Feedback following a training session on ‘Dealing with Complaints’ at John Willmott School in June 2013

“I thought the booklets and exercises worked well; it was well organised. I thought giving out cards and mixing with the groups worked well as it gave us all a chance to work with different schools.  Lots of points were clarified and we were allowed time to reflect on the policies.

I enjoyed the discussions; it was good to be able to discuss issues and be able to relate with other professionals.  It was informative and the handout was useful.

“Relevant examples were sed.  It was appropriate to the school environment and provided useful information to take away / refer to at later date. Opportunities were given for questioning.

“Good overview of how to deal with issues / parents in schools.  It was aimed at all levels. Our legal rights were made clear.

“The guidance was clear with easy to follow notes and templates for letters. Valued opportunities to discuss issues with others.

 “I liked the opportunity to review a working policy as it gave me ideas on what needed doing to ours. There was a good information pack to take away.

 “The training was well organised.  There were good case studies which we were allowed to discuss together with some interesting facts about the law. They were really lovely people.”

Feedback on the legal advice and support provided by Surinder Dhillon:

Mrs M P Steele, Head Teacher, St Edmund Campion Catholic School

“Ms Dhillon has provided St Edmund Campion Catholic School with an exemplary, first class, highly professional, legal service over the past two years.  Her attention to detail is outstanding.  Her tenacious approach and her ability to pull together all the necessary factors/persons/etc is remarkable. I would not have been able to have sustained my role as Headteacher without her expertise and support which I recommend unreservedly to other Headteachers in Birmingham.”

Karen Saywood, Head Teacher, Braidwood Trust School for the Deaf

“I would just like to pass on my feedback regarding the work Surinder Dhillon has been involved with on our school’s behalf. I can say that the advice and guidance provided by Surinder has been most valuable and the degree of satisfaction felt by both myself and the governors of the school is of the very highest.
Surinder was calm, well informed, efficient and professional at all times. This provided us with the necessary confidence when confronting our particular situation.

I have thanked Surinder, but hope that you will pass on our feedback to Surinder as she certainly deserves a ‘pat on the back’ for her work.  I will have no hesitancy in recommending the service your team provides in future to other head teachers in the very highest terms.”

Sue Rose, Head Teacher, Ward End Primary School

“Firstly I would like to thank the service for the positive result where all of Mr X’s claims against the school were dismissed by an Employment Tribunal Service.  This is a clear vindication of the Governing Body’s decision to dismiss Mr X from his employment at the school due to his failure to satisfactorily complete his probationary period of employment. We could not have survived without your help.

From the start of the process the School was provided with invaluable support provided by your service, in particular from Surinder Dhillion. She held meetings with the whole governing body and later met with key governors to discuss the process and to explain the possible effects that the case could have on myself the Head teacher and also the School Business Manager, i.e. stress and the extra workload. At all times that support was just right and enabled the whole process to be clear and comprehensive.

The communications between the school with Surinder were excellent through the proceedings, there was always someone to talk to and discuss any concerns. This help line seemed available seven days a week, very helpful indeed.

During  the lead up to the case the pressure of the case and its management was taken off the school and me personally.  This meant that I was able to focus on my key task of running the school strategically and on a day to day basis. I know only too well how demanding the respondent was and taking this pressure off the school was welcome with this thankless and what felt like never ending task.

The case was managed well throughout by the service and clearly the outcome is excellent.  The Barrister was excellent, meetings were held before the case was taken to the tribunal with key people to ensure that there was clarity of understanding of what each person needed to do during the case hearing. The result was testament to this case management. The respondent always was a challenge to the sensible and orderly management of the case so my heartfelt thanks to you all for such a successful result.”

Jane Edgerton, Head Teacher, Brays School

“We have been well supported by Legal Services through a very complex personnel case.  The advice and casework undertaken by Legal Services in support of my school has been excellent – it has allowed us to continue with our day job and taken the stress out of managing a very difficult situation on our own.

I recommend any headteacher that is undecided about approaching Legal Services for advice to reconsider as they could save you time and money over a staffing matter that could, if unchecked, end up in a legal arena.”

Surinder Dhillon – Senior Employment Solicitor

Surinder Dhillon

Surinder Dhillon

Surinder joined Birmingham City Council in 2000 and specialises exclusively in Employment law.  She currently leads the Employment Unit which is part of the Children Services and Schools Support Team.   Surinder provides advice and support to Head Teachers, Governors and Officers in relation to employment related issues.  She has had conduct of complex and high profile Employment Tribunal Claims

She has acted on £3m Group litigation claim relating to 2500 employees represented by various Trade Unions issuing claims for unfair dismissal. She has also acted on a £1m Race Discrimination and Personal injury Claim acting as junior to leading Queens Council which lasted 10 years Saunder v Birmingham City Council.

Surinder assists in ensuring that the strategic objectives are reflected and achieved.  She has a senior role guiding the client through considerable complexities and leads on risk management.