Appeals, complaints/ grievance and disciplinary policies
Health and Safety Policy
The academy is committed to providing a safe environment and we will:
Provide guidance on safe working practices for staff and students.
Incorporate health and safety knowledge into all student activities in all student work books
In the case of a fire we have a fire exit to the front of the building by the entrance and out of the building behind the car park is the fire stop.
If you discover a fire and are near a fire break glass unit we would ask that you break the glass to sound the alarm, leave all belongings behind and exit via the closest fire exit.
The fire meeting point is outside of the building to the left in the car park.
Procedures and equipment for accidents:
Report any hazards or accidents to your tutor, who will contact the First Aider (Michelle Rogers), if required and record in the accident book. The accident book and first aid box are both in the kitchen in the cupboard above the microwave.
Promote a responsible attitude to health and safety throughout the centre:
We will ensure all staff has regular training in health and safety procedures.
Provide monitoring processes for the above – provide signed forms to staff and students
The centre will ensure that its candidates:
Appeals and Complaints Procedure
The centre is committed to ensuring that the assessment procedure meets the requirements of the awarding body and fulfils national standards.
Our centre will operate a system for reviewing the quality and fairness of the assessment procedure. As part of this you have a right to appeal against any assessment decision, written or practical, that you deem to be unfair.
Your procedure to do this is as follows:
You should notify the assessor of any dissatisfaction with the outcome of the assessment on the day of your assessment, stating why there is disagreement with the decision. The assessor must verbally explain the decision and then you will also receive a copy of this within 14 days.
If you feel that you cannot speak to the assessor directly you can contact the tutor co-ordinator Michelle Rogers who will respond to your complaint within 7 days.
Appeals can also be sent in writing to:
Olivia's Academy, 4a Umberslade rd, Earlswood, B94 9QA
Equal Opportunities Policy
The centre is committed to ensuring equal opportunity to all candidates on all courses, all the clients of the establishment and to the staff of the centre regardless of their role. There is a commitment to encourage every individual to realise their full potential. Training or access to assessments will not be affected by gender, ethnic origin, nationality, religious belief, social circumstances, marital status, age or physical and intellectual ability or other relevant state.
The requirements of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, the Employment (Disabled Persons) Acts of 1944 and 1948 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 will be respected and any amendments or extensions.
Equal opportunities will be integrated – we will always endeavour to provide information to both men and women into all planning, procedures and course resourcing. All promotional material, course schemes and display items will not reinforce stereotypes and will reflect the diversity of society.
All staff and candidates will be advised of the policy to be pursued with clients and visitors to the centre.
There will be positive reinforcement of the requirements of the policy statement and equal opportunity of provision will be monitored and reviewed at regular intervals among staff and candidates and action taken if required.
Encouragement will be given to discuss any concerns over these issues when they occur. A process will be in place to allow these concerns to be fully and confidentially discussed.
Support and advice from our trainers will be available to help those concerned to understand the problems and take steps to resolve them.
In the first instance any problems should be brought to the attention of your tutor If you are not comfortable in doing this you will need to speak to Michelle Rogers. If the matter is still not resolved then a request can be made in writing to discuss your concerns with a member of the senior management team at the academy
As training company we promise to deliver all our courses by fully qualified trainers who also have a number of years’ experience within the industry.
The academy is committed to providing a safe and secure setting for Students, which promotes an environment where Students and staff will feel confident about sharing any concerns which they may have about their own safety or the well-being of others. The welfare and interests of students are paramount in all circumstances. The academy will:
House information and rules (Olivia's Academy)
Toilet Location – we have one toilet location is at the back of the academy.
Access & Security:
In the interest of security, if leaving the building please do not leave the external door open or adjust the lock .To gain access to the building please use the buzzer located on the right.
Smoking – Please refrain from smoking directly outside the main doors.
Mobile phones – Please refrain from making phone calls during a lesson, and have phones on silent. If a call is urgent please inform your tutor and leave the classroom and use the break out area in the entrance of the academy where there is a seating area.
Eating and drinking
If you can please refrain from eating in the training suite and use the breakout area for any snacks or food, drinks can be consumed in the training suite but please remember to take any cups or glasses back to the break out area.
Please confirm you have read and understood our induction guide, any questions please ask your tutor
This policy is designed to help and encourage all employees to achieve and maintain appropriate standards of behaviour and conduct. It provides a method of dealing with apparent shortcomings in conduct, and its main purpose is to encourage an employee whose conduct is unsatisfactory to improve.
