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Statute 24 Reform

A message from Provost Christine Ennew updating on reform of Statute 24 and its related Ordinances.

1 October 2018

Updates

The reform of University Statutes was last raised for discussion at an Assembly Meeting in June. That Assembly meeting was adjourned because colleagues were concerned that there had not been enough time to review the revised Statute, Ordinance and Policies. A number of actions then followed:

  • The relevant documents were all made available through an insite consultation in early July and staff were invited to provide feedback.
  • There have been a series of meetings over the summer with the campus trades unions to discuss the revised statute, ordinance and policies.
  • The University Council submitted the draft Statute to Privy Council for informal review over the Summer.
  • A commitment was made to a further Assembly meeting (now scheduled for 10th October.)

A series of 5 meetings with the campus trades unions were completed over the summer and these meetings considered statute, ordinance and policy. I would now like to share with you the latest version of these documents following the final consultation meeting with the Unions which took place on Thursday 27 September. These meetings have been constructive and there have been a number of amendments to all of the documents in response to feedback. While we believe that all matters of substance have been addressed during the consultation process, the documents remain provisional pending some drafting improvements on the University’s part and checking or approval by the regional and in certain cases national offices of each of the campus trades unions. Subject to the above, the revised versions of statute and ordinance and the full set of policies are available at https://warwick.ac.uk/services/gov/committees/assembly/october2018/. For convenience we have highlighted the changes that have been made since the earlier version of these documents was shared.

The reform of Statute has particular implications for academic staff because of the enhanced protection for academic freedom that the proposed new arrangements bring. However, given that a central component of the proposed changes is to create a common employment policy framework for all staff, the discussions at the Assembly are relevant to our community as a whole and everyone is invited to participate.

Context

And to remind you of the background, in December 2016, Stuart Croft - our Vice Chancellor - announced that the University Council had requested a review to simplify and modernise the content of Charter and Statutes and amend Ordinances and Regulations accordingly. The first consultation meeting with the Trades Unions started at that time. For those who aren’t familiar with these terms, the Charter and Statutes set out the overriding principles which govern how the University operates and Ordinances and Regulations are the more detailed procedural rules which guide the implementation of Statutes. Together, these constitute the University’s Governing Instruments.

The purpose of this review was to ensure that the Governing Instruments were fit for purpose, in terms of being compliant and consistent with current legislation, were appropriate for the operation of a modern University and were clear about responsibilities and delegated authorities.

One of these Governing Instruments, Statute 24, deals specifically with the principle of protecting Academic Freedom, and includes a considerable body of procedural detail about the processes supporting this principle. In reviewing Statute 24, the University has identified concerns that its provisions are unnecessarily complicated, often resulting in protracted processes causing undue distress and anxiety for staff; that it is not fully compliant with all current employment law and best practice guidelines; and that it is difficult to keep it consistent with emerging employment law as any proposed changes must be approved by the Privy Council.

Full details of the process that was followed have been outlined in earlier consultations. You can view previous updates from the top right of this page.

A significant amount of work has been undertaken since the review commenced in December 2016, including consultation with the Trade Unions (13 formal and informal meetings in the period December 2016 to June 2017), two consultations with the wider staff community, an all staff meeting, an Assembly, discussions with Council and Senate, and the formation of a Senate sub-group to provide detailed advice around principle and process. Key elements of principles and processes were written into Ordinance. The drafts of Statute and Ordinance, the associated policy documents and a paper from the Senate sub-group were then shared in the July consultation.

Best wishes,

Chris Ennew
Provost

 

Previous updates

Questions?

The FAQs on the link below are designed to answer any key queries or concerns you may have. If you have any further queries, please contact the Employee Relations team at emprelations@warwick.ac.uk

Previous drafts of revised statute, ordinance and policies

Updated 6 June 2017:

Updated 6 June 2017:

Updated 11 April 2017: