Staff Code of Conduct Policy
Cerne Abbas CE VC First School
Staff Code of Conduct
|Date of policy||Autumn Term 2022|
Date reviewed by the Governing
Member of staff responsible in
Cerne Abbas CE VC First School
|Review date||Autumn Term 2023|
1. Aims, scope and principles
This policy aims to set and maintain standards of conduct that we expect all staff to follow.
By creating this policy, we aim to ensure our school is an environment where everyone is safe, happy and treated with respect.
Many of the principles in this code of conduct are based on the Teachers’ Standards. School staff have an influential position in the school and will act as role models for pupils by consistently demonstrating high standards of behaviour.
We expect that all teachers will act in accordance with the personal and professional behaviours set out in the Teachers’ Standards.
We expect all support staff, governors and volunteers to also act with personal and professional integrity, respecting the safety and wellbeing of others.
At Cerne Abbas CE VC First School we want to:
- Create an inclusive school community based on our Christian values of friendship, peace, trust, joy, courage and forgiveness.
- Prepare children to be the best they can be by creating in them a love for life and learning.
- Discover and celebrate everyone’s gifts, uniqueness, and achievements.
- Inspire and extend opportunities to build strong, collaborative partnerships with our families and local community.
- Open children’s eyes to our beautiful surroundings and the world beyond.
- Deliver meaningful and memorable learning to improve children’s next steps in their learning journey and impact on the world.
- As adults, be influential role models through high quality teaching supported by Continuing Professional development.
Failure to follow the code of conduct may result in disciplinary action being taken, as set out in our staff disciplinary procedures.
Please note that this code of conduct is not exhaustive. If situations arise that are not covered by this code, staff will use their professional judgement and act in the best interests of the school and its pupils.
2. Legislation and guidance
We are required to establish procedures for the regulation of staff conduct under regulation 7 of The School Staffing (England) Regulations 2009.
In line with the statutory safeguarding guidance Keeping Children Safe in Education, we should have a staff code of conduct, which should cover low-level concerns, allegations against staff and whistle-blowing, as well as acceptable use of technologies (including the use of mobile devices), staff/pupil relationships and communications, including the use of social media.
3. General obligations
Staff set an example to pupils. They will:
- Maintain high standards in their attendance and punctuality
- Never use inappropriate or offensive language in school
- Treat pupils and others with dignity and respect
- Show tolerance and respect for the rights of others
- Not undermine fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
- Not express personal beliefs in a way that exploits pupils’ vulnerability or might lead them to break the law
- Understand the statutory frameworks they must act within
- Adhere to the Teachers’ Standards
Staff have a duty to safeguard pupils from harm, and to report any concerns they have. This includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and neglect.
Staff will familiarise themselves with our child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures, and the Prevent initiative, and ensure they are aware of the processes to follow if they have concerns about a child.
Our child protection and safeguarding policy and procedures are available on the School’s website and hard copy in the staff room. New staff will also be given copies on arrival.
4.1 Allegations that may meet the harm threshold
This section is based on ‘Section 1: Allegations that may meet the harm threshold’ in part 4 of Keeping Children Safe in Education.
This section applies to all cases in which it is alleged that anyone working in the school, including a supply teacher, volunteer or contractor, has:
- Behaved in a way that has harmed a child, or may have harmed a child, and/or
- Possibly committed a criminal offence against or related to a child, and/or
- Behaved towards a child or children in a way that indicates they may pose a risk of harm to children, and/or
- Behaved or may have behaved in a way that indicates they may not be suitable to work with children – this includes behaviour taking place inside or outside of school
We will deal with any such allegation quickly and in a fair and consistent way that provides effective child protection while also supporting the individual who is the subject of the allegation.
A ‘case manager’ will lead any investigation. This will be the headteacher, or the chair of governors where the headteacher is the subject of the allegation.
4.2 Low-level concerns about members of staff
A low-level concern is a behaviour towards a child by a member of staff that does not meet the harm threshold, is inconsistent with the staff code of conduct, and may be as simple as causing a sense of unease or a ‘nagging doubt’. For example, this may include:
- Being over-friendly with children
- Having favourites
- Taking photographs of children on a personal device
- Engaging in 1-to-1 activities where they can’t easily be seen
- Humiliating pupils
Low-level concerns can include inappropriate conduct inside and outside of work.
All staff should share any low-level concerns they have using the reporting procedures set out in our child protection and safeguarding policy. We also encourage staff to self-refer if they find themselves in a situation that could be misinterpreted. If staff are not sure whether behaviour would be deemed a low-level concern, we encourage staff to report it.
All reports will be handled in a responsive, sensitive and proportionate way.
Unprofessional behaviour will be addressed, and the staff member supported to correct it, at an early stage.
This creates and embeds a culture of openness, trust and transparency in which our values and expected behaviour are constantly lived, monitored and reinforced by all staff, while minimising the risk of abuse.
Reporting and responding to low-level concerns is covered in more detail in our child protection and safeguarding policy. This is available on the school website and in hard copy in the staff room.
Our procedures for dealing with allegations will be applied with common sense and judgement.
