Dealing with a grievance against the headteacher
Debate – Secondary School
What was the issue addressed?Duty of Care Grievance was made against the headteacher from a member of staff.
The Duty of Care policy was followed and informal discussions were held. Support was given by the Local Authority HR department – advice, documentation etc.
What lessons were learnt?
Informal actions were not successful. Formal procedures were then initiated and an independent investigator was employed. The investigator was given strict terms of reference to investigate and held regular face to face meetings, telephone calls, emails occurred with relevant parties.
All schools must have a Grievance policy to deal with issues that staff may have with their working life at the school. There is usually a 3-stage process, with an informal stage taking place first.
It was shame that the issue couldn’t be resolved informally in the first instance, but unfortunately this sometimes happens.
It would appear that the investigator was given a strict brief of what to investigate – this is an important step in the process to make sure the investigator is aware of their remit for the investigation and to ensure that he/she does not go outside of this.
ACAS has produced information on dealing with grievances at work but ultimately, the school would have to follow the policy that has been agreed and adopted by the governing body.
It is assumed that the issue is now at Stage 2 in the procedure. The investigator would produce a report based on the evidence collected from both the member of staff and the headteacher, as well as any witnesses. A decision would then be made as to whether the grievance is upheld or not.
Has your governing body had to deal with a grievance against the headteacher?
What processes and policies would you follow if a duty of care grievance was made against a senior member of staff?
Have your say…
Have you had experiences similar to these?
What do you think about the situation described?