To be read in conjunction with:
- The Staff Handbook
- The policy for Disciplinary Matters (Staff)
- The Grievance Procedures Allegations Management Procedures
- Contract of Employment
1.Purpose – This document is an agreed code to meet the operational needs of the school.
1.1.The conduct, behaviour and practice of all school staff will have an influence on the development of children and young people. This code sets out to guide the everyday judgements and actions of staff, providing clear guidance on what is acceptable conduct and what is not.
1.2.The model Code of Conduct does not cover every eventuality.
2.1.This procedure applies to all staff working at The Cedars School.
3.Roles and Responsibilities
3.1.The headteacher is responsible for ensuring all staff in the school are made aware of, and adhere to, the Code of Conduct and for providing support and encouragement to ensure staff maintain the highest standards of integrity, honesty, accountability and openness.
3.2.All staff are responsible for reading and adhering to the Code of Conduct, and for reflecting on their own conduct and practice and ensuring they meet the standards required of them.
3.3.Breaches of the Code of Conduct may result in disciplinary action being taken. Serious breaches may result in dismissal from the school’s employment.
The following standards apply to all school staff:
4.1.All employees are expected to apply the values of the school in their conduct at work, demonstrating honesty and integrity at all times. In general terms, the school expects that the conduct of its employees is such that no justifiable complaint can be made by parents, pupils, colleagues, other bodies or agencies or members of the community in relation to conduct and behaviour of school staff. Any complaints about inappropriate conduct will be dealt with fairly and reasonably, using the agreed procedures.
4.2.All employees are expected to use their professional expertise and judgement to put the well being, development and progress of pupils first, within the context of their role.
4.3.All individuals associated with the school have the right to be treated with respect and dignity; therefore all employees are expected to treat colleagues, pupils, parents, schools partners, other bodies or agencies or members of the community with dignity and respect.
4.4.Employees should not use their position within the school for any purpose other than school business.
4.5.The school has an agreed procedure for the management of staff discipline. All employees should make themselves aware of this procedure and its’ content
4.6.All employees are expected to obey the law relating to their work and general conduct. Where an employee breaks the law outside of working time and the offence is one that could damage public confidence or has a direct effect on work, the employee may be subject to the disciplinary procedures.
4.7.Employees are required to adhere to all health and safety policies and practices see Working Safely – section 18).
4.8. The school operates a ‘no smoking’ policy and smoking is not allowed within the school or school grounds.
4.9.Where an employee is taking prescribed drugs, he/she should inform the Head Teacher where this may affect behaviour and/or performance at work.
4.10.It is good practice for employees to inform the Head Teacher if suffering from a medical condition, or have personal circumstances that may adversely affect performance at work.
5.Gifts and hospitality
Employees of the school may from time to time be offered gifts or hospitality, for example from parents. The following advice should guide decisions on receipt of such gifts/hospitality:
5.1..Small individual thank you gifts may be accepted. Gifts resulting from collections are exempt (e.g. weddings or leaving presents).
5.2.Always refuse a gift/offer of hospitality if you suspect the giver is trying to gain or has an ulterior motive. Always be sensitive to the possibility the giver may think that even small gift/offer hospitality may elicit preferential treatment.
5.3.Never accept a gift/offer of hospitality from someone who is, or may be in the foreseeable future, tendering for any contract with the school, seeking employment with the school, or in any form of dispute with the school.
5.4 Occasional working lunches with providers or partners are generally acceptable provided they are not to an unreasonably level or cost and the provider or partner is not seeking to achieve an advantage.
5.5.Invitations to corporate hospitality events must be judged on their merit. It may be acceptable, for example, to attend cultural or sporting events or other public performances as a representative of the school. Consider the number of these events that are attended and what the public perception may be if you were to attend, bearing in mind point 5.1.2.
5.6.Invitations to speak at corporate events, seminars or gatherings which have been made to you in your school capacity must be approved by your head teacher before acceptance.
5.7.If you are in any doubt about the acceptability of a gift/offer of hospitality, consult the Head Teacher.
6.Financial and personal interests
6.1.School staff must at all times be seen to be acting fairly and impartially and personal needs or interests, or those of family or friends, must not influence actions or decisions.
6.2.Where an employee has a friend, associate or relative who is providing goods or services to the school, of a kind that the employee deals with directly or monitors in the course of his/her work, this should be disclosed. Disclosures must be made in writing to the head teacher, who will advise any other school staff who may need to know.
6.3.Off-duty hours are generally the personal concern of the employee, though employees must not engage in any outside activity that may conflict with the interests of the school or could damage the confidence of the community in the school/role of the employee.
6.4.Employees should register with the head teacher any membership of an organisation not open to the public that has secrecy about rules, membership and/or conduct (e.g. Freemasons).
7.1.Members of the school management team must not engage in any other business or take up any additional appointment without the written consent of the head teacher. Consent will not be unreasonably withheld.
