To some, playing and studying golf at school is the idea of heaven - but to others, less so. Either way, the Golf Schools associated with Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke and longstanding team member Lee Westwood have come into the public eye after both golfers severed links with the schools bearing their names . The Lee Westwood school has been hit by allegations that pupils did not get paid after working at golf events. As an employment lawyer this raises alarm bells - but of course we do not know all of the facts. The issue will need to be litigated in the courts unless the parties can reach a settlement.
In the meantime, one other issue concerns the regulation of such fee-paying schools. It has been alleged that the Lee Westwood school received state funds to teach a national qualification - however, the school is not subject to review by either the Department for Education or Ofsted. No doubt the status and regulation of such schools will be closely examined and time will tell whether any changes need to be made.
Now, back to the golf. Come on Europe!!
Investigations by The Times newspaper revealed that the school - which described itself as delivering "a highly robust educational programme within a golfing environment" - was not subject to oversight by Ofsted or the Department for Education. The Education Funding Agency also published a critical report on the school's subcontracting arrangements, and case papers lodged at Manchester County Court also allege that the Westwood school withheld wages from students who worked at the 2014 Alfred Dunhill championship at St Andrews.