2019 Spring Term 1

The know zone

  • Contextual safeguarding
    ASCL Parliamentary and Inclusion Specialist Anna Cole details a new framework set to transform the way professionals approach safeguarding young people. More
  • Framework focus
    Response to the broad direction of change for Ofsted inspections has been positive but it will take time to develop curriculum and assessment expertise, says Stephen Rollett. More
  • Be prepared
    Incidents of cyber fraud are on the rise and schools and colleges are not immune to this type of crime. Here ASCL Specialist Hayley Dunn highlights steps leaders and their staff can take to mitigate the risks. More
  • Retirement planning tips
    Whatever stage of life you're at, now is a good time to check whether you are on track to enjoy a comfortable retirement, says Managing Director of Lighthouse Financial Advice Ltd Lee Barnard. More
  • Time out
    The use of isolation rooms/booths in schools has featured in the media recently. What are your views? Do they work? Do you use them in your school? Here, ASCL members share their views. More
  • We're here for you
    ASCL Hotline Leader Rachel Bertenshaw provides an overview of our dedicated Hotline service available to members all year around. More
  • FYI: TLA's are our USP...
    FTU (For the uninitiated), the headline is suggesting that the teaching profession is revelling in its usage of three-letter acronyms, AKA TLAs. Carl Smith wonders if this trend has yet to go OTT or if we should desist PDQ. More
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ASCL Hotline Leader Rachel Bertenshaw provides an overview of our dedicated Hotline service available to members all year around.

We’re here for you

ASCL provides a telephone helpline to support members with their employment. Staffed by a highly experienced team of former senior leaders, it is available from 9am to 5pm on weekdays and for urgent calls at weekends and bank holidays. 

The majority of calls taken by the Hotline are about members’ own conditions of service and matters that could be putting their employment at risk, including: 

  • capability and disciplinary 
  • restructuring, with the risk of redundancy 
  • adverse conditions of service 
  • serious ill health, both physical and mental 
  • allegations of misconduct and/or police investigations 

On taking a call from a member, one of our Hotline Officers will assess if the support of our Regional or Field Officers is required, and, if so, the appropriate officer will then contact the member to offer guidance and representation, together with possible access to the ASCL Legal Team if necessary. 

We are also able to assist with education-related issues that members deal with as a result of their own employment. In most instances, our Hotline Team can provide the information needed, however, we also have a team of ASCL Specialists who can offer guidance on many aspects of education, including: 

  • inspections and accountability 
  • curriculum and assessment 
  • funding 
  • pay, conditions and employment 
  • post-16 
  • lbusiness leadership 
  • independent schools 
  • pensions 
  • primary 
  • leadership and governance 
  • data 
  • inclusion 
  • safeguarding 
  • health and safety 

This list is not exhaustive, and we are always available on the other end of the phone ready to listen and help you where we can, no matter what your enquiry. Perhaps you don’t know who to talk to about a situation at your school or college, or perhaps you just need to talk over an issue with someone who has been in a leadership position like you; either way, we are here. Our Hotline service is completely confidential, and we would never pass on any information that you share with us without your prior permission. 

Members often contact us with queries about management of staff, and although we are happy to discuss these issues with you, we are not indemnified to offer a HR service, and you should seek advice on this from your own external HR provider. The same will be true of legal issues affecting schools and colleges – our Legal Team is only able to offer advice to members about their own personal employment. 

If you move on to a new position, we can help you by looking through your new contract. Our Contract Checking Service is provided by our Legal Team and is accessed via our Hotline. We would strongly advise you to take advantage of this: our in-house solicitors will draw your attention to anything in your contract that you should be particularly aware of or that you might want to query. 

In most instances, members contact us via telephone to discuss an issue, however, we do also receive a number of emails, especially if members have a particularly detailed query. If you need to get in touch with us by email, send a message to hotline@ascl.org.uk and please remember to include a contact number for yourself (preferably your mobile number), so we can call you back. Please also note, we usually request that you do not have your phone on speakerphone as our advice is both personal and confidential.

Key figures for the Autumn term 2018

Our Hotline dealt with 2,203 enquiries from members.

That’s 30-40 calls each school day on average.

The main topics of the enquiries related to conditions of service and disciplinary/capability issues.

Contacting the Hotline

ASCL members who are concerned about leadership issues should call 0116 299 1122 or email hotline@ascl.org.uk

Whatever the issue, we're here to help

Rachel Bertenshaw is ASCL Hotline Leader

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