7.2.Other employees may take up additional employment without consent providing the employment does not conflict with the interests of the school or in any way weaken the confidence of the community in the individual or school.
7.3.Where an employee undertakes additional employment he/she must notify the head teacher of the number of hours he/she is working per week, to comply with the requirements of the Working Time Directive.
7.4 Being a member of our school staff is a position of trust – n relationship with any under 18, whether in school or beyond is appropriate.
8.1.Confidential information must not be disclosed to anyone who does not have a right to know. Paper-based and electronic information must be stored securely and confidentially with access limited to those who have a right to view it.
8.2.Employees must not disclose any information that is confidential or that, if it were made public, may lead to a breakdown in the trust and confidence the school is required to provide to the community. It may be necessary to discuss confidential information with colleagues. Where this is the case, the discussions must take place in private.
8.3.Employees must not disclose any information about the school/children/parents to the press or other media unless expressly authorised to do so by the Head Teacher.
8.4.Employees must not disclose information about the school or its pupils on social networking sites or such similar sites. Employees should consider the information that they include on these sites and how the information may impact on the school and its reputation. Inappropriate disclosure of information may be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure.
8.5.Employees should not put confidential or sensitive information on memory sticks which have not been encrypted to ensure confidential information can’t be accessed should the stick be lost or misplaced.
9.Recruitment and Appointment
9.1.Employees involved in recruitment and appointment must apply the school’s recruitment and selection processes and ensure fairness and equality is applied at all times.
9.2.Where an employee is involved in recruitment or making an appointment, he/she must advise the head teacher where he/she is closely associated with any of the candidates (e.g. close friend, relative).
10.Dress and Presentation
10.1.The school expects its employees to dress in a formal manner that creates a good and professional impression. Clothes should provide sufficient cover and not be offensive. Choice of dress and footwear should demonstrate sufficient regard for health and safety. Shoes should have a back and a covered toe.
10.2.All personal protective equipment must be worn where required.
11.Safeguarding (see also Child Protection Policy)
11.1.All employees are responsible for following and adhering to their school’s child protection and safeguarding policies and procedures.
11.2.All employees are expected to use the appropriate channels, as set out in the relevant procedures, to raise concerns about the practice of others if there is suspicion that their conduct has a negative impact on learning or causes harm to pupils.
11.3.Employees must inform the Head teacher as soon as reasonably practicable if they are subject to a criminal investigation or have received a conviction, caution or have been banned from working with children.
11.4. Physical contact with children. Staff may have cause to have physical contact with children for a variety of reasons:
- to comfort a child in ditress
- to gently direct a child
- for curricula reasons, e.g in physical activities such a gymnastics, drama, art
- in an emergency to avert danger to the child or others
- in rare situations when physical restraint is needed
- if the need for intimate care arises, this should only be undertaken with the knowledge of another member of staff and with another member of staff in close attendance. When supervising children changing for PE, this should lead to an occasion where one member of staff is alone with a pupil.
11.5. Staff must be aware of, and follow the guidance in the school’s Physical Restraint policy.
In all situations when physical contact between staff and children takes place, staff must consider the following:
- the child’s age and level of understanding as to why physical contact is made.
- the child’s individual characteristics e.g whether physical contact might be misinterpreted or resented
- the location where the contact takes place. It should NEVER take place in private without a witness being present.
- minimum physical contact should be used
- Physical contact will NEVER be used as a a punishment and all forms of corporal punsihment are prohibited.
- Any complaints about any form of physical contact should be dealt with under the school’s Complaints pocedure.
12.Relationships with parents and carers
12.1.All employees should strive to establish productive relationships with parents and carers. It should not be necessary to share personal email addresses or telephone numbers with parents. If a circumstance arises where a member of staff feels this is necessary, they should discuss this with the head before sharing the information.
12.2.This includes providing parents and carers with accessible and accurate information about their child’s progress, involving parents and carers in important decisions about their child’s education, considering parents and carer’s views and perspectives and following the school policies on communication and involvement with parents and carers.
12.3.Where an interaction with a parent or carer becomes aggressive or offensive, the interaction should be ended politely and firmly, with assistance summoned where required. Risk assessments should be undertaken prior to any contact with parents/carers where aggression or violence is anticipated and the appropriate lone working procedures must be instigated.
12.4 The school uses social media such as facebook and Twitter to share news and information, but no member of staff should have any pupils as ‘friends’ on any social media platform. Any photographs taken using personal cameras/phones, should be uploaded as soon as practicable to the school’s one drive and be deleted form personal devices. No pictures may be retained or copied for any reason beyond 48 hours.
12.5 As our school is an active part of the community it is inevitable that staff will see pupils and parents outside school, however no home visits or 1:1 meetings outside school should take place without prior discussion with the head, and in such circumstances no member of staff should attend such visits or meetings alone.
