The Independent Grammar School: Durham
STAFF BEHAVIOUR POLICY
This Policy is separated into the five “bubbles” of Safeguarding.
1. Our responsibilities to safeguarding at IGS: Durham
Purpose of the Policy
• To keep children safe by clarifying which behaviours constitute safe practice and which behaviours should be avoided.
• To assist adults working with children at our school to work safely and responsibly and to monitor their own standards and practice.
• To support managers and employers in setting clear expectations of behaviour and/or codes of practice relevant to the services being provided.
• To support employers in giving a clear message that unlawful or unsafe behaviour is unacceptable and that, where appropriate, disciplinary or legal action will be taken.
• To support safer recruitment practice.
• To minimise the risk of misplaced or malicious allegations made against adults who work with children and young people.
• To reduce the risk of positions of trust being abused or misused
2. Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults
Principles for the Whole Workforce
Everyone at IGS: Durham who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play in safeguarding children. Therefore it is important that all staff:
• Ensure that they listen to and reflect on the voice of the child at ALL times and take seriously any concerns raised to them by a child
• Ensure that they report any concerns of harm to any child to the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately.
• Ensure that they record any information shared directly with them by a child or observed/witnessed with the Designated Safeguarding Lead immediately. This could include sharing information on behalf of the Designated Safeguarding Lead with other agencies
• Ensure that they maintain an attitude of “it could happen here” and report any concerns regarding the behaviour of an adult/staff member in school directly to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or Chairman the School Board if the allegation is relation to the Executive Principal.
• Ensure that they attend regular training/updates to support them in recognising the signs and symptoms of abuse, particularly in support of early identification of needs of children to prevent an escalation of risk to the child.
3. Safe People
Principles for the Whole Workforce
• The welfare of the child is paramount
• It is the responsibility of all adults to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and young people. This responsibility extends to a duty of care for those adults employed, commissioned or contracted to work with children and young people.
• Adults who work with children are responsible for their own actions and behaviour and should avoid any conduct which would lead any reasonable person to question their motivation and intentions.
• Adults should work and be seen to work in an open and transparent way.
• The same professional standards should always be applied regardless of culture, disability, gender, language, racial origin, religious belief and/or sexual identity.
• Adults should continually monitor and review their practice and ensure they follow the school’s policies and practice.
• Responsibilities for safeguarding are set out in the school’s Child Protection Policy and a clear understanding of those responsibilities will be an important part of induction for all staff, including temporary and supply staff. Specific responsibilities are attached to various individuals but ultimately the welfare of our pupils is everyone’s concern at IGS: Durham.
• It is always better to err on the side of caution, and staff will never be criticised for doing so. Professional judgement, however, is valuable and should always be used in dealing with children.
• Adults working with children are in a position of power trust. All staff should be aware that under section 16 of the Sexual Offences Act “it is an offence for a person aged 18 or over (e.g. teacher, youth worker) to have a sexual relationship with a child under 18 where that person is in a position of trust in respect of that child even if the relationship is consensual”. Clearly in the initial phase of the life of our school we will have only very young children but we aim to grow and this issue cannot be ignored for that reason.
• All staff must be aware of the area of influence and potential “disqualification by association” (see Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE) 2015) together with the “duty to prevent” contained within the Counter Terrorism and Security Act, 2015. Adults can influence and in turn be influenced by partners and be able to influence those they educate. A culture of vigilance is important in this respect.
• Confidentiality must never be promised to a child. Appropriate confidentiality, however, is important in maintaining the trust of
• Staff must at all times maintain the highest standards of behaviour. This sets a good example to children. It gives parents confidence in the school.
• The dress code for staff is an important indication of our professionalism. Female staff must wear a smart business suit (skirt or trousers). High heels must not be worn. Staff working with small children may wear more comfortable clothing, but always maintaining a smart appearance. Male staff must wear smart business clothing including a tie and jacket. Male or female staff who are teaching games may wear appropriate clothing (e.g. a tracksuit) and may wear such clothing in the classroom but only where it is impossible to change before the lesson in question begins. Neither staff nor children are permitted to chew gum. Staff must not walk around school with hot drinks. Unless the weather is especially hot, male staff must wear a jacket at all times.
• Staff may accept token gifts at Christmas, at the end of the year etc. Such gifts may be flowers, chocolates or similar. Any gift which is clearly more valuable (i.e. having an estimated value of more than £15) must be politely refused or if that is not possible handed in to the Head of School or Executive Principal who will dispose of it appropriately.
• Staff will never use their personal media (text, email, Facebook etc.) to communicate with any child at IGS: Durham of whatever age. Although it would be difficult to prevent anyone from communicating with an adult over the age of 18 who may be a former pupil from another school, staff are discouraged from doing so. All communications with parents or children must be through the school’s own channels and a formal tone should always be maintained.
• The school’s policy on the use of reasonable force must be read and carefully observed by all staff.
• The school’s policy on intimate care must similarly be read and scrupulously observed by all staff.
• Staff must avoid one to one situations with children. Where possible, avoid such situations altogether. If it is absolutely necessary to be one to one with a child, make sure the meeting takes place in a place that can be seen by others.
• The school’s Photographic Policy must be read and understood by all staff.
• Even young children, especially those with older siblings, may be exposed to inappropriate images, for example on a mobile phone. This must be taken very seriously and reported immediately to the Designated Safeguarding Lead.
• Mobile phones must not be used during the school day. It follows that cameras must not be used either. Mobile phones must be handed in at the start of the day and collected at the end. This rule must be followed and if not sanctions will be used.
• The school has a Whistleblowing Policy and staff are expected to read and understand it.
4. Safe premises & Safe Places
Most of the following points are linked to the school’s Health and Safety Policy, a key document which all staff must read, understand and observe.
• All teaching and classroom support staff will receive first aid training.
• The school’s Medication Policy must be read by all staff
• The location of the school in the centre of Durham means that drop off and pick up times need to be carefully managed. Safety for children once past the school gate is good and manageable, as long as staff on duty are vigilant. At the time this Policy is being developed discussions are taking place with Durham City Council to plan a safe procedure for parents and children so that the beginning and the end of the school day can be effectively managed.
• All educational visits, trips etc. must be carefully planned in line with the school’s policy and appropriate risk assessments carried out. All risk assessments must be approved by the Executive Principal before any trip outside school can take place.
5. Safe Children
This “bubble” typically covers the following issues, all of which are dealt with earlier in the Policy.
• Social contact outside of the workplace
• Sexual conduct
• Physical contact
This policy was developed in January 2017 and will be reviewed at least annually or more frequently if appropriate