints against an employee might relate to
his/her ordinary pay as if working normal hours. [ "ordinary his/her conduct whilst off duty. In such cases the
pay" will be deemed to be the contractual pay the important question is whether the conduct
employee would have received from the County Council concerned affects the suitability or ability of the
had he/she been working normally, less any benefit which employee to perform his/her contract of
becomes payable as a result of providing a doctor’s employment. This requires individual consideration
statement of unfitness for work.] in each case. If the conduct does affect the
contract, suspension would allow time for further
Any suspension will be confirmed in writing with a copy to investigation.
the Corporate Director (Children & Lifelong Learning).
Where an employee is charged or convicted of
a criminal offence that impacts on their
employment the following action is
Police investigations or charges (which may or may
not relate to actions at work), may result in the
decision to suspend an employee. In these cases it
is important to maintain contact with the
investigating officers and the Corporate Director
(Children & Lifelong Learning).
Suspension should only be used if the employee is
available to work but it is deemed undesirable for
him/her to be on duty.
There is no requirement to wait until a case comes
to court to hold a formal disciplinary meeting. What
is important is that:
(a) there has been an attempt to investigate the
allegations as fully as possible in the
(b) there is reasonable evidence that the
allegations are probably true;
(c) The offences justify any action under
consideration (e.g. that they constitute gross
misconduct if the employee is faced with dismissal
without previously having received a final warning).
An indication from the employee that (s)he will
plead guilty is likely to be adequate to satisfy the
first two points.
A suspended employee has the rights of all
employees under P6. However, meetings with the
employee should not take place at his/her normal
Where an employee refuses to co-operate in any
disciplinary investigation and proceedings this
should not deter the Headteacher, in consultation
with C&LL HR Advisory Service, from taking action.
Contact should be maintained with the employee
during the suspension. The arrangements for
maintaining contact will depend upon the
circumstances of the case and will need to be
discussed and agreed at the beginning of the
P4.2 If it is necessary to interview a suspended employee C4.2: It may be necessary to see the employee to
as part of the disciplinary investigation (but outside the find out about the progress with police
scope of formal disciplinary hearing or disciplinary investigations or to clear up other points. This will
committee meetings) the employee will be given the right fall outside the scope of the formal meetings in this
to be accompanied by a friend or Trade Union procedure but it is proper for the employee to have
representative the opportunity to be accompanied at such a
5 INFORMAL ACTION
P5.1 Cases of minor misconduct are usually best dealt C5.1: Consideration should be given to whether
with informally. A quiet word is often all that is required counselling is a better means than of providing help
to clarify standards of conduct expected. and/or resolving a problem. This might be
appropriate in the case of minor errors of judgement
P5.2 If appropriate an informal warning will be given or minor misconduct arising through inexperience or
orally by the Headteacher. . lack of knowledge.
The employee should be advised of the circumstances C5.2: An informal warning is likely to be appropriate
surrounding the alleged misconduct and be given the in situations such as regular lateness.
opportunity to respond.
No detailed provisions are made because this would
Where the employee’s response is considered be contrary to the informality intended. However, it is
unsatisfactory, this should be made clear and (s)he important that the employee has the opportunity to
should be advised of the standard of behaviour expected explain his/her position and, that (s)he knows what
in future and of the possible consequences of failing to standard is expected.
do so, e.g. formal action.
An informal warning is not documented, i.e. put
It is not appropriate to put an informal warning in in writing. There is no right of appeal against an
writing to the employee. Where a verbal warning is informal warning
to be placed on record it is regarded as formal and
the procedure set out in P6 (Page 10) must be
STAGE 1 - FORMAL ACTION – GENERAL PRINCIPLES
There are 3 steps to any formal action. These steps need to be followed to ensure that the process is
considered to be fair and consistent and in accordance with agreed policy:
Step 1: Always write to the employee notifying them of the allegations against them and invite them to a meeting
to discuss the matter.
