Home' Independence : Independence Vol 31 No 2 Nov 2006 Contents Independence Volume 31 No. 2 25
• Becomes bankrupt or suspends
payment or compounds with or
assigns his estate for the benefit of his
• Is convicted of an indictable offence or
• Becomes a person in respect of
whose estate an order is made
under any legislation appointing an
administrator or is found by a court
of competent jurisdiction to be of
unsound mind or mentally ill.
In the case of summary termination the
School need only pay the Head's Total
Remuneration accrued up to the time of
termination. This payment is without
prejudice to any other rights or remedies
of either party under or in respect of any
breach of this Agreement.
These final clauses are standard in many
employment agreements, and again
simply serve to clarify the situation for
the Head and the School Board.
It is not unusual for a contract of
employment to include provisions relating
to confidentiality. This is to ensure that
the Head maintains confidentiality of any
confidential information both during and
after the employment period.
Any provision relating to confidentiality
may outline the type of information
which is characterised as confidential
by the School and which should not be
disclosed to any unauthorised person.
It is not unusual for a confidentiality
clause to state that the obligation on
the Head to keep the information
confidential continues after the Head's
employment has terminated. The
enforceability of such clauses depends
on the clause and the nature of the
A sample Clause that can be included
in a contract is available from the
Restraint of Trade
The contract may include a restraint
of trade provision. This is a clause that
attempts to prevent the Head on his or her
departure being employed by a competing
School for a certain period of time in a
certain area. Such are difficult to enforce.
The School would have to demonstrate
that the clause is reasonable in order for it
to be enforceable. Heads should consider
any such provisions carefully.
Another provision which may be included
in a contract of employment is that the
Head is not to be involved or be appointed
to any other bodies or organisations
without the prior approval of the School.
This is of course subject to negotiation
between the Head and the School.
Some schools specifically include that
they wish their Head to be actively
involved in organisations such as AHISA.
Increasingly, employers are implementing
standard policies relating to human
resources issues, such as leave, retirement,
grievance procedures, etc. It is not unusual
for the contract of employment to make
reference to such policies as forming part
of the terms and conditions of employment
between the Head and the School.
Variation of Contract
Any variation to the contract can only
occur with the consent of the parties. It is
not possible for the School to unilaterally
vary the important aspects of the Head's
employment contract such as the Head's
duties and responsibilities or level of pay.
If a variation to the contract is agreed
by the parties it should be in writing and
signed by the parties.
The terms of this Agreement can only
be varied by the parties agreeing to the
variation in writing signed by each party.
The contract of employment may include
provisions as to how notices and other
communications are to be given between
the Head and the School; eg. any notice
be in writing and left at a specified
address. It is important that any notice
provisions be strictly complied with.
A failure to do so may result in the
communication being ineffective.
This could be relevant if for example
the Head is exercising an option that
exists in the employment contract.
A notice, approval, consent or other
communication in connection with
• Must be in writing and
• Must be left at the address of the
addressees, or sent by prepaid
ordinary post (airmail if posted to or
from a place outside Australia) to the
address of the addressee or facsimile to
the facsimile number of the addressee
which is specified in this clause or if
the addressee notifies another address
or facsimile number then to that
address or facsimile number.
Leadership of a school is the most
richly rewarding profession, according
to Sir James Darling, former Head
of Geelong Grammar. And it can be
-- provided that as we embark upon it
we have secured our tenure and our
professional, personal and financial
well-being with an appropriate
instrument of employment.
The AHISA Guidelines for a Head's
Contract reflect many years of distilled
wisdom and experience by successive
Standing Committees -- we owe it to
ourselves and our successors to ensure
that the basis of our employment is as
sound as it can be, so that we are free
to exercise our profession as Heads
of School untrammelled by concerns
about the stability and continuance of
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