Professional Code of Conduct for Staff

Status:

Ratified

Drafted by:

Governors

Ratified by Governors:

9/2/17

The Governing Body is responsible for establishing and maintaining this policy and for ensuring that it is followed.  The Principal is responsible for implementing the decisions of the Governing Body and for complying with this policy. The policy applies to the Principal and to all staff employed by the Academy.

Introduction

All employees should be aware of the standards of conduct expected of  them by Route 39 Academy. Although it is impossible to lay down hard and fast rules to cover all eventualities, the Code sets out the principal areas where concerns are likely to arise and staff awareness is necessary. The Code applies to all staff working in the Academy although particular reference is made to teaching staff.

Staff must comply with requirements placed on them by their contract of employment, conditions of service and  Academy’s  Articles of Association. The Code is supplementary to documents detailing terms and conditions of employment, including statutory provisions, issued at the time of appointment.

Failure to observe the provisions of the Code may be relevant in considering action under disciplinary procedures. Should this occur, full consideration will be given to all the relevant facts and circumstances of the case in accordance with the principles of natural justice and following agreed procedures.

Conduct in Relation to Students

The law recognises that staff act in loco parentis in respect of pupils in their charge and must act in the role of reasonably prudent parent in the Academy context. Through their actions staff must act in accordance with this duty of care to ensure at all times that the safety and welfare of pupils is accorded the highest priority. In this and other ways staff should always maintain standards of conduct which sustain their professional standing and that of the Academy.

Interaction with pupils should always be appropriate to their age and gender. Staff should not touch pupils, however casually, in ways or on parts of the body that might be considered indecent, unnecessary or familiar or use inappropriate language. Particular care may be necessary when supervising pupils in out of Academy activities.

Teaching materials should be appropriate to the age and gender of pupils. Particular care should be taken that sex or health education materials are appropriate and consistent with the Academy's policies.

When holding meetings with pupils on sensitive issues, staff should exercise proper professional judgement over the arrangements for the meeting. They should safeguard their own position by, for instance, considering the need for a second adult to be present.

Corporal punishment defined as any intentional application of force as punishment is illegal and may render a member of staff liable to criminal action as well as action under the Academy's disciplinary procedures. Corporal punishment includes any form of physical chastisement.

Physical intervention will not constitute corporal punishment where its purpose is to avert an immediate danger of injury to, or an immediate danger to the property of, any person including a pupil. In such circumstances, the element of restraint should be the minimum necessary to prevent injury or remove the risk of harm.

Where physical contact is necessary, for example in teaching PE or Music, that contact should be the minimum necessary for the purpose and comply with accepted good practice. Particular care should be taken in helping pupils with physical or other disabilities

We have a separate First Aid Policy detailing appropriate actions when administering First Aid.

Following any incident where a member of staff has reason to believe that their actions may be open to misinterpretation, the Principal should be immediately notified and a written report submitted as soon as possible following the incident.

Guidance on procedures regarding suspected or alleged child abuse is contained in Child Protection/Safeguarding Policy.

In the event that a member of staff suspects or receives allegations that a child is the subject of abuse, a report should immediately be made in strict confidence to the designated teacher who will inform the Authority’s Child Protection Team as necessary.

Agreed guidelines on procedures where staff are accused of physical or sexual abuse of pupils are contained in the document “Teachers Facing an Allegation of Physical/Sexual Abuse: Guidelines on Practice and Procedure”, which is available in the Academy office

Conduct in Relation to the Academy

Staff should make sure that they do not  disclose confidential information to anyone who has no right to receive it and do not say or write anything that would constitute a breach of confidence. Confidential information relating to employment or the Academy should only be communicated on a need to know basis or with the specific permission of the Principal.

Use of materials and equipment provided by the Academy should not be used for purposes  unconnected with employment. Staff should always use public funds to the best advantage of the Academy and  community and adhere to high standards of probity in their use.

Staff should comply with Academy’s standing orders details of which are contained in the  Scheme of Delegation. These standing orders cover the declaration to the Principal or Business Manager of any indirect or direct financial interest in any contract or other matter involving  the Academy. This is particularly relevant in cases of tendering or in the selling of surplus equipment or property. The Principal should disclose such interest to the Chair of Governors.

Staff should not solicit or accept any gift, loan, fee, hospitality or other reward which influences the way in which they carry out their duties. They should not influence or be influenced unfairly in the way they carry out their duties by ties of kinship or friendship, or by some other association or loyalty.

Care should be taken to avoid any conflict of interest between activities outside the Academy and professional responsibilities. Staff should not undertake work or engage in activities in their own time through which they seek to exercise unfair advantage by virtue of their position. In no case should outside activities bring the Academy into disrepute.

Staff should not, without authority, undertake activities unconnected with their professional role during working hours. Policies relating to Leave of Absence are laid down in the Attendance Policy and should be followed.