School of Coding is a safe, well ordered and caring environment for learning. It delivers high quality education to all its students and supports them to develop their individual potential for growth, self-worth and self-control.
High quality outstanding teaching, and clear and consistent guidance and support, facilitates students in succeeding in education. Our broad and balanced academic and vocational curriculum will provide students with access to a broad range of accredited qualifications as well as educational and social experiences, which will address their learning and emotional needs (including SEND and Mental Health support). Our purpose is to support every student to develop their true potential, make positive contributions to their families and find fulfilment in employment.
- Alternative Provision doesn’t mean a dumping ground…it’s mainstream with the reasonable adjustments to succeed
- High standards and high expectations are incredibly important and are the corner stones to a successful school
- School of Coding should become the go-to place for educators from across the country to see best practice
- Good simply isn’t good enough
- Learning is about a journey and there is more than one way to get to the destination
- Qualifications, manners, respect and opportunity should be the foundations for students that need a second chance.
High standards – students are pushed to achieve beyond their potential, and staff work to ensure everything that we do is better than people expect.
Daring to Dream – students at School of Coding may have been in an educational setting where they lacked aspiration to be successful, at School of Coding we challenge students to reach their potential and go on to further education and employment.
Traditional Values – some things often get forgotten in education, at School of Coding we pride ourselves on mutual respect, good manners, making a positive contribution, supporting one another and an orderly, litter free environment.
Success – can come in many virtues, at School of Coding we celebrate the small steps every day and tell students when they are doing well. We ensure that students can have a successful future.
Personalised Support – all students at School of Coding have a Learning Coach who guides them, sets them bespoke targets and supports them in making social and academic progress.
Statement of Purpose
If employees at one time or another have concerns about what is happening at work and discover lapses in these areas, they must be encouraged to come forward and disclose their concerns to someone who can be trusted to take action. This process is known as
‘Whistleblowing’. This issue will be treated seriously and in a confidential manner.
1.1. All staff at one time or another have concerns about what is happening at work. More often than not, these concerns are relatively minor and can be easily resolved. Openness, probity and accountability are vital components of public service. Employees who discover lapses in these areas must be encouraged to come forward and disclose their concerns to someone who can be trusted to take action. This process is known as ‘Whistleblowing’. These issues will be taken seriously and treated in a confidential manner.
1.2. The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 makes it automatically unfair to dismiss someone on the grounds that they undertook a ‘protected disclosure’ (i.e. a disclosure made in good faith with a reasonable belief that there has been malpractice or impropriety), and compensation in these circumstances is unlimited. In order for staff to be protected under this law they must take reasonable steps to raise the matter internally first before going outside the organisation and reporting their concerns such as to the press.
1.3. The policy applies to all school based employees and those contractors working for the school or on school premises, including temporary and agency staff, it also covers suppliers and those providing services under a contract with the school in their own premises.
1.4. This policy and procedure document may be applied to employees working in Academies in the following circumstances:
- Where a school has become an Academy having previously adopted this policy and procedure.
1.5. Where an Academy has decided to adopt this policy and procedure following appropriate consultation. (For those Academies that pay in to the Walsall Council facilities agreement, consultation with unions will have already been undertaken. For all other Academies, local consultation with employees and their representatives will need to take place). All references to “the school” should therefore be taken to refer to the Academy and references to “the Director” should be taken to refer to the Director of the Academy. Advice on any other aspects of the document which may not relate directly to employees working in an Academy can be sought from your HR Advisor.
2. What is the Policy for?
2.1. The policy has been introduced to:
- encourage employees to feel confident in raising serious concerns and to question and act upon concerns about practice
- provide avenues for staff to raise those concerns and receive feedback on any action taken
- ensure that staff receive a response to their concerns and that they are aware of how to pursue them if they are not satisfied
- reassure staff that they will be protected from possible reprisals or victimisation if they have reasonable belief that there is malpractice or impropriety and have made a disclosure in good faith.
3. Examples of areas covered
3.1. The Policy is intended to cover the following areas of concern:
- lapses in child protection provision;
- conduct which is an offence or a breach of the law/statutory powers;
- disclosures related to miscarriages of justice;
- health and safety risks, including risks to the public as well as other employees
- damage to the environment;
- unauthorised use of public funds including action against Standing Orders or Financial Regulations;
- possible fraud and corruption;
- any other unethical conduct or improper conduct; or concealment of any of the above.
