An Opportunity to Experience a Mock Employment Tribunal

  • As a school leader or governance lead, have you ever wondered what  happens at an employment tribunal?
  • How prepared would you be if an employment related issue progressed to the tribunal stage?
  • Do you know what steps can you take to avoid a time consuming and expensive claim?
  • Would you know how to defend a claim if it came to it?

We know School and Trust Leaders, and those responsible for their governance, take their employer responsibilities very seriously and are keen to ensure their practices are proactive, fair and thorough. However, inevitably some difficult and complex staffing issues can arise. In those situations, leaders need to be able to quickly analyse the situation, assess the risks and have access to professional support to formulate a strategic response.

The complexities of employment law in schools and MATs is increasingly wide ranging and complicated. This situation has been compounded by various reforms and frequent changes to legislation, contributing to more cases progressing to employment tribunals on issues relating to discrimination, protected characteristics or unfair dismissal.

Learners First is delighted to be working with a specialist legal team from Irwin Mitchell and HR professionals from S4S to offer school leaders and chairs of trusts (or the chair of the governing body in LA maintained schools) a fully funded opportunity to experience a mock employment tribunal. This is a great professional development tool that will provide valuable experience of employment tribunal proceedings, what to expect and how best to prepare.

The interactive session will allow delegates to observe a role play of a realistic tribunal hearing, with discussion points throughout. The session will help leaders and governance professionals to better manage risk and make more informed decisions should they find themselves in such a situation.

The mock tribunal experience will cover:

  • The key legal tests that you must meet
  • What your role is in the employment tribunal process
  • What it’s like to be a witness and give evidence
  • How to prepare witnesses for the daunting experience of giving evidence
  • How your decisions will be scrutinised in a tribunal
  • What procedures you should adopt to stay legally compliant
  • When to seek legal or HR advice
  • The standard of proof required
  • What a ‘reasonable’ dismissal is
  • The documents you would need to support your case
  • The role the Judge plays and how they make decisions
  • The ACAS Code of Practice and how this is relevant to compensation
  • The arguments you can use to reduce the amount of compensation payable even if you lose the case

The session is designed for anyone working with the school, academy or MAT sector that is involved in hiring, managing or disciplining employees or making decisions about HR matters. The event will be particularly useful for CEOs, Headteachers, Chairs of Trust Boards, Chairs of Governing bodies (in maintained schools), chief operating officers, HR/business managers, line managers or anyone who may be required to attend an employment tribunal to give evidence.

The event is fully funded and will include lunch and refreshments.

Audience: Primary CEOs, Executive Heads, Head Teachers, Heads of School, Senior Leaders, Curriculum Leaders and/or Subject Leaders

To Book: To reserve a place please Click Here or visit the Learners First website.



NEW! Excellence Seminars: Achieving Excellence, Striving for Exceptional in ALL Schools 
in association with the National Association for Able Children in Education

Recent feedback from school and MAT leaders has highlighted an increasing focus on developing ‘excellence’ and ‘exceptional’ practices to help support and foster high levels of achievement, expectation and aspiration amongst pupils, staff and institutions alike. More broadly, it has also been referenced as an important factor in encouraging curiosity, developing character and promoting wider civic contributions. However, as a concept, ‘excellence’ can be difficult to define, articulate and therefore disseminate. Thus, over the coming months and into next academic year, Learners First will be facilitating a range of authentic and high quality networks and professional development opportunities to fully support these important ambitions and endeavours.

To commence, we are excited to offer these interconnected seminars designed to explore what ‘excellence’ really is, how it manifests and can be articulated within a school and MAT context (beyond Ofsted judgements), and examples of exceptional achievement in practice. The seminars will include inputs from serving trust and school leaders (both primary and secondary) with proven success in promoting, achieving and sustaining excellence in a range of settings and contexts (including those serving communities facing disproportionate disadvantage and challenge, schools which have required rapid improvement/ intervention, and schools which have consistently achieved high outcomes against different accountability frameworks)

See the associated flyer for guest facilitators and booking information.

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Creating the conditions to improve pupil participation and experience of success in their learning with Marc Rowland

EEF National Network of Research School advisor, government advisor for disadvantaged children, Author.

According to the DfE ‘Working Together to Improve Attendance’ (May 2022) ‘the barriers to accessing education are wide and complex, both within and beyond the school gates’. In the period of post pandemic recovery, schools continue to invest heavily in time and resources to improve attendance and reduce absence through a variety of explicit initiatives, extrinsic rewards for engagement and community outreach. However, how often do we hold up a mirror and consider the lived experience of our children and young people in our schools? How do pupils experience success in their learning and how do we know? And how do we secure pupils’ intrinsic motivation to participate fully in their learning experience? How do we control the controllables? Join us for an interactive, informative session reflecting on the latest research and practical insights and take-aways.

As part of a longstanding partnership, Learners First is delighted to welcome Marc Rowland, author, EEF National Network of Research School Advisor, government advisor for improving outcomes for disadvantaged learners, and leading national Pupil Premium expert to work with us during 2023/24 to help explore these themes. Through this enquiry based partnership work, these key questions (and others) along with the very latest research will be considered to explore how the experience of success at school can contribute to positive attendance, motivate, inspire, improve engagement and outcomes for all. An interactive, live webinar in October will launch this work which will be the first of two keynote events exploring the experience of success in learning.

  • Audience: Senior Leaders, Headteachers, Pastoral Leaders, teachers and support staff (all phases)
  • Cost: Fully funded for delegates from organisations subscribing to Learners First. For delegates from non-subscribing organisations, the fee is £60 per delegate.
  • To book: Click Here


Be sure to check out the English Hub professional development opportunities which aim to promote a love of reading and support schools across the country to provide excellent phonics and early language teaching.  This includes running events to showcase excellent practice in teaching reading and working with local schools to develop their practice.

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Our English Hub showcase events are practical, half day workshops designed to promote and share best practice in relation to the teaching of early language, reading and phonics. They have been carefully structured with inputs from school leaders, literacy and EYFS specialists and will include opportunities for lesson and teaching observations, action planning and facilitated, professional discussion.

The showcase events will consider implications for curriculum intent, implementation and impact as well as providing the opportunity for schools to find out more about the work of the English Hub and how their schools can access support, funding and further engagement.