Advice to Headteacher Members

Created on: 19 Aug 2022 | Last modified: 04 Sep 2023

It is important to note that while it is not the duty of a Headteacher to carry out certain duties within the school there is a requirement to supervise, within the resources available, certain duties of other members of staff.

The following specific advice is therefore offered.

  1. During periods of industrial action, the Headteacher should only take responsibility for the physical opening of the school in the following circumstances:
    1. where an absolute instruction has been given by the education authority; and
    2. where adequate arrangements are in place to ensure that the buildings are left secure at the end of the school day; and
    3. where the Headteacher, prior to the notification of the dispute, is an official keyholder for the authority; and
    4. where the Headteacher is satisfied that arrangements for ensuring the security and safety of all in the building can be maintained.
  2. The Headteacher must not request or instruct other members of staff to perform duties normally carried out by staff engaged in industrial action. However, any health and safety issue which arises during the course of the day must be reported immediately to the Education Department.
  3. Should arrangements for the provision of cleaning services, heating, hot water, sanitation or school meals be affected by the industrial action and if the school has not been closed to pupils and/or staff as a consequence, further consideration should be given to sending pupils/other staff home.