3.2. Or it may be something that:
- makes an employee feel uncomfortable in terms of known standards; or is against school policies and procedures.
3.3. The policy is not intended to replace the complaint or employee grievance or other established procedures.
4. When to raise a concern
4.1. Under Section 17 of the ‘Code of Conduct for School Employees’ 2012’, where they become aware of or suspect that unauthorised or irregular activity is taking place, there is a duty for employees to report such wrong doings. Employees may however, be worried about raising such issues or may want to keep the concerns to themselves, perhaps feeling that it is none of their business or that it is only a suspicion. Additionally, there might be a feeling that raising the matter would be disloyal to colleagues, managers or the organisation. There is also the danger of saying something but finding out the wrong person has been notified or that the issue has been raised in the wrong way.
4.2. This policy has been put in place to enable employees to raise their concerns about such malpractice at an early stage and in the right way. It is better that the matter is raised when it is a concern rather than wait for proof. Employees are encouraged to use this policy if ever there is an occasion when an issue is troubling or is of concern. The whistle blowing policy is primarily for concerns where the interests of others or the school itself is at risk
4.3. The school is committed to this policy. Any employee raising a genuine concern under this policy will not be at risk of losing their job or suffering any form of retribution as a result. Provided it is an act of good faith, it does not matter if an employee is mistaken. Of course, this assurance is not extended to anyone who maliciously raise a matter they know is not true.
4.4. The school will not tolerate the harassment or victimisation of anyone raising a genuine concern. However, we recognise that someone might want to raise a concern in confidence under this policy. If an employee asks to have their identity protected, it will not be disclosed without their consent. If the situation arises where we are not able to resolve the concern without revealing an employee’s identity (for instance because their evidence is needed in court) this will be discussed fully with them as to whether and how we can proceed.
4.5. Remember that if an employee does not disclose who they are, it will be much more difficult for us to look into the matter or to protect their position or to give them feedback. Accordingly, while we consider anonymous reports, this policy is not well suited to concerns raised anonymously.
5. How the School will respond
5.1. Initial enquiries will be made to decide whether an investigation is appropriate and what form it should take. Some concerns may be resolved by agreed action without the need for investigation.
5.2. Within ten working days, the person to whom the concern has been referred to will write to the member of staff:
- acknowledging that the concern has been received;
- an indication of how the matter will be dealt with
- giving an estimate of how long it will take to provide a final response;
- telling the member of staff whether any initial enquiries have been made;
- supplying information on staff support mechanisms, which may include confidential counselling; and
- informing the member of staff whether further investigations will take place and if not, why not.
5.3. The school will respond to concerns. Where appropriate the matters raised may:
- be investigated by management, and lead into the disciplinary process; and/or
- be referred to Audit; and/or
- be referred to the police
5.4. The amount of contact between the person considering the issues and the employee will depend on the nature of the matters raised, the potential difficulties involved and the clarity of the information provided. If necessary, the school will seek further information from the employee. Where any meeting is arranged, off-site if requested, the employee may be accompanied by a work colleague who may be a trade union/professional representative.
5.5. The school accepts that all staff need to be assured that the matters will be properly investigated. Subject to legal constraints, staff who have raised the concern will be informed of the outcomes of any investigation.
5.6. Any attempt to victimise a person who has reported a concern under this procedure will be dealt with under the Disciplinary Procedure.
6. How to raise a concern
6.1. Concerns can be raised by phone or in writing. Any concern should be raised at the earliest opportunity. The more information that can be supplied, including dates, times, details and names, the greater the opportunity to establish the facts. Although staff will not be expected to prove beyond doubt the truth of the allegation, they will need to demonstrate to the person contacted that there are reasonable grounds for concern. Malicious allegations may lead to disciplinary action being taken
6.2. Staff should normally raise concerns with their immediate manager. However dependent upon the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues involved and who is suspected of the malpractice, for example, if you believe that senior management is involved, you should approach any of the following as appropriate:
- The Director
- The Chair of Governors
6.3. The CEO You should seek advice from your trade union/professional body. You may also seek external advice from Audit, the Citizens Advice Bureau, the police or “Public Concern at Work’’.
6.4. Concerns are better raised in writing. This sets out the background and history of the concern.
Remember, malpractice affects everyone and is unacceptable.
Blowing the whistle on is one way of stamping it out – for good.