Children and young people will not benefit from minimum service levels

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has today published a response to the planned introduction of minimum service levels (MSLs) in the education sector.
The proposed legislation, which ASCL vehemently opposes, would give employers the option of issuing work notices requiring individuals to work during strike action in order to deliver a minimum level of provision.
ASCL’s consultation response states that these regulations will put school leaders in the impossible position of seeking to maintain good employee relations across their team while simultaneously being expected to enact legislation that will cause irreparable harm. It is also ASCL’s view that the regulations will disproportionally affect the ability of school leaders and other specialist staff to take strike action, as they are more likely to be required to work.
Carl Parker, ASCL’s Head of Industrial Relations, said: “The introduction of MSLs in education will do much more harm than good. These regulations effectively remove the right to strike for some staff and will damage relations among others. As well as being profoundly illiberal, MSLs risk exacerbating the recruitment and retention crisis by watering down workers’ rights and further erasing the good will that exists within the profession.
“None of this serves the interests of children and young people. The best way to protect pupils in circumstances where strike action may occur is for constructive dialogue to take place at the earliest opportunity and within the framework of an adequately funded education system. Riding roughshod over the rights of employees is the response of a government that has lost the argument.”

ASCL’s full consultation response is available here.