Whistle blowing code for issues relating to staff, children and young people.
Purpose of the code
The school adheres to the local authority whistleblowing policy and procedures that enable staff to raise concerns relating to:
▪ a miscarriage of justice
▪ health and safety
▪ environmental or property damage
▪ unauthorized use of public funds
▪ concealing or attempting to cover up any of the above.
This code provides additional information to help staff to understand the role of whistle blowing in the context of poor practice and unacceptable conduct and attitudes towards children.
When to use the code
The whistle blowing procedures and this code may be used by anyone employed by the school in a paid or voluntary capacity who believes they have reason to suspect that the conduct of an employee towards a child is inappropriate. Inappropriate conduct includes, but is not confined to:
▪ bullying or humiliation
▪ contravening health and safety guidelines
▪ serious breaches of the school’s code of ethical practice
▪ professional practice that falls short of normally accepted standards
▪ compromising pupils’ welfare but in a way that does not meet the threshold for child protection intervention.
Reasons for blowing the whistle
Staff will naturally be reticent to report a concern about the conduct of a colleague. However, each individual must take responsibility for ensuring that children are fairly treated. If poor practice is allowed to continue unchecked, it could escalate with serious consequences. Your action not only protects children, but also deters any suggestion that you have colluded with poor practice that you knew was occurring but chose to ignore.
Whistle blowing can also support the member of staff who is the subject of the concern. Their conduct may result from inexperience or lack of training that can be addressed by the school, or they may be under stress and be relieved when their conduct is questioned. Staff who deliberately fail children and show no remorse or desire to improve are unlikely to welcome being exposed, but their conduct has to be confronted for the sake of the child and the reputation of the whole school.
Barriers to whistleblowing
You may worry that you have insufficient evidence to raise a concern that you will set in train an unstoppable chain of events, that there will be adverse repercussions for your career, that you may suffer harassment or victimization, or that your suspicion or concern might be totally misplaced. These concerns are entirely understandable but you can be reassured that whistle blowing procedures addresses these issues.
The Executive Measures in Anti-Corruption Act, B.E. 2551 and the Executive Measures in Anti-Corruption Act, B.E. 2551 protects employees from reprisals for public interest whistleblowing. Your head of department, principal, head of school, or the local authority legal services can provide you with information about your legal position.
Confidentiality and anonymity
All concerns are treated in confidence and, as far as possible, your identity will not be revealed if that is your wish. However, absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed if, as a result of an investigation, you are required to provide a witness statement or attend a court hearing. You can, if you prefer, raise your concern anonymously. The school would need to decide whether the levity and credibility of the concern warrants investigation if the source of the concern, and the key evidence, is not readily available. The school will fully support you and do all it can to protect you from any harassment or adverse repercussions that may arise from whistleblowing. Allegations that prove to be deliberately fabricated and malicious will be dealt with through staff disciplinary procedures. However, no action will be taken against any member of staff who raises a genuine concern that proves to be unfounded.
It may help if you write down, for your own benefit, what you have observed or heard that is causing alarm. One useful way to decide whether your concern should be reported is to consider whether you would want the conduct of this member of staff to continue unchecked if your own child or another young family member was involved.
▪ You may raise your concern verbally or in writing. You should report your concern directly to the principal or head of school.
▪ If the head of school is the subject of your concern, speak to your principal or the Head of Schools (Mr. Heinrich Fourie).
▪ A friend, colleague or department representative may accompany you to the meeting if you wish.
▪ Ensure the head of school or principal informs you of their proposed action and sets a date for a second meeting.
▪ Timescales will depend on the complexity of the initial inquiry but the case should not be allowed to stall and you should receive initial feedback within 10 working days. The timescale for subsequent feedback should then be agreed.
▪ Ask for clarification about confidentiality and ensure you have your wishes regarding the protection of your identity recorded.
▪ Process and outcome
The head of school or appropriate personnel will make enquiries to establish the facts of the matter and whether poor practice or inappropriate conduct has occurred. Members of the school community, including governors, may be asked to provide information or advice.
▪ External advice, for example, from legal or human resources or children’s services may be sought.
▪ A written record of the conduct, established facts and outcome of the inquiry will be kept.
▪ The whistleblower will be kept informed of the progress of the inquiry. ▪ The outcome of the inquiry will be one of the following:
▪ No poor practice or wrongdoing is established and the case is closed. ▪ The concern has some substance and the subject of the concern will receive advice and support from the head teacher to improve practice.
▪ Poor practice or wrongdoing is established and disciplinary proceedings are initiated.
▪ The concern is more serious and an investigation is initiated. This investigation may involve the local authority’s legal team, children’s social services or the police.
If, at any stage in the process, there is reason to believe that a child is at risk of significant harm, children’s social services will be immediately involved.
If you raise a concern and you are dissatisfied with the way it is managed, or the outcome, you may contact the governing body for advice.
Alternatively, you can seek advice from the Head of Schools, Mr. Heinrich Fourie.
Mr. Heinrich Fourie
52/347 Muang Ake, Phahonyothin Road., Lak Hok, Mueang, Pathum Thani 12000 02 792 7500-4