Headteachers want to make it illegal for staff to go abroad during half-term – Latest News


And Stone King, which specialises in the charity and education sectors, told the Times that heads may be within their rights to do so.

Around 20 state schools have contacted a legal firm asking if they could forbid staff from leaving the UK during the week-long break in October.

Headteachers from around 20 state schools have contacted legal firm Stone King asking if they can ban staff from leaving the UK during the week-long break in October

Rear view of large group of students raising their arms

Photo Taken In Chon Buri, Thailand

Female Student Raising Hand To Ask Question In Classroom

Headteachers could ban teachers for going abroad in the half-term holiday over worries they’d have to quarantine for two weeks on their return.

“It may present complications in terms of teaching and running schools if they are missing several key staff as a result of this. We are being asked if schools can request that their staff do not leave the country during half-term. As an employer this is not an unreasonable request to make and there is no legal reason that they cannot.

Craig Vincent, head of human resources consultancy at Stone King, said: “Schools have been getting in touch with us concerned about their teachers and other staff travelling abroad during the October half-term and the risk that they will need to self-isolate when they return if the country they visit is not listed as ‘exempt’, or if it is taken off the list at short notice.

Mr Vincent added: “We are advising schools to inform staff now of the potential consequences of needing to quarantine after a foreign holiday which could include staff having to request unpaid leave.”

“Schools are also asking us whether they can treat post-holiday quarantine periods as unpaid leave. There is no requirement to pay staff for post-holiday quarantining, although schools could explore home working, annual leave, if feasible, for some or all of the time.”

Staff who have symptoms but can’t get tested are forced to stay at home.

Head teachers are already struggling with staffing because of a shortage of Covid tests.

“Firstly, they could teach virtually. Secondly, I’m not sure that in the state sector, as opposed to private schools, ill or quarantined teachers can be deprived of pay. As to foreign travel, heads can advise but I’m not sure they [state schools]have the legal power to prevent staff from going abroad.”

Jack Rabinowicz, a partner at Teacher Stern Solicitors, said: “The quarantine issue, of course, applies across the piece. If a teacher has to quarantine because, for example, they go to the pub and mix with someone who is possibly infectious, they won’t be able to come into school.

Rear view of large group of students raising their arms (Image: Getty Images)


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