This policy will be applied consistently and fairly to all employees, based on the circumstances of their case. No-one will be treated less favourably on the grounds of their gender, disability, age, race, creed, colour, religion, nationality, ethnic or national origin, trade union membership or activity, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, medical condition or marital status. Furthermore, the employer recognises its responsibility to ensure the implementation of the rules of natural justice as part of this policy: ie the employee should know the nature of the accusation against them; the employee should have an opportunity to state their case; management should act in good faith.
The policy is written in line with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) Code of Practice.
Informal guidance does not form part of the formal disciplinary policy.
All proceedings under this policy shall be held in private and shall be confidential.
Scope of the policy
This policy does not apply where there are matters of:
The employer recognises it has a statutory obligation to adopt formal policies and establish workplace procedures for dealing with staff conduct and discipline. The employer recognises that disciplinary rules and procedures promote good employment relations and is committed to dealing with matters in a fair and consistent way.
The head teacher has overall responsibility for promoting and maintaining standards of work conduct.
There may be certain circumstances where the delegation of responsibility outlined above will not apply. For example, the head teacher has been directly involved in disciplinary procedures leading to dismissal, has instigated a proposal to dismiss, or is a witness of particular conduct giving grounds for the dismissal in question.
Where it is not appropriate for the head teacher to perform this function, a staff discipline committee of the governing body will be convened. The staff discipline/dismissal committee deals with cases of gross misconduct and head teachers are delegated the responsibility to deal with all other cases.
Where a staff discipline/dismissal committee is required, the governing body should nominate three of its members who are not staff members to form the committee. Another three members will be required to form an appeals committee.
Head teachers should seek professional advice at all stages of the policy. Disciplinary matters should normally be conducted within the timescales laid down in the policy.
All efforts should be made by employees to attend meetings that constitute part of this policy. When there are valid reasons to reschedule meetings, these should be rearranged within five working days where possible.
Employees have a statutory right to be accompanied at formal disciplinary meetings/hearings by their trade union representative or a workplace colleague. This employer will extend this right and allow for employees to be accompanied at all informal meetings as part of the disciplinary procedure.
The employee is responsible for arranging his/her representation, including notifying the representative of the hearing date in good time and sending copies of all relevant documentation. Where the employee’s trade union representative is not available at the time proposed for the meeting/hearing, the employee may propose an alternative date and time.
Management should try to agree a mutually convenient date for the meeting with the employee and their union representative in order to ensure that meetings do not have to be delayed or rescheduled.
The trade union representative may address a hearing/meeting to put the case for the employee and/or sum up the case, respond on behalf of the employee to any views expressed at the meeting/hearing and may confer with the employee. They may not, however, answer questions on their behalf.
The school/academy will need to consider whether any additional support for the employee is required, for example to make reasonable adjustments where there is a physical disability or other special need.
Disciplinary action and trade union representative
In the case where disciplinary action is being considered against an employee who is a trade union representative, the normal disciplinary policy will be followed. In accordance with the ACAS Code of Conduct, the head teacher will discuss the matter at an early stage with an official employed by the union, after obtaining the employee’s agreement.
Suspension is a neutral act and is not disciplinary action. The head teacher may suspend an employee from duty on full pay at a formal meeting called for the purpose. The employee will be given an opportunity, wherever possible, for a colleague or trade union representative to be present. Suspension will result from any suspicion or allegation of gross misconduct, and will be on full pay and from all performance of duties. A written record confirming the suspension will be provided to the employee within three working days of the suspension. Unless the employee has specific written permission from the head teacher, the employee may not be present on any part of the school/academy site during the time of the suspension. A suspended employee should be assigned a contact officer who should be a senior member of staff not involved with the case. The contact officer will review the suspension at regular intervals (every two weeks where appropriate) and advise the employee of progress with the case.
Definitions of misconduct and gross misconduct
Misconduct is where an employee breaks specific rules about behaviour or conduct. It is where conduct falls below expected standards and is usually wilful. There may be occasions when negligent conduct amounts to misconduct. Breaches of reasonable conduct at work can take many forms. Consideration will always be given to the particular circumstances.
Gross misconduct is misconduct which is so serious it may destroy the employment contract between the employer and the employee, and make further working relationships and trust impossible. Some gross misconduct breaches of discipline may be regarded as serious enough to warrant summary dismissal without reference to any prior warnings.
