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Gross misconduct for not social distancing outside school?

Discussion in 'Staff, pupil & parent's wellbeing' started by teacher1977, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. teacher1977

    teacher1977 New commenter

    A teacher at my school had a few other teachers From his school over in his garden for a bbq, not always social distancing. One teacher stayed over (in separate room). Head teacher was alerted by another member of staff, contacted HR, told him off and threatened it was gross misconduct. Was this a fair reaction? Should he have been sent him home to self isolate for 14 days if she was that concerned?
  2. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Seriously? Well Cummings got away with it.. Not sure if this is one of those spoof posts.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It is possible for a teacher (for any employee) to be disciplined for their conduct outside the workplace. The courts have upheld the rights of employers to do this quite regularly. Most cases reported are about employees activities on social media but in principle it could apply to what you are describing. Whether in this specific case it is Gross Misconduct we don't enough to say.

    It doesn't sound as if the head is taking any action under the school's Disciplinary Policy so nothing further should happen.

    I can't see what self-isolating has got to do with it. No-one who met has any symptoms, have they?
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. Abitofeverything

    Abitofeverything Occasional commenter

    If the punishment for having a barbie was 14 days off school, all teachers would be having them...
  5. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Well, they were breaking the current lockdown rules, and I can't help feeling that if your boss can't call you out on this one (when there is potential for increasing the risk in the school), then who can? I think it would be very harsh to take action, but it sounds like all they did was "had a word".
  6. Lakes1975

    Lakes1975 New commenter

    Have they contacted their union? Depends how difficult the school wants to be, but in short, yes, they could face dismissal.
  7. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    Was this while they weren't going into school because it was "too dangerous"?
  8. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    A bit of a telling off for all staff concerned seems about right.
    Sensible head to go for that rather than start disciplinary procedings.

    I assume the tattle tale was feeling miffed due to not being invited.
  9. neddyfonk

    neddyfonk Lead commenter

    If a school wants to enforce a rule it would have to be one or more of: A law, A clause in a contract of employment, A notice put on the notice board. The only other 'catchalls' would be violation of Nolans principles and bringing the school into disrepute.
  10. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    If these were teachers also currently in attendance at school for work I can easily see how this could represent gross misconduct because it could be seen as placing the entire school community at risk via each teacher who attended the BBQ. It takes one breach of distancing rules only to kickstart the process of viral spread. And the HT has to demonstrate duty of care to anybody in attendance in the school building by being reactive. Citing this as gross misconduct seems proportionate to me when you consider the people involved in the risk that was taken-an entire school community. Hundreds? Thousands?
    I'm not sure what is ambiguous about that.

    The issue I do have with the story is that gross misconduct was stated but not followed through with a disciplinary. (yet?) Bluster much.

    Actually-I don't really understand the meaning of "told him off and threatened it was Gross Misconduct", because we do not know the consequence of this statement, or the meaning of "threatened".
    Fizzbuzz1 likes this.
  11. ajc89

    ajc89 Occasional commenter

    Nothing wrong with 1 person staying over if they are both single household people?
  12. install

    install Star commenter

    U ion
    Union. The teacher complaining to the Head and the Head are out of order imho.

    The teacher does not need to explain themselves to the ht here in my view- unless it was during normal school working hrs.
  13. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    Head getting far too big for their boots.

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