Since the decision of the Court of Appeal in Murphy v Slough Borough Council  ICR 721 it was believed that employees of schools with devolved budgets could only be disciplined by their schools and not by the local authority. The recent decision of Supperstone J in Davies v London Borough of Haringey  EWHC 3393 (QB) challenges this orthodoxy.
The High Court decided that the Regulations governing staffing of schools leave it open to both the school and the local authority to exercise disciplinary powers over an employee.
Further, in this case, a school teacher who had been released from her duties to concentrate full-time on union activities was found to have agreed to a variation of her contract so that she had become ‘centrally employed’ by the local authority and was no longer within the schools remit.
Adam Ohringer of Cloisters Chambers was junior counsel for Ms Davies, instructed by Bridget Dolan from the National Union of Teachers.