Where possible, potential disciplinary issues should be resolved informally by drawing the employee's attention to the perceived unsatisfactory conduct, discussing the situation and the standards of conduct that are required, and agreeing an appropriate way forward, including any improvement required.
Informal action may often be a more satisfactory way of dealing with a breach of rules than a disciplinary meeting if it takes the form of a discussion with the objective of encouraging and helping the employee. Informal discussion must not turn into a disciplinary meeting and warnings will not be given and recorded.
Consideration should be given to any difficulties that an employee may be facing and a genuine attempt should be made to help the employee to overcome them. Where considered appropriate, managers should seek professional medical opinion and advice when managing staff who may be suffering from mental illness, alcohol or substance abuse.
No formal disciplinary action will be taken without a prompt and appropriate investigation into the circumstances.
The head teacher will nominate an investigating officer who is a senior member of staff and who should normally have received relevant training. Where the allegations are against the head teacher, the chair of the governing body will discuss the case with the school/academy and an independent investigating officer will be nominated.
The investigating officer will write to the employee at the earliest opportunity and give the following information:
The investigating officer will promptly carry out a full, thorough, comprehensive and unbiased investigation into the allegations in as timely a manner as the circumstances will allow. Care will be taken to ensure that, where appropriate, evidence is also sought from employees who may be supportive of the employee’s case. This will involve the gathering of all relevant evidence from the relevant parties and an investigation meeting with the employee.
The investigation report should be completed as soon as possible and within 15 working days for allegations of misconduct and other cases where the fact finding is relatively straightforward. For allegations of gross misconduct and more complex cases, the investigation process should take no longer than 20 working days. In very complex cases or exceptional circumstances, a reasonable timescale will be agreed by mutual consent.
The investigation may require employees and witnesses to be interviewed to establish the facts. Employees should be given notice of at least five working days in advance of any investigation meetings/interviews. Witnesses should be advised to
seek advice as appropriate. Minutes of these meetings will be taken and agreed with the employee as a true record.
The role of the investigating officer is to gather evidence and produce a report that will recommend whether:
If other areas of concern arise during the process that require further investigation, the investigating officer will adjourn the meeting/investigation in order to undertake this.
If there is no case to answer, the matter will be closed, the employee informed in writing and all documentation removed from the employee’s file. If the matter does not warrant a disciplinary hearing, the head teacher may arrange counselling or take informal action. If on completion of the investigation the investigating officer is satisfied that the alleged misconduct warrants a hearing, s/he will inform the employee and a disciplinary hearing will be arranged.
In the case of the head teacher, the investigating officer will submit a report to the employer with a copy to the chair of governors. The employer and the chair of governors will decide if any further action is required and whether there needs to be a formal hearing convened with the governing body. The employer will be represented on the panel.
Persons directly involved in the investigative process may present a case or appear as a witness, but may not give advice to, nor sit on, the subsequent disciplinary hearing panel.
The employee will be notified in writing (by registered post and email) of the following:
The employee should be notified that if they wish to call witnesses or to provide relevant paperwork, this should be provided to the head teacher/chair of the panel as appropriate, at least two working days prior to the hearing.
The school/academy will make provision for any reasonable adjustments to accommodate the needs of a person with disabilities at the meeting. The school/academy must be informed of requirements at least two working days before the hearing.
If the employee’s chosen representative is not able to attend, an employee may offer a reasonable alternative time within five working days of the original date, unless mutually agreed otherwise.
The head teacher will hear the case. If they have been directly involved in procedures leading to the disciplinary action, have instigated a proposal to dismiss,
or are a witness of particular conduct giving grounds for the disciplinary action in question (or where the head teacher is being considered for disciplinary action). the initial decision is delegated to a panel of at least three governors. In the case of the head teacher being considered for disciplinary action, a member of the employer body must be on the panel.
If the employee fails to attend the hearing, the case will be heard in their absence, unless acceptable reasons have been presented in advance and it is therefore agreed to postpone the hearing to a later date.
It is for the head teacher/chair of the panel to decide whether late evidence from either side is acceptable. The views of both parties should be sought when considering the late admission of evidence, and the head teacher/chair should consider the fairness and reasonableness when making their decision. If the late evidence accepted is in written form, it would be usual to allow a brief adjournment for reading the document/s.
The head teacher/chair must ensure that the employee receives a fair and impartial hearing, is encouraged to be represented or accompanied, is allowed to present his/her case or have it presented, and is allowed to bring witnesses and to question the management case presenter and any management witnesses.
