Education

School Trips and Educational Visits – Helpful Guidance
15/11/2011
With various recent news stories about serious injuries and fatalities sustained by pupils on school trips, it is important that guidance in this area is taken on board when planning an educational visit or school trip.  A Board of Governors has a statutory duty under Article 17 of the Education and Libraries (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 to safeguard and promote the welfare of registered pupils at the school at all times when the pupils are in the lawful control or charge of a member of the staff of the school.  This duty will exist during educational visits and school trips....
New TNC documentation: Grievances and Paternity Leave
15/11/2011
DENI has issued new guidance entitled “Joint Protocol for Dealing with Grievances/Complaints involving staff employed by different Employer/Employing Authorities” (TNC 2011/7).  This guidance is issued in relation to the agreed way forward to dealing with grievances raised by staff members which involve staff members who are employed by a different employing authority. The guidance directs that the grievance procedure of the Employing Authority with which the member of staff is employed should be used where the complaint is against a staff member of another employing...
New Admissions Guidance
17/10/2011
The Department of Education Northern Ireland, on 15th September 2011, issued a circular entitled the “Procedure for Transfer from Primary to Post-primary Education 2012/13”.  This circular, whilst having broad similarities to the previous guidance in this area, notes the Departments change in relation to the funding of the parent-primary school principal meeting in relation to the completion of the transfer form.  The circular is available online here. Some key dates in the circular which should be noted by post-primary schools are: 16thDecember 2011 for the...
New Internet Safety Guidelines from DENI
17/10/2011
The Department of Education Northern Ireland, ("DENI") issued a new circular entitled “Internet Safety” on 27th September 2011.  This circular addresses and clarifies the capabilities of the C2K filtering system for schools’ Internet. The circular also provides essential guidance in relation to schools which set up its own school network separate from the C2k managed service.  The circular recommends that such a network should have a filtering system of “an appropriate standard to ensure the safety of…pupils”.   This includes...
School Policies
12/09/2011
There being so many policies and procedures needed by schools, it is often difficult to remember which policies are necessary and under which authority these policies are required.  The DENI Handbook for governors, entitled “Every School a Good School, the Governors’ Role” gives useful clarity on the above.  There is an Appendix 3 in this Guide, which usefully summarizes the policies which are statutory and those which are required by primary or subordinate legislative authority.  The Appendix also details additional employment policies and procedures,...
Community Use of School Facilities
12/09/2011
In the DENI’s published Handbook for governors, entitled “Every School a Good School, the Governors’ Role”, Chapter 21 addresses the issue of governors management of the school premises.  The Handbook recognises that a schools’ facilities are a “significant public resource” and should be more widely used by schools themselves and by local communities. The Handbook gives some much-needed clarity around legally managing the community use of school premises.  Firstly, if use of the school premises is to be for non-school purposes, the Board of...