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Trade Union Facility Time
A school is legally required to allow reasonable paid time off for a union representative to undertake specific union duties. Representatives may be allowed unpaid time off for other Trade Union activities. Further information can be found in DfE’s guidance note at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/trade-union-facility-time-in-schools.
The above guidance note explains the legislative background, and the relevant duties for which paid time off should be given. It also provides a link to the results of a call for evidence on the operation of trade union facility time in schools, which gives examples of good practice.
In maintained schools in Newcastle the Schools forum has agreed to fund Trade Union Facility Time through De-Delegation - this means agreed funding has been passed back to the Local Authority to manage a centralised facility time arrangement for the community of schools in Newcastle. This arrangement covers locally maintained schools only and excludes foundation special schools and academies who cannot agree to de-delegation. It is therefore up to these categories of schools to elect to 'buy in' to the arrangement if they so choose and benefit from the centralised arrangement.
The Local Authority advocates centralised arrangements for Trade Union Facility time and believes these arrangements to be conducive to effective and efficient employee relations management.
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