Code of Conduct for Staff

Redhill Primary School - Overarching Code of Conduct for Staff

Introduction 
This document outlines the School expectation in relation to employee conduct and outlines the School responsibility to the employee. This document mainly refers conduct expected in the work place but may also cover conducted when representing the School e.g. whilst at training, attending work related functions or activities on social media that may affect the reputation of the School. It should also be used in conjunction with other relevant policies and standards such as professional standards, child protection and safeguarding policies, behaviour policy, contract of employment/written statement of particulars, to name but a few. Given the nature of this establishment, this document should also be a guide to assist in ensuring children’s and employees safety. It therefore explains the responsibilities the School has toward employees and children/pupils on a whole school basis. This code should be reviewed regularly by Governors and reissued to staff after the review.
 
Duty of Care 
This School has a duty of care to the pupils/children within it and also to all employees. This duty should be at the heart of all employee and employer practice. 
Pupils/children – employees within this School have a duty to keep pupils/children safe and protect them from harm. Given the position of trust this places employees in, employees are expected to take reasonable steps to ensure pupils/children’s safety and well being. Please refer to Safeguarding policy 
Employees – employers should provide a safe working environment and appropriate guidance regarding safer working practices. They should also ensure that employees are treated fairly and reasonably in all circumstances. Employees will be informed of all relevant policies as part of their induction. Where a new or revised policy is adopted, the School will ensure each employee has access to it.  
In addition, each employee has a personal duty to take care of themselves and anyone else who may be affected by their actions or failings.
 
Employees should
·         Understand the responsibilities of their role and the sanctions should these not be followed
·         Act and be seen to act in the pupil’s/child’s best interest
·         Act in a way to protect the Schools reputation
·         Avoid conduct which could lead to question over motivation and intentions
·         Act in line with School policy and procedure
·         Take responsibility for their own actions and behaviour
·         Speak up promptly about any concerns they have
 
 
Employers should
·         Clarify what is expected about an employee at work and where relevant, outside of work
·         Provide a safe and healthy working environment
·         Support for your rights and recognise diversity
·         Foster a culture of openness and support
·         Ensure that appropriate policies are adopted, implemented, monitored and reviewed e.g. employee policies, safeguarding, child protection, code of conduct
·         Ensure that employees have access to and understand guidance, related policies and systems that are in place
·         Ensure that employees are not placed in a vulnerable position
·         Ensure that those who provide services or activities are aware of safeguarding policies and procedures
·         Treat employees reasonably and fairly
 
Complaints 
  • Should an employee have a concern with the way in which they are being treated by their employer, the Grievance process should be followed. Advice should be sought by the employee from their relevant trade union.
  • Should an employee have a complaint relating to the School then they should use the relevant policy e.g. Speak Up, Child Protection and Safeguarding Policy or Schools complaints policy.
  • Should the employer have concerns regarding employee conduct, the employer should always try to resolve the matter at the lowest possible level i.e. through discussion with the employee. For more serious matters, the School may need to refer to the relevant employment policy e.g. discipline.
 
Code of conduct
This code covers a number of situations but does not cover all eventualities. Where it is necessary to refer to a specific School policy, this will be noted. 
As stated in the introduction, a ‘Professional Code of Conduct’ is also provided as part of an employee’s written statement of particulars which should be adhered to and used in conjunction with this document. The document produced by the Government Offices for the English Regions- “Guidance for Safer Working Practice for Adults Who Work With Children and Young People” is universally regarded as a best practice guide to work alongside local policies.

Dress and Appearance
 All employees should dress in a manner that is appropriate for their role, individuals they work with and work they undertake. Clothing and appearance should not -
  • cause embarrassment or give rise to any misunderstanding
  • be likely to be viewed as offensive, revealing or sexually provocative
  • be considered to be discriminatory or culturally sensitive
  • be political or represent contentious slogans
 
