Hot weather conditions in prep rooms

It is usually accepted that people work best at a temperature between 16°C and 24°C, although this can vary depending on the kind of work being done. There are no specific legal maximum working temperatures for schools. However, there are some sources of legal protection for school staff and pupils:

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires employers to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their staff and others present in the workplace (eg pupils), thereby providing a need to seek to protect against excessive working temperatures. 

Access this article in full on our TecHKnow Wiki here...

We're all going on a summer holiday

Its summer holiday time. The preprooms across UK are now organised, cleaned, you've followed all of the CLEAPSS guidelines, and locked up for the Summer holidays. We on TecHKnow will be enjoying our holidays as well. From time to time, between the hot weather, our outdoor swimming pool, cold beer, family trips to the coast and not forgetting barbeques we will try to drop by and check on what is happening here. Honestly.

From all us on TecHKnow enjoy your summer break. We will remain open for anyone who, for any reason, wants to drop by for a chat. 

Paid holiday leave entitlement debate settled

Huge win for UK workers!  All workers will now receive the same minimum level of paid annual holiday leave, regardless of how many hours they work, thanks to a case brought by UNISON in the UK Supreme Court
The judgment will particularly affect agency, part-time and term-time workers including thousands of school support staff.
Now it will no longer be possible for employers to argue staff who don’t work all year are only entitled to holiday based on the hours they work. Today’s decision is also good news for anyone working irregular hours or on zero-hours contracts.

The Rail Strike

This week sees one of the biggest Rail Striiles for nearly 30 years. If you are unable to get into work because you are affected by the Tube strike, what are your rights?

Remember, you don’t have a legal right to be paid for working time you have missed missed due to travel disruption. It is a good idea for you to discuss and agree as soon as possible how any missing time will be treated. Normally your school or college workplace should have a policy on this. it may reflect something similar to very bad weather like snow. For example, taking extra days as holiday, unpaid leave or paid special leave. 

Can I be disciplined for failure to turn into work during strike action?

The answer is yes. However, disciplinary action would rely on two points. First of all that you failed to tell your employer in advance that you would be unable to make it into work. Secondly that you did not make a reasonable attempt to try and get into work by some other means. The term reasonable is crucial here, because if you could not make it into work by eg.,  car share, taxi or even by bus, then your employer should be sympathetic to your situation. However, bringing this early to your schoole principal is strongly advisable.

Should you find that you are subject to disciplinary action then contact your Trade Union rep as soon as possible for advice and representation.

New CLEAPSS online training - Health & Safety for Science Technicians

This is an unmediated self-study course consisting of 4 video presentations interspersed with diy tasks.  

For further details please click here
After completing the course you may wish to sign up to our follow-on live online H&S course.

The NTDC third annual Photo competition

The NTDC (National Technician Development Centre) are holding their third annual Photo Competition – sponsored by Henry Royce Institute and Scientific Laboratory Supplies (SLS)

This year they want to celebrate the hard work of Technicians by showcasing some of their greatest achievements.

The NTDC are offering bigger, better prizes and the winners will be announced in person at their Partner Forum Event on September 8th 2022. They are looking for Technicians to showcase some work that they are proud of, big or small, we want to celebrate it!

Details of how to enter can be found here……

Applications are already opened. The closing date for this competition will be 31st August 2022.

The winner of the competition will receive £300 and a ticket to the NTDC Partner Forum (September 8th 2022) to collect a framed version of their photograph.

Two runners up will receive £200 each and a ticket to the NTDC Partner Forum (September 8th 2022).

UNISON and Labour highlight the importance of school support staff

UNISON and the shadow education secretary, Bridget Phillipson, have today released a joint statement at the union’s school support staff seminar.

The statement highlights the vital role that school support staff have played during the pandemic, the woeful response of the government to the cost of living crisis, and reinforced UNISON and Labour’s belief that school support staff need to be ‘front and centre of the future school system’....[UNISON May 2002 - Read more here..]

The Brexit Conundrum

Since Brexit, voluntary grammar schools in Northern Ireland have been finding it increasingly difficult to purchase goods from educational companys on the UK Mainland. The Educational companys are requesting from the Voluntary Grammar School an EORI number.

EORI stands for “Economic Operators Registration and Identification number”.

Educational Companys and Schools wishing to trade must use the EORI number as an identification number in all customs procedures when exchanging information with Customs administrations.

To get an EORI number your School would be paying Tax on the goods and both sender and receiver need to demonstrate that the goods will not pass across any kind of border into the EU. The problem for Voluntary grammar Schools is that because of the way they manage their finances they do not pay tax on goods bought at the time of purchasing. Therefore they cannot get an EORI number.

Keeping The politics to a bare minimum, the fallout from brexit has caused a hard border (down the middle of the Irish Sea) since the European Union and the UK need to control their borders for customs purposes. Where that border exists is currently subject to intense anger and political dogma.

So when some schools in Northern Ireland place an order for certain products with a company on Mainland Britain, the company will not send out the order unless the school has this EORNI number.
Are you affected by this problem? If so, what steps do you take to get around it? Let us know on our comments section of the Forums.