When is a School Investigation necessary?

November 1st, 2018

The majority of matters that arise in a school can be resolved informally and quickly. However, if an informal resolution is not possible, then an investigation may be necessary, especially if formal action is anticipated.

Common situations that will often require an investigation include:

  • potential disciplinary matters against an employee
  • receiving a grievance from an employee/parent
  • allegations of bullying and harassment or breaches of the School’s Code of Conduct.

Why is a properly conducted investigation important?

Investigations are an essential part of handling certain matters within a school. In potential disciplinary investigations a flawed or incomplete investigation can undermine the disciplinary process and leave employers vulnerable to claims for unfair dismissal.

If an employer dismisses an employee, they must be able to show that they:

  • genuinely believed that misconduct had occurred
  • had reasonable grounds for this belief
  • had arrived at this belief after a reasonable investigation.

For a dismissal to be fair an employer must be able to show that they came to their decision as a result of a fair and thorough investigation.
Investigations are just as important when a grievance has been raised. Where the grievance is not upheld, the evidence collected during the investigation can be used to explain the reasons behind this and show an employee that their grievance was taken seriously.

If you would like help with an investigation please contact: Cathy Brearley – Head of HR at: or call us on 020 8241 5483

Check our courses page for the next Octavo investigation skills training course.

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