Whistle-blowing reports wrongdoing that it is “in the public interest” to report. Examples linked to safeguarding include:
- Pupils’ or staff’s health and safety being put in danger
- Failure to comply with a legal obligation or statutory requirement
- Attempts to cover up the above, or any other wrongdoing in the public interest
Staff are encouraged to report suspected wrongdoing as soon as possible. Their concerns will be taken seriously and investigated, and their confidentiality will be respected.
Staff should consider the examples above when deciding whether their concern is of a whistle-blowing nature. Consider whether the incident(s) was illegal, breached statutory or school procedures, put people in danger or was an attempt to cover any such activity up.
Staff should report their concern to the Headteacher. If the concern is about the Headteacher/other member of staff], or it is believed they may be involved in the wrongdoing in some way, the staff member should report their concern to the chair of the governing board.
Concerns should be made in writing wherever possible. They should include names of those committing wrongdoing, dates, places and as much evidence and context as possible. Staff raising a concern should also include details of any personal interest in the matter.
For our school’s detailed whistle-blowing process, please refer to our whistle-blowing policy.
5. Staff-pupil relationships
Staff will observe proper boundaries with pupils that are appropriate to their professional position. They will act in a fair and transparent way that would not lead anyone to reasonably assume they are not doing so.
If staff members and pupils must spend time on a one-to-one basis, staff will ensure that:
- This takes place in a public place that others can access
- Others can see in to the room
- A colleague or line manager knows this is taking place
Staff should avoid contact with pupils outside of school hours if possible.
Personal contact details should not be exchanged between staff and pupils. This includes social media profiles.
While we are aware many pupils and their parents may wish to give gifts to staff, for example, at the end of the school year, gifts from staff to individual pupils are not acceptable. Leaving gifts from Staff members to all year groups are deemed acceptable.
If a staff member is concerned at any point that an interaction between themselves and a pupil may be misinterpreted, or if a staff member is concerned at any point about a fellow staff member and a pupil, this should be reported in line with the procedures set out in our child protection and safeguarding policy.
6. Communication and social media
School staff’s social media profiles should not be available to pupils. If they have a personal profile on social media sites, best practice would be that they should not use their full name, as pupils may be able to find them. Staff should consider using a first and middle name instead, and set public profiles to private.
Staff should not attempt to contact pupils or their parents via social media, or any other means outside school, in order to develop any sort of relationship.
They will not make any efforts to find pupils’ or parents’ social media profiles.
Staff will ensure that they do not post any images online that identify children who are pupils at the school without their consent.
Staff should be aware of the school’s online safety policy.
7. Acceptable use of technology
Staff will not use technology in school to view material that is illegal, inappropriate or likely to be deemed offensive. This includes, but is not limited to, sending obscene emails, gambling and viewing pornography or other inappropriate content.
Staff will not use personal mobile phones, in school hours or in front of pupils as a general rule. Mobile phones are able to be used in the office or Staff Room. Mobile phones are used as a means of contact for Health and Safety reasons for the Lunchtime Supervisors in the play area over the road. Duckling and Giant Class staff do occasionally use personal mobile phones to take photos on Welly Walks but photos once uploaded are then deleted from phone and back up.
We have the right to monitor emails and internet use on the school IT system. See Schools Acceptable Use policy on the Website.
In the course of their role, members of staff are often privy to sensitive and confidential information about the school, staff, pupils and their parents.
This information should never be:
- Disclosed to anyone unless required by law or with consent from the relevant party or parties
- Used to humiliate, embarrass or blackmail others
- Used for a purpose other than what it was collected and intended for
This does not overrule staff’s duty to report child protection concerns to the appropriate channel where staff believe a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm, as detailed further in our child protection and safeguarding policy.
9. Honesty and integrity
Staff should maintain high standards of honesty and integrity in their role. This includes when dealing with pupils, handling money, claiming expenses and using school property and facilities.
Staff will not accept bribes.
Staff will ensure that all information given to the school is correct. This should include:
- Background information (including any past or current investigations/cautions related to conduct outside of school)
- Professional experience
Where there are any updates to the information provided to the school, the member of staff will advise the school as such as soon as reasonably practicable. Consideration will then be given to the nature and circumstances of the matter and whether this may have an impact on the member of staff’s employment.
10. Dress code
Staff will dress in a professional, appropriate manner.
Outfits will not be overly revealing, and we ask that tattoos are covered up if possible.
Clothes will not display any offensive or political slogans.
Denim is not allowed to be worn and staff are asked not to wear flip-flops.
11. Conduct outside of work
Staff will not act in a way that would bring the school, or the teaching profession, into disrepute. This covers conduct including but not limited to relevant criminal offences, such as violence or sexual misconduct, as well as negative comments about the school on social media.
12. Monitoring arrangements
This policy will be reviewed annually], but can be revised as needed. It will be approved by the full governing body during the Autumn Term along with the Safeguarding and Child Protection policies.
Our Governing Body will ensure this code of conduct is implemented effectively, and will ensure appropriate action is taken in a timely manner to safeguard children and deal with any concerns.
13. Links with other policies
This policy links with our policies on:
- Staff disciplinary procedures, which will be used if staff breach this code of conduct. It also sets out examples of what we will deem as misconduct and gross misconduct
- Staff grievance procedures
- Child protection and safeguarding
- Online safety
A positive, purposeful and enthusiastic atmosphere