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Schools: Disclosure of Information

Question for Department for Education

UIN 105506, tabled on 17 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent guidance he has issued to (a) local authorities and (b) academy trusts on using non-disclosure agreements for school staff.

Answered on

25 January 2022

The department has issued no new advice to local authorities or schools in relation to non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Our position remains as set out in paragraph 5.29 of the Staffing and Employment Advice for Schools, that any settlement agreement between a school and a member of staff that includes a confidentiality clause must adhere to the provisions set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Advice in relation to NDAs has recently been focused on higher education providers. On 18 January 2022, my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Higher and Further Education launched a new pledge alongside Maria Miller MP and Can’t Buy My Silence, which commits universities to not using NDAs to silence victims of sexual misconduct, bullying, or other forms of harassment. The list of those universities who have signed the pledge will be held by the campaign group, Can't Buy My Silence, and hosted on their website.

Harassment of any sort is abhorrent and cannot be tolerated at schools, colleges or universities. Education providers have a responsibility to ensure that they provide a safe and inclusive environment for all students and staff.