 Behaviour 
  • All employees have a responsibility to maintain public confidence in both the School and their own ability to provide an outstanding level of education and care whilst safeguarding the welfare and best interest of the pupils/children they are responsible for.
  • Equally, all employees should be able to carry out their duties in an environment where all individuals treat each other fairly and with respect and dignity. Acts of discrimination, harassment or bullying, intentional or otherwise, will not be tolerated.
  • Employees should foster an approach which is aligned to the ethos of the School and understand the Schools behaviour policy. Therefore employees can expect to be treated reasonably and fairly.
  • It is not acceptable to behave in a manner which could question an employee’s suitability to work with pupils/children or encourage others to make unprofessional comments or comments which could cause offense.
  • This level of behaviour is to be expected at all times when representing the School which includes attending such events as training and work related social functions.
  • With the rise of social media, it is not acceptable for employees to behave in such a way that would not uphold public confidence within the school. Please refer to the social media section 6& the Social Media Policy.
Confidentiality 
  • Employees can expect to have their personal information secured confidentially. Personal matters should also be kept in the strictest of confidence.
  • Employees within the School may have access to private or sensitive information about the pupils/children within the School. These details must be kept confidential and only shared when it is in the child’s best interest to do so.
  • Storage of any such information should be in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 
  • Employers should ensure that employees are clear on confidentiality.
  • Employees need to know who to report concerns too. Failing that, employees should report concerns to a senior member of the School.  
Data Protection 
The Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998) establishes a framework of rights and duties which makes personal information safe.  Personal information is information about a living individual, who can be identified from the information. This School is committed to protecting the privacy of individuals and handles all personal information in a manner that complies with the DPA 1998. It is the personal responsibility of all employees (temporary or permanent), Governors, contractors, agents and anyone else processing information on our behalf to comply with this policy. Any deliberate breach of this policy could amount to criminal offence under one or more pieces of legislation, for example the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and the DPA 1998. All breaches will be investigated and appropriate action taken.
 
 Gifts 
Employees should not receive or accept gifts, loan, fees, hospitality or other reward which influences the way in which duties are carries out. Employees have a responsibility to report any such reward or suspicions of any such awards to the Headteacher.
 
Use of Internet and Social Media 
The use of the Internet and Social Media in the work place can be very useful but also can be open to misuse. Employees must take every step to protect themselves when using such ‘media’ and must refer to the Social Media policy. 
Employees must also be careful when using social media personally to ensure that no activity relates negatively on the School reputation. Should such information be brought to the Schools attention, the disciplinary process may be followed.
 
Whistle Blowing – Speak Up 
If you have any concerns that there may be a breach of a code of conduct, it is important that you speak up. Speaking up early helps to protect you, makes investigations easier and could protect the School reputation. Please refer to the Speak Up Policy.
 
Raising Concerns – Safeguarding 
All schools have a stand alone Child Protection and Safeguarding in Schools Policy with appropriate appendices. It is important to note that these policies supplement and work within the overarching Telford & Wrekin Local Safeguarding Children Board procedures, for avoidance of doubt, these can be viewed at www.telfordsafeguardingboard.org.uk. These policies are pivotal to all areas safeguarding and any actions that may be considered, taken and expected of those that work and interact with children. It also acknowledged that “Working Together” 2015 and “Keeping Children Safe in Education” 2015 are viewed on the same principle. 
 
On a general level the highest standards of safeguarding conduct are expected from the whole school community. It is important to note that in particular well known and peripheral areas of safeguarding concern should be paramount to a child’s welfare namely;
 
·         Four Defined Categories of Abuse-Sexual, Emotional, Physical and Neglect as defined in “Working Together” 2015
·         Bullying-In all forms that it takes in that it may transgress across the four defined areas above
·         Extremism (Statutory-“Prevent duty guidance” March 2015)
 
Namely, that we expect staff to encourage pupils to respect the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. Staff should ensure that partisan political views are not promoted in the teaching of any subject in the school and where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils, reasonably practicable steps have been taken to offer a balanced presentation of opposing views to pupils.
 
·         Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)-Multi Agency Practice Guidelines HM Government 2014 (New mandatory reporting due October 2015)
·         Children That Have Gone Missing (T&W Missing Children Process 2014)
·         Forced Marriage-“Handing Cases of Forced Marriage” Multi Agency Practice Guidelines HM Government June 2009 
·         Children Missing From Education-Whether Authorised or Not
·         Poor/Irregular Attendance (Protocol for Identifying and Maintaining Contact with Children Not Receiving Education)
·         Children Abused Through Exploitation (CATE)-T&W Pathway Process
 
School Child Protection and Safeguarding Policies will take account of all these issues and therefore staff conduct in addressing any safeguarding concerns is paramount and doing nothing not being an option.
 
Conflicts of Interest 
Employees must be mindful to avoid personal circumstances which could lead to conflict of interest.
 
Health& Safety
The School will endeavour to abide by Health and Safety legislation to ensure the safety and well being of employees at work. Employee are expected to follow appropriate Health and Safety guidance to keep themselves safe at work. Employees also have their own duty of care to take care of themselves and anyone else affected by their actions or failings. Please see Health and Safety policy and Manual.