Terms and conditions 2020-21

If the institution or local authority is successfully allocated a language assistant they hereby agree to comply with the following terms and conditions:

  1. Language assistants must be employed from 03 September 2020 (Scotland and Northern Ireland) or 1 October 2021 (England and Wales) to 31 May 2021. Chinese language assistants must be employed between 10 September 2020 to 21 June 2021 (41 weeks). *Please note that the above employment dates will apply; with the exception of if there is any disruption to the Modern Language Assistants programme due to COVID-19. In the event that the employment dates do need to change then the institution or local authority should discuss and agree this directly with the Language Assistant.
  2. Language assistants must be employed for a minimum of 12 hours and a maximum of 18 hours per week unless their placement is terminated due to gross misconduct or breach of contract. If the placement is terminated then the institution or local authority should follow their own disciplinary procedure.
  3. The institution or local authority agrees to pay the language assistant the agreed salary rates per month as set by the Government.
  4. The institution or local authority must issue a Statement of Employment to the Language Assistant at least 8 weeks prior to their start date which should be signed by both parties. A template for this can be found on the programme website.*If the institution or local authority is unable to issue a Statement of Employment to the Language Assistant due to disruption as a result of COVID-19; then they should aim to do so as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any event prior to the Language Assistant arriving in the UK.
  5. Once a provisional offer of employment has been made, the institution or local authority should request a copy of the language assistant’s police certificate from their country of origin (if not already included in the language assistant's dossier) which must be received in the UK prior to the language assistants starting their post.

    Police checks are usually dated within 6 months of assistants starting their posts, so institutions and local authorities should make clear in the British Council application form if they require a more recent certificate, to give the language assistant time to obtain one before leaving their home country.

    It is the responsibility of the institution to review the certificate and check for any positive disclosures. The institution should also request a copy of the assistant’s medical certificate, photographic identification (ID) and references if these are required and were not provided in the application.

  6. The institution or local authority shall comply with any reasonable requests from the British Council in relation to the processing of paperwork for visa purposes, where applicable, to enable the British Council to fulfil its obligations as a Tier 5 visa sponsor. 
  7. Once the language assistant has arrived in the UK the institution or local authority agrees to carry out the appropriate enhanced background check for each assistant within four weeks of their arrival, i.e. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check in England and Wales, Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme in Scotland or Access NI in Northern Ireland.

    This is a legal requirement for all institutions in the UK. It is the responsibility of the institution or local authority to apply for this on behalf of the assistant. The school is also responsible for reviewing the criminal record check for any positive disclosures.

  8. The institution or local authority agrees to pay the language assistant for the full period of employment as specified above, regardless of whether their enhanced background check has arrived yet or not.
  9. If the institution or local authority wishes to terminate the Language Assistant’s contract for any reason, they should discuss this with the British Council Language Assistant’s team in advance. 
  10. If the institution or local authority chooses to terminate the Language Assistant’s contract for any reason other than gross misconduct or breach of contract, they agree to pay any costs which the language assistant will incur to return to their country of origin. *If the institution or local authority is forced to terminate the Language Assistant’s contract due to COVID-19; they will discuss with the Language Assistant if there are any costs which they can reasonably cover to allow the Language Assistant to either remain in the UK or support them with their return to their country of origin. This is, however, at the institution or local authority’s discretion.
  11. The institution or local authority shall inform the British Council immediately and via email of any significant change or urgent matter related to the employment or welfare of the Language Assistant allocated to them e.g. absence without leave, accidents, and other emergencies. Duty of care towards the Language Assistant remains the responsibility of the institution or local authority.
  12. In the event that the institution or local authority withdraws from the programme after a Language Assistant has been allocated to them, they will be liable to pay any costs incurred by the Language Assistant in either changing or cancelling their placement, including but not limited to travel, accommodation and visa costs.*Please note that this is with the exception of any institution or local authority who withdraws from the programme due to COVID-19 after they have been allocated a Language Assistant. In such cases we expect reasonable support to be provided to the Language Assistant which should be discussed between the host institution and the Language Assistant. 
  13. If a sharing arrangement is in place, only the host institution or local authority should pay the salary to the Language Assistant. The partner schools should reimburse the host school as necessary to avoid tax complications for the Language Assistant(s).
  14. The institution or local authority agrees to adhere to the guidance and advice as stipulated in the Language Assistants Information Booklet (see downloads section, below) which is updated annually. 
  15. The institution or local authority acknowledges that they may be randomly selected by the Institute of Education for a visit as part of the programme requirements and agree to accommodate this.  

Failure to comply with the above terms and conditions may result in your institution being ineligible to participate in the programme in future years.

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