Step 2: Hold a hearing to discuss the allegations, at which the employee has the right to be accompanied, and
notify the employee of the decision. Where power has not been delegated to Headteacher this must be a hearing
held by a committee of Governors.
Step 3: Always give the employee the right of appeal. If the employee wishes to appeal, arrange an appeal
hearing by Governors, at which the employee has the right to be accompanied, and inform the employee of the
P6, 7 and 8 (pages 10 to 17) sets out the process for formal action in respect of a written warning, final written
warning and dismissal.
Failure to follow the agreed process where action results in dismissal will automatically be unfair.
6. FORMAL WARNINGS
P6.1 Formal warnings cannot be given unless a C6.1: Where formal action is contemplated, it is
member of staff empowered to give warnings has essential that the employee realises the seriousness
conducted a disciplinary hearing. The employee will be of the situation and it is for that reason that the
given a minimum of 10 working days’ written notice of procedure gives a special status to the hearing which
the hearing, such notice to include: might be held before a written or final warning can be
(a) the name of the person who will conduct the hearing;
The employee must be given sufficient information
about the alleged misconduct and sufficient notice to
(b) The time and place of the hearing.
allow him/her the opportunity to prepare and present
his/her response. The ACAS Code requires that
(s)he should have the opportunity to be represented
and, again, advance warning allows him/her time to
(c) Confirmation that the meeting is called under the It is not normal practice to hold a disciplinary hearing
disciplinary procedure and could result in disciplinary during a school closure period where it concerns a
action. member of staff who is on duty only during term time.
This practice should only be altered where it is
(d) A description of the alleged misconduct. Normally, essential for the matter to be dealt with urgently.
the information given to the employee will include the
names of any witnesses to be called or documents to be If the employee (or his/her representative) considers
used in support of the complaint. that that the person who will conduct the hearing is
not sufficiently neutral because of his/her
involvement in the investigation of the case, (s)he
should as a matter of urgency notify in writing the
Chair of the Governors (with a copy to the Corporate
Director (Children & Lifelong Learning))
(e) advice that the employee may be represented at the C.1 (e): If it is known in advance that the employee
hearing by a Trade Union or other representative and will be represented, that representative should be
(subject to P6.2 below) submit documents or ask any consulted about a mutually convenient date for the
other person to be present as a witness in support of hearing. In other circumstances, sympathetic
his/her response. consideration should be given to any request to alter
the timing so that a representative can be present. In
both cases, the attempt to find a mutually convenient
timing should not be used to justify an unreasonable
delay in meeting; the Corporate Director (Children &
Lifelong Learning) should be consulted if it is
considered that an unreasonable delay is likely.
P6.2 The employee (or his/her representative) may call C6.2: The employee (or his/her representative) will
witnesses and introduce documents in support of his/her be allowed reasonable facilities to meet other
response to the allegations, subject to notifying the employees whom (s)he proposes to call as witnesses
person conducting the hearing and providing him/her and to request copies of documents which (s)he
with copies of the documents at least 5 working days in proposes to submit. Documents should be requested
advance of the meeting. and, if provided, be supplied in sufficient time for the
employee to meet the 5-day deadline.
P6.3 The person conducting the hearing may make
arrangements for any of the following to be present:
(a) another employee of the County Council with C6.3 (a): Specialist advisers might include officers of
specialist knowledge to act as his/her adviser; the Authority with knowledge of practices and
standards in a number of schools or who have
specialist knowledge of disciplinary matters e.g. HR
(b) another employee of the County Council to make a
formal presentation of the complaint against the
(c) Any other employee(s) of the County Council being
called as witnesses.
