School Business Managers warned about employment law issues

Over 40 School Business Managers and Finance Directors attending a free event held by the specialist education team from chartered accountants and business advisors, Whitley Stimpson Ltd, were provided with invaluable advice on current employment law issues to help prevent their schools and Academies from being at risk.  

Whitley Stimpson’s first Academies Brunch Club (ABC) of 2015 saw guest speaker Matthew Wolton, of Clark Holt Commercial Solicitors, provide an overview of legal obligations and the practical consequences surrounding shared parental leave, discrimination, social media and disqualification from providing childcare.

Following Department for Education statutory guidance (issued in February 2015) in relation to the Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009 it can be an offence for a school or Academy to employ someone who is associated with a disqualified person.

Matthew Wolton explained: “Academies need to ensure all staff are aware of the legislation, in addition to gathering sufficient and accurate information about relevant staff and people who live or work in their household, for example a flat mate or regularly employed cleaner or gardener.  If these obligations are ignored by schools and Academies, they could be employing staff to provide childcare who are disqualified due to their own actions or by association.”

Whitley Stimpson’s education team also welcomed the return of guest speaker Jennifer Jewitt, Finance Director of South Hunsley School, who provided a journey through some of the challenges she has faced in her role over the last year such as budget setting and the impact of curriculum changes, risk management, sourcing additional grant funding and the issues to consider in becoming or moving into a Multi-Academy Trust.

Andy Jones, Education Services Director at Whitley Stimpson, said: “Our ABC events are proving very popular as we have created a platform for School Business Managers and Finance Directors to receive expert advice alongside an informed discussion on current issues that could make a significant impact to the running of a successful Academy.  We would like to thank our guest speakers and look forward to announcing further details about our July ABC event later this year.”

The next ABC event will take place on Wednesday 8 July at Banbury Cricket Club and will provide a practical guide to help School Business Managers, Finance Directors and Finance Governors in preparing for year-end accounts and audit process.

Whitley Stimpson’s specialist education team work with and advise over 70 Academies, covering sponsored Academies, converter Academies, SEN Academies, single and mixed phase Multi-Academy Trusts and Free Schools, providing a comprehensive range of financial and governance support and advice.

Please contact academies@whitleystimpson.co.uk to book a free place at the July event or visit whitleystimpson.co.uk for details of Whitley Stimpson’s Education Services. 

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Whitley Stimpson’s education team and Matthew Wolton of Clark Holt Commercial Solicitors at Whitley Stimpson’s April ABC event.