Staff Code of Conduct
Relationship with other policies and guidance: This Code should be read in conjunction with the School's policies including the child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures, the whistleblowing policy.
Purpose and application
Purpose: Relationships with fellow Staff, pupils and their parents, guardians or carers should be reasonable and mutually respectful at all times. The purpose of this Code is to:
- place the welfare of children at the centre of the School and its culture;
- confirm and reinforce the professional responsibilities of all Staff;
- clarify the legal position in relation to sensitive aspects of Staff / pupil relationships and communication including the use of social media;
- set out the expectations of standards and behaviour to be maintained within the School; and
- help adults establish safe practices and reduce the risk of false accusations or improper conduct.
Application: This Code of Conduct (Code) applies to all staff working at the School, whether paid or unpaid, whatever their position, role or responsibilities and Staff includes employees, governors, contractors, work experience / placement students and volunteers (Staff). All Staff will receive training in relation to this Code.
General duty: It is the contractual duty of every member of Staff to observe the rules and obligations in this Code (including its Appendices). You should also follow the Guidance. The School also has a duty of care to its Staff, parents, guardians or carers and pupils and the implementation of the practices in this Code will help to discharge that duty.
Duty to report wrongdoing: All Staff are under a duty to report their own wrongdoing, or any wrongdoing or proposed wrongdoing of any other member of staff or any conduct which they may suspect to be inappropriate. This duty applies even if the concern is no more than one which causes a sense of unease or a nagging doubt. Staff are under a duty to report suspected, known or proposed wrongdoing in conjunction with the School's policies including the managing allegations and concerns policy contained in Appendix 4 of the School's safeguarding and child protection policy, and the whistleblowing policy.
Duty to report potential abuse: some of the behaviours contained in this Code (and in particular at Appendix 2) may indicate that a child has been, or is currently being, abused, exploited or neglected. Any incident involving children that could give cause for concern, must always be reported promptly in accordance with the School's child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures.
Record keeping: Comprehensive records are essential. All concerns, discussions and decisions made and the reasons for those decisions should be recorded in writing. Records should include a clear and comprehensive summary of the concern, details of how the concern was followed up and resolved, a note of any action taken, decisions reached and the outcome. Information should be kept confidential and stored securely. Any incident involving children that could give cause for concern, must always be reported promptly to the Designated Safeguarding Lead in accordance with the School's child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures. If there is any doubt about recording requirements this should be discussed with the Designated Safeguarding Lead
Guiding principles for Staff
Principles: The School prioritises the welfare of children, its diverse and inclusive culture, and the maintenance of positive and professional relationships between Staff and fellow Staff, pupils and their parents, guardians and/or carers. All Staff should follow the guiding principles set out in this paragraph (Principles) and refer to the Appendices for further detail of the application of the Principles.
Public trust and confidence
All Staff should maintain public trust and confidence in the School and in their profession by:
- demonstrating honesty and integrity;
- understanding and upholding their duty to safeguard the welfare of children and young people;
- understanding and demonstrating fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs;
- maintaining reasonable standards of behaviour whether inside or outside of normal school hours and whether on or off the School site; and
- maintaining an effective learning environment.
Appropriate pupil relationships
All Staff should put the well-being, development and progress of all pupils first by:
- taking all reasonable steps to ensure the safety and well-being of pupils under their supervision, taking particular account of the detailed guidance at Appendix 2;
- using professional expertise and judgment to protect the best interests of pupils in their care;
- following the guidance at Appendix 3 to ensure they maintain appropriate, professional and effective pupil-staff relationships at all times;
- following the guidance at Appendix 4 to ensure all communication with pupils (including where technology is used) remains appropriate and professional at all times;
- following the guidance at Appendix 5 in any situation where you are taking photo or video camera footage of a pupil or pupils;
- demonstrating self-awareness and taking responsibility for their own actions and for providing help and support to pupils;
- following the guidance at Appendix 6 in respect of the use of force or physical restraint on pupils, and Appendix 7 in respect of physical contact with pupils in other circumstances;
- raising concerns about the practices of teachers or other professionals where these may have a negative impact on pupils' learning or progress, or may put pupils at risk;
- being familiar with the School's child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures and the pupil behaviour [and discipline] policy;
- reading and understanding Part 1, and where appropriate Annex A, of KCSIE (September 2021);
- knowing the role, identity and contact details of the current Designated Safeguarding Lead and their Deputies;
- being aware that they are in a position of trust (i.e. the adult is in a position of power or influence over the pupil due to his or her work); that the relationship is not a relationship between equals and that this position must never be used to intimidate, bully, humiliate, coerce or threaten pupils.
Diversity, equality and inclusion
All Staff should demonstrate respect for diversity and take steps to promote equality by:
- acting appropriately and in accordance with this Code and other relevant policies including the School's anti-bullying policy, equal opportunities policy and harassment and bullying policy;
- addressing issues of discrimination and bullying whenever they arise; and
- helping to create a fair and inclusive school environment.
United Staff body
All Staff should work as part of a united Staff body by:
- developing productive and supportive relationships with colleagues;
- exercising any management responsibilities in a respectful, inclusive and fair manner;
- complying with all School policies and procedures;
- participating in the School's development and improvement activities;
- recognising the role of the School in the life of the local community; and
- upholding the School's reputation and standing within the local community and building trust and confidence in it.
Language and appearance
Language: You should use appropriate language at all times. You should:
- avoid words or expressions that have any unnecessary sexual content or innuendo; avoid displays of affection either personally or in writing (e.g. messages in birthday cards, text messages, emails etc);
- avoid any form of aggressive or threatening words;
- avoid any words or actions that are over-familiar;
- not swear, blaspheme or use any sort of offensive language in front of pupils;
- avoid the use of sarcasm, discriminatory or derogatory words when punishing or disciplining pupils and avoid making unprofessional personal comments about anyone. Any sanctions should be in accordance with the Trust's behaviour and discipline policies; and
- be aware that some parts of the curriculum may raise sexually explicit subject matters. Care should be taken in subjects where rules / boundaries are relaxed (e.g. drama or art). Staff should have clear lesson plans and should take care to avoid overstepping personal and professional boundaries.
Dress: You should dress appropriately and in a professional manner. Dress must not be offensive, distracting, revealing, or sexually provocative, embarrassing or discriminatory. Political or other contentious slogans or badges are not allowed.
Gifts and rewards
Anti-bribery and corruption policy: Before accepting or giving any gifts or rewards, Staff must familiarise themselves with and follow the anti-bribery and corruption policy contained in this Employment Manual.
School property: You must take proper care when using School property and you must not use School property for any unauthorised use or for private gain.
Use of premises: You must not carry out any work or activity on School premises other than pursuant to your terms and conditions of employment without the prior permission of the Head.
Behaviour of others: You should be aware that the behaviour of your partner or other family members or any member of your household may raise concerns which could affect the welfare of a member of the School community, a member of the public, or bring the School into disrepute and you should bring any such behaviour to the immediate attention of the School. Such concerns will be given careful consideration as to whether they constitute a potential risk to children at the School or its reputation.
Additional Principles for teachers
Teachers should take responsibility for maintaining the quality of their teaching practice by:
- meeting the professional standards for teaching applicable to their role and position within the School;
- reflecting on their current practice and seeking out opportunities to develop knowledge, understanding and skills;
- helping pupils to become confident and successful learners; and
- establishing productive relationships with parents, guardians or carers by:
- providing accessible and accurate information about their child's progress;
- involving them in important decisions about their child's education; and
- complying with this Code and its Appendices.
The Staff Handbook
A full Staff Handbook is made available to all staff and potential staff on request.