Procedure for a hearing
Minutes should be taken by the clerk to the governing body or another suitable person arranged by the school/academy. Copies of all minutes should be circulated to all parties as soon after the hearing as possible.
Once the head teacher/panel have heard the case and are satisfied that all relevant evidence has been provided, they will consider all the facts of the case, whether these constitute unacceptable conduct and what the level of sanction should be, if any. All parties, other than the note taker and the assigned human resources (HR) officer advising the head teacher/panel, shall withdraw taking all personal belongings when the consideration of evidence is undertaken.
If the panel decides there has been no unacceptable conduct, they will call the employee back to inform them that there is no case to answer and that all record of the process will be removed from the file.
If the panel consider that unacceptable conduct has taken place, they will call the employee and their representative back into the room to let them know and to ask if there is any mitigation.
Before deciding what disciplinary sanction to impose, if any, the head teacher/panel should also consider whether the employee has been subject to any previous disciplinary action and whether any warnings are still current.
The decision of the hearing will be announced at the close of the hearing whenever possible. This may be varied by mutual agreement, especially if the decision-making process is likely to take some time. The head teacher or chair of the panel will confirm the decision in writing within two working days of the hearing.
The possible actions arising from a disciplinary hearing are:
Where a final written warning is issued during the term of a first written warning, the duration of the final written warning will supersede that of the first written warning.
Upon expiry, the warning will be removed from an employee’s personnel file except for warnings relating to the safety and welfare of children or young people.
The written notification will include the following information:
An employee can appeal against any formal disciplinary action. The appeal must be made in writing to the chair of governors within 15 working days of receipt of the decision letter.
Appeals against the fairness and reasonableness of any disciplinary action may be considered by the appeals panel in relation to one or more of the following grounds:
Wherever possible the appeal should be heard within 20 working days of the lodging of the appeal, and the employee should have at least ten working days’ notice of the appeal hearing.
The appeals panel should be formed from the governing body with a quorum of three.
No member of the disciplinary hearing panel shall be a member of the appeal panel.
All documentation presented to the hearing, together with the decision of the head teacher/chair of the panel, as well as any subsequent correspondence, must be made available to the appeal hearing panel. Any new evidence should be copied to all parties at least five working days before the appeal hearing.
Dismissal and notice periods are effective from the initial dismissal decision. Should the appeal be successful, reinstatement will also be from the original date with no break in employment continuity.
The appeal panel will deliberate in private, paying particular attention to any new evidence that has been introduced by the employee as well as hearing representations from both management and the employee or representative, in order to determine whether the decision of the hearing was fair and reasonable in view of the evidence available. The appeal panel cannot increase the disciplinary sanction.
The decision of the appeal panel is final and binding on all parties.
Minutes of the appeal hearing will be taken by the clerk to governors or another suitable person, as arranged by the school/academy. Copies of the notes will be circulated to all parties within two working days of the hearing.
Sometimes an employee may raise a grievance during the course of a disciplinary case. Where this happens, and depending on the circumstances, it may be appropriate to suspend the disciplinary policy for a short period until the grievance can be considered. The school may need to consider bringing in another manager to continue to hear the disciplinary case.
Alleged criminal offences
The case of an employee charged with, or convicted of, a criminal offence should not normally in itself be a reason for disciplinary action. Consideration must be given to what affect the charge or conviction has on the employee’s suitability to do the job and their relationship with the school/academy and work colleagues. The disciplinary policy will only be instigated where there are reasonable grounds for believing that the nature of the activities is sufficiently serious to have an adverse effect on the ability of, or confidence in, the employee to carry out his/her duties properly.
Where an employee is alleged to have committed a criminal offence and police investigations are underway, disciplinary proceedings must be handled carefully and in accordance with police instructions so as not to interfere in the police investigation.
Managers and panels must keep written records of meetings and discussions relating to the disciplinary process. Copies of all final meeting records must be given to employees. Written confirmation of the outcome of any meetings will be sent to the employee for their information and a copy kept on the employee’s personnel file. Upon expiry, any warning will be removed from the employee’s personnel file except for warnings relating to the safety and welfare of children or young people.
To ensure that we are meeting our public sector equality duty, we will monitor annually the impact of this policy by reference to the protected characteristics of staff (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation). The results will be shared (anonymised where appropriate) with the recognised trade unions.