What should I do when faced with restructuring in school?
You might have been informed that your school will be going through a restructuring process and you are concerned on the impact it might have on your role, especially if redundancies are taking place.
In this article, we explain the process which your school must follow, what can be involved in the consultation process and other factors to take into consideration.
Why is restructuring taking place?
There can be a range of reasons why a school will need to restructure. These include curriculum and timetabling changes, amendments to pay and conditions, redeployment of teachers to other roles or locations or positions becoming redundant.
There may also be financial pressures, leading the school to consider more efficient and effective use of resources.
Restructuring should be based upon fairness and transparency, provide staff with an opportunity to air their views and give alternative suggestions, allowing for appropriate consultation at the earliest opportunity.
Are you at risk of redundancy?
Guidance on the GOV.UK website explains that a ‘collective consultation’ must be undertaken if twenty or more redundancies are taking place within a 90-day period at your school.
Your school should clearly communicate to keep you informed and to reduce uncertainty and misinformation.
If your school doesn’t consult with staff in a redundancy situation, any redundancies it makes will almost certainly be unfair and you could take your school to an employment tribunal.
We have produced another article which looks at what an employment tribunal is.
We’ve also published an in-depth article which outlines what steps to take when going through the redundancy process.
What should happen if redundancies are not being made?
Your school is not required by law to consult if redundancies are not being made. Although it would still be considered as good practice for schools to do so.
How do consultations normally work?
Consultation methods can vary from school to school. Normally there will be a whole-staff meeting at which draft copies of the proposals are presented to staff. You may also be emailed more specific details of the proposed restructure after the meeting has taken place.
Your school should provide you with written details of:
- the reasons for redundancies
- the numbers and categories of employees involved
- the numbers of employees in each category
- how the school plans to select employees for redundancy
- how the school will carry out redundancies
- how the school will work out redundancy payments
You will then be given time to consider the proposals and give feedback to your school during the consultation period. There should be a clear timetable with plenty of opportunity for you to submit written representations on the draft structure.
The final staffing structure and implementation plan should be clearly communicated to all staff
Consultations do not have to end in agreement, but they must be carried out with a view to reaching it, including ways of avoiding or reducing the redundancies.
What are my next steps if faced with restructuring?
If you are an Edapt subscriber and are faced with a restructure at your school, please contact us.
We will be unable to attend the initial all-staff consultation meeting as we are not a trade union and do not take part in collective bargaining. However, if you are individually affected by the restructure and are facing redundancy we will be able to provide support.
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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.