6.4 The normal procedure for the hearing will be: C6.4: The normal procedure is intended to allow all
factors considered relevant to be introduced and
investigated. It may be varied by mutual consent of
a) The person conducting the hearing will explain its the parties to meet the individual case. For example,
purpose and the procedure to be followed. in more complex cases, it may be desirable to hear
b) The person presenting the complaint will introduce evidence and questions on one element before
evidence in support of the complaint, including proceeding to the next.
documents and witnesses as (s)he thinks fit.
c) The employee and/or his/her representative and then
the person conducting the interview will have the Witnesses will normally only be present whilst giving
their information and being questioned on it. A
opportunity to ask questions, including direct questions
person assisting in presenting a case may be present
to the witness.
throughout the presentation of evidence even though
(s)he may also be acting as a witness.
(d) The employee or his/her representative will introduce
evidence in support of his/her position, including
documents or witnesses as (s)he thinks fit.
(e) The person presenting the complaint and then the
person conducting the hearing will have the opportunity
to ask questions, including direct questions to the
(f) The person chairing the hearing will then have the
opportunity to ask questions, including direct questions
to the witness.
(g) Both sides will sum up their presentations, beginning
with the person making the complaint.
P6.5 When the person conducting the hearing has heard C6.5 requires those presenting complaints and the
all the evidence submitted, (s)he will consider what employee and his/her representative to withdraw
action is necessary. whilst a decision on what action to take is under
consideration. The specialist adviser, whose role is
All others present will withdraw whilst (s)he does so, neutral, being neither for nor against the employee,
except any specialist adviser present. may remain to assist the person conducting the
meeting to come to a decision. Should it be
necessary to ask further questions of anyone present
After due consideration the person conducting the
hearing will convey to the employee the decision. during the hearing, all those attending (except
Normally the decision will be given orally as soon as it witnesses) must be present. This is to ensure that no
evidence is given unless the other part has the
has been taken and any formal disciplinary warning will
opportunity to respond and present a view on it.
be given at the same time.
Formal warnings must be confirmed in writing so that
The decision and any formal disciplinary warning will be there is a proper record, in case of later dispute.
confirmed in writing. Exceptionally the decision may be
deferred and given in writing later, together with any The letter should include:
formal disciplinary warning. (a) the name of the person who took the decision;
The letter confirming, or giving, a formal warning (b) the names of all those present at the hearing,
will set out the: including witnesses;
rights of appeal – see Stage 3 Appeal (c) a description of the nature of the complaint(s);
Process - P8.1 Page 16
period the formal warning will remain on file (d) the conclusion reached on the complaint(s);
– see P9.1 Page 19
(e) The decision reached; including a decision not to
All records of the hearing should be kept secure and take any action. If a warning is given, the letter
confidential. should stipulate whether or not this was a final
A template letter is attached as Appendix 1. (f) the period for which the warning will remain on
(g) an indication of the type of action which is likely
to result if there is further misconduct (e.g. in the
case of a final warning this is likely to be
(h) a description of appeal rights;
The letter should, wherever possible, be given to the
employee in person and a record kept of the date. If
the letter has to be posted, it should be sent by
A copy of the letter should be sent to the
representative who represented the employee.
7 STAGE 2
DISMISSAL (OR OTHER SERIOUS ACTION)
P7.1 Any question of the dismissal of an employee may C7.1: Dismissal hearings will normally arise at the
be considered by a committee composed of no less than request of the Headteacher. They may however also
three Governors and no more than half of the governing result from complaints made directly to the Chair of
body. The committee should appoint a Chair. Governors Governors or to the LEA; the Headteacher should be
who are employed at the school should not be appointed consulted before setting up a disciplinary hearing in
to such a committee. these circumstances. A committee of Governors is
recommended to allow other Governors not involved
in the decision to dismiss to consider any appeal
against the decision
There is no legal barrier to employee Governors
being members of either a disciplinary or appeal
committee but, like all Governors, they should not
have had a previous involvement in the case. In a
closed community like a school, it is difficult for an
employee to satisfy this test.
Gross misconduct: A list of actions that could be
deemed gross misconduct is attached as Appendix 2.
If an employee is found guilty of an act of gross
misconduct they should be dismissed without notice
or payment in lieu of notice.
