With the exception of peripatetic teachers and those employed in specific cross-school roles, teachers are generally required to move between sites when working on split-site schools, or to attend training/meetings at another school.
Schools operating on split sites present specific health and safety issues, particularly where road transport is required to traverse between the sites, and you should ensure that movements have been adequately risk assessed by the employer.
If you are required to move between school sites, you should:
not be required to move between sites during the school day, wherever possible;
have sufficient directed time built into the timetable to allow for any movements to occur within the school day, through additional non-contact periods;
not be expected to move in either break or lunchtimes or PPA periods; and
not be expected to transport equipment or resources and, where this is required, trained staff should be deployed to do so.
If you require public transport to move between sites, this should be risk assessed and transport may need to be provided – you should not be expected to use your own car and the NASUWT would advise members not to do so. You must never transport pupils in your car, unless you are in a critical emergency situation.
If you are using your own car, this is a legitimate business expense and should be reimbursed at the maximum rate allowed under HMRC rules.
Where there are substantial numbers of teachers and other staff driving between sites, the employer should consider providing a minibus shuttle. Depending on the numbers moving, this could represent savings for the employer over individual expense claims and is a more environmentally sustainable method of transport.
If teachers car share between sites, an additional 5p per mile per passenger can be claimed as a legitimate expense and your employer should make this facility available.
Sessions on another site
Many schools engage in pooled training activities or meetings, whereby teachers from a number of schools come together at a single school or other venue.
If you are required to attend another site:
the session must form part of directed time;
adequate travelling time should be built in to timetables, if applicable, or after the end of the school day;
travelling time and any additional time incurred on the journey home should also be part of directed time;
for teachers based at the host school, any trapped time between the end of the school day and the start of a session should also form part of directed time; and
travelling expenses should be met by the employer at the maximum rate allowed by HMRC, or transport provided by the employer.
The travel requirements of disabled teachers and pregnant teachers must also be taken into account. If affected, you should ensure adequate risk assessments are undertaken by the employer.
As above, if teachers car share to the meeting, an additional 5p per mile per passenger can be claimed as a legitimate expense.
If you use your own cars to move between sites, you must have business cover on your insurance. Normally, this is a free addition to the policy. However, if extra charges are incurred, these should be met by the employer.
If you are disabled, the employer must give special consideration to your needs, especially, but not exclusively, if you have mobility issues. In these cases, it is possible that ensuring you have a permanent base on one site could be considered a reasonable adjustment and it could therefore be discriminatory to require you to move between different sites.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, the employer must give special consideration to your needs.
Legislation requires that a risk assessment is carried out in respect of pregnant employees and is regularly reviewed in consultation with the employee. Part of the risk assessment must focus on the physical environment in which you teach and consideration must be given as to the appropriateness of your teaching location(s), particularly in regard to access to sanitary and rest facilities.
NASUWT Health and Safety Representative
The NASUWT Health and Safety Representative can be a valuable source of advice and assistance for this, or any other health and safety matter, and every school should have a NASUWT Health and Safety Representative.
If your school does not have a NASUWT Health and Safety Representative, have you considered becoming one? Full free training is provided, for which your school is legally obliged to allow you to attend, which will give you the knowledge and skills required.
You also have a legal entitlement to carry out your role. This can form part of your performance management objectives, including performing a whole-school role. It is also a uniquely rewarding role, which allows you to work in partnership with school management and members to make a real and tangible difference to their working lives. For more information, contact the NASUWT as detailed below.
If you require additional advice, or your concerns have not been addressed by your school management, please contact your Local Association and National Executive Member or Regional Centre for further assistance.
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