Quarterly Breakfast Briefing for School Leaders | COVID-19 Absences, Infection Control and Preparing for Inspections

Created specifically for education leaders by those who support them on a daily basis, this free seminar will provide a helpful update on the key issues impacting the sector right now, answer common queries currently being asked by schools, and help you to manage staff and maintain safety and compliance.

10 February at 09:30

In our first Breakfast Briefing of 2022, we’ll be exploring everything school leaders need to know in order to manage sickness and absence amidst a surge in Omicron cases, plus the immediate health and safety issues facing schools this term, including ongoing infection control and preparing for external inspections.


Managing sickness and absence

According to union reports, one in three school leaders are experiencing staff absence levels of over 10% as a result of rising Omicron cases, and it’s predicted that school staff sickness rates will skyrocket to around 25% of all staff in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, with new HSE statistics revealing that there were 83,000 work-related cases of stress, depression or anxiety in the education sector in 2021 – a rate significantly higher than the all-industry average – mental health problems are further adding to absence rates. These sorts of absences, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic, can challenge even the most experienced people leaders, who will want to respect the needs of the employee without increasing the load on their colleagues.

With schools “teetering on the edge” with “considerable” staff shortages, the first half of this session will provide a timely reminder of best practice to help you ensure absent employees are managed fairly and effectively. We’ll also share what schools can do to support an employee’s return to work.


Infection control and preparing for inspections

With schools currently remaining open during the current wave, the second part of this session will take a closer look at the importance of ongoing infection control, including COVID-19 management.

And if continuing to deal with the challenges of a global pandemic wasn’t enough, the government has recently announced plans to have all schools and further education providers inspected by summer 2025, “to give a quicker assessment of how well education is recovering from the pandemic”. With this in mind, we’ll be explaining the preparatory steps your organisation should take now to ensure your next external inspection goes smoothly.

Finally, as we get further into winter, and in the aftermath of the destruction caused by storms Arwen and Barra, we’ll be touching on tree safety and the importance to not only your organisation, but to your local community.


Led by solicitor and Head of our Education Team, Jane Hallas, Principal Health & Safety Consultant Scott Crichton, and HR Consultant Simon Bellard, this free one-hour seminar will cover:

  • How to fairly and effectively manage sickness and absence
  • How to deal with sensitive or difficult situations, such as stress-related absence
  • Infection control and management
  • Preparing for external inspections
  • Keeping trees on your organisation’s grounds safe for all
  • Live Q&A

There will be an opportunity to put questions to our experts during the session, so we invite you to think about your urgent queries ahead of time. This webinar is free to attend – to register, please complete the form opposite.

Register below

Meet the Education specialists

Jane Hallas
Head of Team and Solicitor
Scott Crichton
Principal Health & Safety Consultant
Simon Bellard
HR Consultant

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