P7.2 The general procedure set out in P6.1 to P6.5 shall C7.2: The commentary on P6.1 to P6.5 also applies.
apply, subject to P7.3 to P7.6 below.
P7.3 The Governors will consult the Corporate Director C7.3: The Corporate Director (Children & Lifelong
(Children & Lifelong Learning), who is entitled to send a Learning) has a statutory right to be represented at
representative to attend the hearing (including remaining any meeting to consider the dismissal of an
with the committee whilst it takes its decision). employee. The name of this representative will be
notified to the employee (or his/her representative) in
advance of the hearing.
P7.4 The employee may send a representative to the
hearing without attending him/herself.
P7.5 If the committee reaches any decision other C7.5: A copy of the letter should be sent to the
than to dismiss, it will notify the employee as set out in Corporate Director (Children & Lifelong Learning) for
P6.5. appropriate action.
P7.6 If the Committee decides to dismiss the C7.6: The C&LL HR Unit will – within a period of 14
employee the Chair of the Committee will: days of notification of the Committee’s decision to
dismiss – formally advise the member of staff in
inform the employee of the decision to dismiss writing of:
without any undue delay;
the decision taken to dismiss and issue notice
Confirm this decision in writing (see note below) to terminate the employment contact,
including the reasons for the decision and
ensure that the appropriate termination form is The separate right to make representations to
completed. the Appeals Committee.
Immediately notify the HR Unit, Children and
Lifelong Learning (C&LL), of the decision. Where an employer has ceased to use the services of
a school employee because of misconduct, or the
IMPORTANT NOTE: employee resigns in the face of a disciplinary hearing,
they are required to refer the case to the Department
In the case of voluntary aided schools this will be the for Education and Skills (DfES). The Corporate
formal letter to dismiss, and the letter should specify the Director (Children & Lifelong Learning) will arrange
date on which the employment ends and give details of this.
See Stage 3 – Appeal rights.
8.1 STAGE 3 – APPEAL AGAINST A FORMAL WARNING
P8.1.1 The employee has the right of appeal against any C8.1.1: The employee has the right of appeal at
decision taken. The appeal will be to a committee of every stage of the process.
three Governors nominated by the Chair (or, in his
absence, by the Vice-Chair). To exercise this right the As a guard against disputes over deadlines, it is
employee must notify the Headteacher in writing within advisable to have evidence of the date on which
10 working days of receiving the written confirmation of confirmation was received (e.g. delivery by hand,
the warning, giving: recorded delivery, proof of delivery).
(a) the grounds for appeal; The grounds for appeal should be reasonably specific
when appeal lodged.
(b) whether (s)he is to be represented/accompanied and,
if so, by whom; However, the employee may submit a detailed
statement at any point up to 5 working days before
(c) whether (s)he wishes to call witnesses and, if so, the appeal is heard. If the school already has an
their names; Appeals Committee, this should be used to consider
(d) Copies of any additional documents not used at the
P8.1.2 The Appeals Committee will consider the appeal C8.1.2: Appeal rights are included as a guard against
and will invite the following to be present: arbitrary decisions. For that reason, the Governors on
the committee must not have played any part in the
(a) The employee, who may be represented by a friend decision to give the warning. Both the employee and
or Trade Union representative, to amplify and answer the person who gave the warning should have the
questions on the basis of his/her appeal. opportunity to be present to explain their view of the
situation. If either declines to be present, the appeal
may be considered on the information available.
(b) The person who gave the warning to explain his
Witnesses may be called, including a person who
reasons for so doing and answer questions on them.
may not have been present at the original interview.
(S)he may be accompanied by the special adviser who
was present at the original interview. Whilst the procedure for appeals is the same as for
disciplinary interviews, some points may require less
detailed evidence if there is agreement between the
(c) in the case of a final formal warning, the Corporate parties on the facts. The submission of both sides
Director (Children & Lifelong Learning) (or his would concentrate on the issues in dispute.
representative) to give specialist advice to the
A representative of the Corporate Director (Children
committee. & Lifelong Learning) must be invited to attend in the
event of an appeal against a final warning. His/her
The normal procedure will be that set out in P6.4. role is advisory. This is to assist in providing
consistency of practice and to support the
Headteacher or Governors in any areas where they
might be inexperienced.
