School staff handbook


Your school staff handbook can be very useful to look over when you encounter employment issues in your role. 

It will include lots of useful information on working at your school, the various rules which should be followed and links to more detailed policies (if not already included in the handbook itself.)

You will be given a copy of your staff handbook during induction and you should be able to request it from your HR contact in school or even find it on the school website.

If you are an Edapt subscriber and would like to raise a case, we would recommend that you check your staff handbook first for key information before contacting us.

School staff handbooks: what should they include?

While school staff handbooks are not a legal requirement, it is a convenient way of including legally required terms and conditions of employment. 

They provide an overview of the key information whereas specific school/LA policies will be much more detailed. 

Typically, school staff handbooks will include sections on (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Vision and aims of the school
  • Staffing structures
  • Term dates and the school day
  • The school curriculum
  • Safeguarding
  • Sickness and absence procedures
  • Performance management and capability
  • Alcohol, smoking and drugs
  • Behaviour management
  • Dress code
  • Complaints
  • Governance structure
  • Visitors
  • E-safety
  • Whistleblowing
  • School uniform

Staff handbooks in school: examples 

Primary school staff handbook

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Nottinghamshire has published its staff handbook online.

Its contents include:

  • School personnel
  • School day
  • Assembly times
  • Safeguarding
  • Fire alarm procedure
  • Data protection

On the topic of personal possessions the policy explains:

“All staff, governors and visitors are normally required to place any personal equipment in lockable storage provided. Items left out or insecure are left at the owners’ risk. Any items capable of photographing children including mobile phones are normally required to be in a locked drawer/locker and such items should not be taken into the classroom.”

Werrington Primary School in Staffordshire covers the following topics in its school staff handbook:

  • Register procedure
  • School improvement
  • Marking
  • Safeguarding and welfare
  • Assessment

On the topic of marking the handbook explains, “We believe that three principles underpin effective marking and feedback: it should be meaningful, manageable and motivating.”

Multi-academy trust staff handbook

The Community Inclusive Trust (CIT) currently has 16 academies across the East Midlands. Its staff handbook includes sections on:

  • Working hours
  • Pay and review
  • Pregnancy and maternity leave
  • Flexible working
  • Positive work environment
  • Disciplinary procedure

The handbook explains:

“This handbook contains the information, boundaries, policies and procedures concerning your employment and should be read in conjunction with your Statement of Main Terms of Employment (‘Statement’) which should have been provided to you. Additional, new or revised policies and procedures may be issued at any time separate to this Handbook and it is your responsibility to observe and adhere to these.”

Special school staff handbook

The Westminster School is a maintained special school for pupils aged 7 to 19 in the West Midlands. Its school staff handbook has sections including:

  • Staff charter
  • Safeguarding
  • Staff code of conduct
  • Car parking
  • Finance procedures
  • Staff benefits

The policy explains:

“Employees issued with identity badges should wear them at all times. This is particularly important if you visit the public in their homes. Where managers decide that it is not practical to wear identity badges then you should have them available for inspection at all times.”

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The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.