A school may suspend you while it investigates an allegation or disciplinary matter, or where there are medical reasons for doing so. This can feel like an isolating experience, and you may understandably become concerned about the impact on your professional reputation. It is therefore important that you are supported to ensure the suspension is lawful, that you know which member of staff you are able to contact, and that the suspension is treated as a 'neutral act' in which there is no assumption that you have done anything wrong. You should not lose any pay if you are suspended.
The legal picture
The personal and professional conduct section of the Teachers' Standards May 2012 will be used to determine expected behaviour for teachers.
The ACAS Code and Guidance for disciplinary procedures is a useful reference. The Code of Practice recommends that suspension should normally be on full pay.
Section 47 of the Children Act 1989 requires local authorities to investigate any cases where a child is suspected to be suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm.
18% of 2,827 teachers who had allegations made against them in April 09 - March 10 were suspended during the course of the investigation.
Your school will have a policy outlining the procedures for the regulation of the conduct and discipline of staff at the school - which will include suspension. This may be in your contract or outlined in an Employees’ Handbook, or published as part of school policies on an intranet or VLE.
Your school should always explore alternatives to suspension, such as temporary changes to a timetable or reallocation of classes. If the school does decide to proceed with a suspension they should confirm this in writing within one working day of the suspension commencing. This letter should include details of someone at the school with whom you can remain in contact during your suspension in order that you can be kept updated on the progress of the investigation.
If you have any concerns about suspension edapt can advise you to ensure that it is lawful and treated as a neutral act.
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