P8.1.3 The Appeals Committee may also take into
account any additional information which has become
available on the particular allegation(s) and may invite
any other person to be present to assist in resolving any
question of fact which is in dispute. Such a person will
only be present whilst giving information and being
questioned on it.
P8.1.4 The Appeals Committee may decide to confirm,
revoke or reduce the original penalty. The decision
reached will be final. This will normally be given in
person when the decision is reached but will in any event
be confirmed in writing within three normal working days.
P8.1.5 A copy of any final formal warning and a decision
relating to appeals against it will be sent to the Corporate
Director (Children & Lifelong Learning) for his
8.2 STAGE 3 – DISMISSAL APPEAL
P8.2.1 The employee has a right of appeal against C8.2.1: This committee must contain at least as
dismissal to a committee composed of Governors who many members as the original committee and none
did not participate in the disciplinary hearing. Any appeal of its members can have been members of the
must be made in writing to the Clerk to the Governors original committee. This is a requirement of natural
Disciplinary Committee within 10 working days weeks of justice.
receipt of the letter confirming the decision of the original
(a) the grounds for appeal;
(b) whether (s)he is to be represented/accompanied and,
if so, by whom;
(c) whether (s)he wishes to call witnesses and, if so,
(d) Copies of any additional documents not used at the
P8.2.2 If the employee appeals, the Appeal Committee
will conduct a rehearing of the evidence. The general
procedure will be that set out in P6.1 – P6.5.
P8.2.3 If the Appeal is upheld in relation to an employee C8.2.3: The Corporate Director (Children & Lifelong
of a County or Voluntary Controlled School the Learning) will reinstate the employee on behalf of the
committee will inform the Corporate Director (Children & Authority on receipt of the letter from the Governors
Lifelong Learning) to reinstate the employee. confirming this.
P8.2.4 If the dismissal is confirmed in relation to an
employee of a County or Voluntary Controlled School,
the dismissal will stand.
9 REVIEW OF WARNINGS
P9.1The Headteacher will review warnings given to C9: Except in cases of gross misconduct, disciplinary
employees to determine whether they should continue in action tends to be a cumulative process whereby
force. This will be done within the following periods: further instances of misconduct lead to a more
serious form of action. However, tribunal cases
Formal verbal warning – 6 months suggest that it is wrong to take more serious action
where it is a considerable time since the previous
warning and there has been no intervening
Formal written warning – 9 months
misconduct, i.e. warnings are effectively withdrawn
with time. This section provides a formal system for
Final formal written warning - 12 months determining whether a warning should be withdrawn.
If a warning has not been withdrawn, it remains
Under normal circumstances, the warnings will relevant to the consideration of any subsequent
automatically lapse after the periods of time stated, misconduct. However, expired warnings can be taken
unless: into account in non-disciplinary contexts (e.g. in
reaching a decision about an appointment), but this
(a) the employee has received a subsequent warning, in should only be done if the circumstances which led to
which case the original warning will remain in force for the warning are relevant to the decision under
as long as the subsequent warning; or consideration.
(b) the original warning related to conduct which placed
at risk the health, safety or general wellbeing of others;
(c) There are other substantial reasons for the warning
remaining in force.
P9.2 The Headteacher will interview the employee and
inform him/her whether the warning is to be deleted from
his/her record. If it is withdrawn, any reference to the
warning will be deleted from his/her disciplinary record
and the Corporate Director (Children & Lifelong
Learning) will be notified. If the warning is not deleted,
the employee will have a right of appeal, on the same
basis as against the warning when first given (see P6.5).
P9.3 Where a warning remains in force following review,
it will be reconsidered after a further period of no more
than one year.
