Disciplinary Policy

1. Aim of this Policy and Procedure

This policy and procedure is designed to help and encourage all employees to achieve and maintain appropriate and acceptable standards of conduct and to ensure a fair and consistent approach in managing conduct issues in line with best practice and the ACAS Code of Practice.

2. Scope

The procedure extends to all school based employees and is incorporated into the contract of employment.

3. Exclusions

These procedures do not apply to matters more appropriately dealt with under separate procedures. Such matters include:

  • attendance and capability issues dealt with in accordance with the School’s Attendance Management, Performance Management and Competency policies and procedures
  • cases of harassment and bullying when the School’s Bullying and Harassment at Work policy applies in the first instance
  • issues of conduct arising during the probationary period

Additionally, where there is a potential disciplinary case against a Trade Union representative, no action under this procedure, other than precautionary suspension when gross misconduct is alleged, will be taken until the full time official of the Trade Union has been informed of the case.

4. Principles

Wherever possible and appropriate, first occurrences of minor breaches of discipline / standards should be dealt with informally, either through the normal course of management counselling and supervision or the informal procedure set out in Paragraph 5.1.

HR advice should be sought where possible before making a decision to suspend or any disciplinary action is taken against an employee, as the involvement of HR helps to ensure that decisions taken are consistent.

No disciplinary action will be taken against an employee until the case has been sufficiently investigated and a disciplinary hearing has taken place. The employee will be advised in writing of the nature of the complaint against them and the arrangements for the hearing including their rights to representation.  Where a potential outcome of the disciplinary process is dismissal, the employee must be clearly advised that if the allegations are proven that this may result in their dismissal.

The employee will be given the opportunity to set out their case, ask relevant questions and respond to allegations before any decision is made.

Under this policy and procedure, no employee will be dismissed for a first breach of discipline except in the case of gross misconduct when the penalty can be dismissal without notice.

An employee will have the right to appeal against any disciplinary penalty imposed.

The procedure may be implemented at any stage if the employee’s alleged misconduct warrants such action; i.e. the disciplinary sanctions are not necessarily sequential.

Being suspended or interviewed as part of the investigatory process is not to be regarded as prejudging the matter. Nor is it to be considered a disciplinary measure.

The employee will have the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or work colleague at all stages of the procedure.  In those cases serious enough to warrant immediate precautionary action at step 1, all reasonable efforts should be made to arrange trade union representation or a companion, however, if no one is available the suspension meeting should take place with a witness present.

HR advisors may be present at any of the formal stages of the procedure.
Please refer to the School’s Delegated Responsibility Decision Sheet for information on who may suspend, carry out investigations, present a management case or hear a particular case or appeal.  Please note that no one who has been involved in the investigation leading to a disciplinary or appeal hearing will act in any way as designated officer/panel at a hearing.

The intimidation or victimisation of persons prior to or following any complaint/allegation will not be tolerated and is a disciplinary offence in itself.

All matters will be dealt with confidentially and within the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998. This is a responsibility of all parties involved.

Any complaints/allegations found to be malicious or vexatious will be treated as a disciplinary matter.

The timescales within the procedures will be adhered to wherever possible and there is an obligation on all parties to allow for matters to be dealt with without delay. However, where there are good reasons, e.g. the need for further investigation or the lack of availability of witnesses or companions, each party may request that the other agrees to an extension of the permitted timescale.

The School will monitor disciplinary data at least annually to ensure the policy is operating fairly, consistently and effectively.

Click here to download the Disciplinary Policy in full