12.6 1:1 meetings in school with parents should take place with an open door and no member of staff should be left alone in school while such a meeting is taking place.
13.Relationships with colleagues
13.1.Employees and colleagues should strive to maintain co-operative and effective working relationships. Relationships should be courteous, reasonable and fair at all times.
13.2.Employees should carry out all reasonable and lawful instructions given by those in authority to the best of their ability.
13.3.The Head and Deputy-head teacher should exercise any leadership and management responsibilities in a respectful, inclusive and fair way, and in accordance with school policies, contractual obligations and national standards.
13.4.The Head and Deputy-head teacher should use the appropriate performance management frameworks to appraise the performance of direct reports and provide feedback. They should provide honest, accurate and justifiable comments when providing feedback, and encourage staff to undertake training and development opportunities, within the context of the school needs and budget.
13.5.The Head and Deputy-head teachers must ensure staff are aware of, and have access to, the relevant policies and procedures that affect their work.
14.Working as part of a whole-school team
14.1.Employees should endeavour to develop productive and supportive relationships with all school colleagues and to participate in whole-school development and improvement activities.
14.2.Employees should uphold all school policies and procedures and raise any concerns about the life or running of the school in an appropriate and responsible way.
14.3.Employees should recognise the important role of the school in the life of the community and take responsibility for upholding its reputation and building trust and confidence in it.
14.4.Employees should cooperate with other professionals in the children’s workforce, establishing effective and productive relationships with other professional colleagues.
14.5.Employees should at all times ensure they act within their sphere of their own competence and responsibilities and seek clarification where this is needed.
15.Respect for diversity and promoting equality
15.1.All employees must act appropriately towards all children and young people, parents, carers and colleagues, whatever their socio-economic background , age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion or belief.
15.2.Employees must take responsibility for understanding and complying with school policies relating to equality of opportunity, inclusion, access and bullying.
15.3.Employees should help to create a fair and inclusive school environment by taking steps to improve the wellbeing, development and progress of those with special needs, or whose circumstances place them at risk of exclusion or under-achievement.
15.4.Employees should strive to address discrimination, bullying or stereotyping, or seek assistance from the head teacher where issues are identified.
15.5 Employees should at all times be aware of their choice of language to ensure no discrimination of any sort is implied and at no times to use humiliating or degrading language to or with reference to others.
16.Working with money
16.1.Employees receiving or responsible for school money need to take particular care and must adhere to the appropriate financial procedures (FMSIS) at all times.
16.2.Employees submitting claims for reimbursement of legitimate expenditure must ensure the correct procedures are followed, the details of the claim are within set limits and can be substantiated (e.g. with receipts).
17.Using the school’s resources and premises
17.1.School equipment should not be used for excessive personal use unless authorised by the Head teacher. This includes photocopy facilities, stationery, telephones, computers and premises.
17.2.The use of the schools IT systems, particularly email and internet, should only be used for professional purposes. ICT Password should be kept confidential at all times and not disclosed to any other individual (see also ‘e – Safety’ policy and ICT Code Of Conduct
18.1.Both the school and its employees are responsible for ensuring that a healthy and safe working environment is maintained.
18.2.Actions or omissions of any individual that place others in danger may lead to disciplinary action.
18.3.Employees are expected to:
18.3.1 Adhere to the school’s health and safety policy and rules.
18.3.2 Advise the head teacher/appropriate person of any unsafe situations or practices
18.3.3 Take appropriate steps to ensure the health and safety of other employees, pupils and any other users of the school premises
18.3.4 Wear any safety clothing/equipment and ensure all pupils are wearing and use appropriate equipment
18.3.5 .Report any injuries, accidents or near misses to the appropriate Responsible Person
18.3.6 Report incidents of abusive/aggressive or bullying/threatening behaviour that is experienced or witnessed to the appropriate responsible Person
18.3.7 Advise the Head Teacher when taking any medication that could affect the ability to work safely
18.3.8 Comply with hygiene requirements.
18.4 As we are a small school, occasionally a member of staff may be called upon to transport a child in their own car with the knowledge and permission of the head/deputy and the parents. A 3 point seatbelt as well as an appropriate car seat (where required) must be used. Staff should ensure they have ‘business’ cover on their car insurance; evidence of this must be shown to the deputy head.
19.Protecting the School and its standards
19.1.Where an employee has reason to suspect that colleagues are acting improperly, the employee should report these suspicions to the head teacher (or the Deputy-Head teacher if the suspicions concern the head teacher). The employee will be assured the concerns, when made in good faith, will be heard without fear of victimisation, discrimination or disadvantage in accordance with the confidential reporting code.
19.2.Improper conduct can cover a wide range, including financial irregularity, abuse of pupils, abuse of power or position, neglect of duty, discrimination, bullying or harassment in accordance with the confidential reporting code.
Reviewed date: Oct 2019
Next review Oct 2020
Adopted by: Jane O’Halloran, Head Teacher