P9.4 Account may be taken of any disciplinary action
which has not lapsed in dealing with any subsequent
allegation of misconduct.
10 SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
P10.1 No hearing or committee meeting will be arranged C10.1: This paragraph follows a specific
to consider disciplinary action against a Trade Union lay recommendation of ACAS. Addresses of the relevant
official until the Headteacher has discussed the officials are available from the HR Unit of Children &
complaint(s) with: Lifelong Learning Directorate.
(a) the County Secretary of the professional association
if the employee is a teacher;
(b) The paid officer of the Trade Union in other cases.
P10.2 In the case of disciplinary action against the
Headteacher, the Corporate Director (Children &
Lifelong Learning) (or his representative) will take the
role normally given to the Headteacher under this
procedure. They will, however, not issue any formal
warning to the Headteacher without consulting the Chair
P10.3 If an employee declines to attend any meeting C10.3: Where an employee is prevented from
arranged under this procedure or is prevented from attending (e.g. through illness or being in custody),
being present; the meeting may proceed in his/her consideration should be given to a short delay in
absence, at the discretion of the person or committee order for him/her to be present. Such delays should
conducting the meeting. be allowed if the purpose is to enable the employee’s
representative to be present. A decision on whether
to proceed in the employee’s absence involves
balancing the operational needs of the school against
the disadvantage to the employee in not being
present. Any decision reached in the absence of the
employee can be contested subsequently and it is
important that it is based on whether those
conducting the meeting have got reasonable grounds
for believing the complaint to be justified. This might
(a) where the complaint relates to events at the
school, investigating the circumstances,
interviewing witnesses and studying relevant
(b) where the complaint is unconnected with the
school (usually criminal proceedings), seeking
information from the police, Trade Union
representative etc. who know of the background;
(c) allowing representation for the employee even
though (s)he is absent;
(d) Allowing a written submission from the employee.
The ultimate test should be whether the evidence
gives sufficient basis for reaching a conclusion on the
balance of probabilities as to what actually happened
and whether those events justify the disciplinary
action then taken.
An example letter would be:
Confirmation of Formal Warning
I write to confirm the outcome of the disciplinary hearing which I conducted on (date). Also present were
your supervisor, , and your Trade Union representative, .
(supervisor) stated that you have repeatedly been late on duty. On xx/xxx/xx, (s)he warned you informally
that this was not acceptable. Since then you have been late on four occasions by periods of up to half-an-hour.
Appropriate deductions have been made from your pay. You acknowledged that an informal warning had been
given but disputed whether your lateness since then had been as extensive as claimed.
I considered all of the evidence presented to me and did not find your explanations acceptable. I informed you
that my decision was to give you a written warning under the school’s disciplinary procedure. This written
warning will remain on your personal record for a period of 9 months. During this period you must ensure that
you arrive punctually for work in accordance with the schools attendance procedures.
Should there be no sign of improvement it will be necessary for me to consider further disciplinary action.
You do have a right of appeal against this formal warning. If you wish to exercise it, you must notify the Chair of
Governors. This should be in writing, stating your reasons, and it should reach him/her within two weeks of
receipt of this letter. You are also advised to consult your Trade Union / professional association.
I should be grateful if you would acknowledge receipt of this letter by signing the enclosed copy and returning it to
Enc. Copy letter for signature
CC: (Employee’s representative)
Gross Misconduct Offences
If, after investigation, the Investigating Officer has a reasonable belief that the employee has committed an
offence of the following nature (this list is not exhaustive), the normal consequence will be dismissal:
Theft, fraud, deliberate falsification of Council documents
Fighting, assault on another person
Deliberate damage to Council property
Sexual or racial harassment or other serious forms of harassment or discrimination
Being unfit for work through alcohol or illegal drugs
Bringing the County Council into serious disrepute
Misuse of the County Council’s property or name
Serious infringement of Health and Safety rules
Serious infringement of IT policies
If an employee is found to be guilty of an act of gross misconduct, they should be dismissed without notice or
payment in lieu.