Page 18 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 18

   From Manchester High pupil to BBC ‘dragon’; Jenny Campbell (right) with Claire Hewitt, Head Mistress (left) and students
 Latest dragon returns to school
Tycoon masterclass
Digby, Lord Jones of Birmingham Kt. was the distinguished
speaker at a Guest Masterclass
at Bromsgrove School. Old Bromsgrovian and Head Boy, Lord Jones attended Bromsgrove School from 1966–1974
and went on to read Law at University College, London.
Lord Jones has spent a hugely successful career in Business, serving as the Director General of the CBI and Minister of State for Trade and Investment.
In 2011, Lord Jones published his  rst book Fixing Britain:
The Business of Reshaping Our Nation which was shortlisted
for the 2012 CMI Management Book of the Year. In 2017 Fixing Business: Making Pro table Business Work for the Good of All, was published.
Lord Jones is an active
public speaker at events and engagements all over the UK and overseas, ful lling his vision of promoting socially inclusive
wealth creation and  ghting for business and reform of public services. He champions the UK’s role in the world as a home of global competitiveness.
The Headmaster, Peter Clague (pictured with Digby, Lord Jones), said “Lord Jones gave a barnstorming address that was witty and insightful. It was a tour de force, deftly explaining the political and social upheavals of the complex world that our pupils are inheriting. He also spoke eloquently of the power
of education to transform lives, a message made more powerful by the fact that he attributes his own stellar career to his good fortune at being a Foundation Scholar at Bromsgrove School.”
Jenny Campbell, the latest investor to join the panel of hit show, Dragons’ Den, was back in the North West last month (September) as she returned to speak at her former school, Manchester High School for Girls.
The business entrepreneur had
a frank message for the girls as she told of her rise from humble bank cashier to multimillionaire, “You have to make it happen for yourself.”
Jenny took the opportunity of speaking with parents to remind them that university isn’t necessarily the only route to success for their
daughter. She commented, “There was a point where, as a country,
we went too far in pushing all our young people to university. I’m proof that it can work out just as well, if not better, if you do your own thing.
“Granted there was once a time
in the corporate world where if
you didn’t have a degree you’d be treated as a second class citizen,
but the global recession changed
all that and the tide has turned. Employers and investors, like myself, are looking for people with the right attitude and aptitude in spades. We can train and teach you the rest on the job.”
 Legal Brie ng
Is suspension really a neutral act?
The High Court in the case of Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth has recently handed down the judgment on an appeal from a teacher who was suspended following an incident involving physical force towards 2 children at the school she worked at. The teacher resigned the same day
and brought a claim for breach
of contract. The county court dismissed this claim on the basis that the school was not only entitled to but bound to suspend her on the basis of the allegations made by colleagues. Further, the friendly tone of her resignation letter was used to evidence the fact there has been no breach of trust and con dence in her relationship with the school.
conducted fairly. However, there was nothing to explain why this required her to not be present in the school. Further, the teacher had expressed her concerns over the children in question and
had told management she was struggling to deal with their behaviour. A plan had been put in place to help her but had not yet been fully implemented when she was suspended.
This case con rmed what the courts have been saying for years; that suspension should not be a knee-jerk reaction. Even in the presence of evidence supporting an investigation, employers should be careful not to automatically place members of staff on suspension at the risk of breaching their duty of trust and con dence. This supports the Statutory Guidance provided by the Secretary of State in 2012 for schools and head teachers which clearly states that suspension
should not be the default position and should only be used when there is no reasonable alternative.
The courts have long taken a stance that suspension is not the neutral act that employers claim it to be. Suspension can be extremely demoralising and isolating for the individual. Removing them from their work casts doubt over their competence and brings attention to an investigation which might ultimately  nd that the employee is not guilty of misconduct. Suspension must therefore only
be used in cases where there is no alternative and where the presence of the employee could put others, the business or the investigation
at risk.
This case also highlighted that appropriate action to help the teacher deal with the two pupils should have been taken before suspension or disciplinary action was considered. Employment
Tribunals have stated that employers who are governed by a regulatory body will be held to a higher standard of reasonableness given that the employee in question may not only lose their job but also their ability to pursue their chosen career path. This undoubtedly includes avoiding suspension where possible.
 The High Court took a different
view, allowing the appeal. The
letter advising the teacher of her
suspension stated that it was to
ensure the investigation could be
Donald MacKinnon, Director of Legal Services Email or call 0141 271 5555
 18 Legal & Business

   16   17   18   19   20