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Who is responsible for conducting a teacher’s disciplinary proceedings?

6th November, 2014

In the case of Davies v Haringey LBC [2014] EWHC 3393 (QB) it was held that a teacher may be disciplined by a local authority, rather than her employing school itself, particularly where the teacher’s duties had been distanced from the school for a considerable length of time.

The Claimant was technically employed by the Respondent local authority, but employed specifically to work at a community school within the area. The Claimant remained in her teaching role at the school for eight years, before being elected as an NUT official. The Claimant’s role as an NUT official continued full time for 14 years, albeit during this time she was still paid as a teacher of the school.

The Claimant was suspended for alleged breaches of the local authority’s Code of Conduct and disciplinary proceedings were initiated.

The Claimant asked the High Court to find that she could only be disciplined by the Governors of the school where she was a teacher. The local authority relied on the fact that the Claimant was actually employed by them and could therefore be disciplined by them (as well as the school).

It was held that whilst the Governors did have disciplinary powers over staff at their school, in this case, the Claimant had not realistically worked at the school for 14 years. The local authority therefore also held disciplinary powers over her and could initiate the proceedings itself.

For further information and advice in relation to disciplinary proceedings, please contact Helen Watson on 01244 405565 or send an email to [email protected].

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