Whistleblowing Policy

November 1, 2016

Policy Statement

 
The policy applies to all Ashbourne College employees – teaching and administrative, full time or contracted staff. Ashbourne has introduced this policy to enable any member of staff to report their concerns with confidence:

    1. Ashbourne is committed to achieving the highest standards of service, including honesty, openness and accountability and recognises the hugely important role employees have in achieving that goal. The College will not tolerate any malpractice or wrongdoing in the administration and delivery of its services. The expectation is that staff will want to raise concerns they have about the way services are being provided, or about possible misconduct issues. (As specified by the Teaching

    2. Ashbourne recognizes that although Staff are often the first to realise there may be something wrong within the College, that they may not express these concerns because they may feel that speaking out would be disloyal to their colleagues or the College. They may also be worried about repercussions if they make a stand. In these circumstances staff may clearly feel it is easier to ignore the issue rather than reporting what may only be a suspicion of danger, fraud or other unlawful or unethical conduct in the workplace.

    3. This whistleblowing policy is intended to encourage and enable staff to raise any concerns or suspicions without fear of victimisation or recrimination. The policy applies to all College employees and is to enable staff to raise concerns with confidence.

    4. Ashbourne College welcomes your genuine concerns and is committed to dealing responsibly, openly and professionally in response. Without your help we cannot expect to fully protect the interests of the College, its students or staff. If something is troubling you, which you think we should know about please use this procedure.

    5. In aiming for best practice, Ashbourne will ensure that ALL staff are trained in the Whistleblowing procedures as part of their induction at the college.

Wrongdoing at work

This procedure is designed to deal with disclosure of information by an employee which relates to some danger, fraud or other unlawful or unethical conduct in the workplace.

All types of wrongdoing are included whether they are acts committed by fellow employees, faults in College procedures or oversights which should be rectified. The procedure should be used even in the event that the act or omission causing you concern has finished or has not yet started.

Grievances

This procedure should not however be used where you have a complaint relating to your personal circumstances in the workplace. The Grievance Procedure contained in the Employment Manual should be used in such cases.

Detriment

Provided that this procedure is used correctly and you make the disclosure in good faith you will not suffer any detriment as a result of reporting the wrongdoing. A failure to follow this procedure may however make the disclosure unreasonable and the protection given to you by this procedure may be lost.
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Whistleblowing Procedures

 

Stage one

Procedure

You should disclose the suspected wrongdoing first to the Director of Studies. In the event that the Director of Studies is involved in the suspected wrongdoing, you shall be entitled to proceed directly to Stage Two of this procedure.

Response

You can expect a response detailing to whom the disclosure has been notified or any action taken within seven days of the Director of Studies becoming aware of the disclosure.

Stage two

Procedure

If no response is forthcoming after seven days or if the Director of Studies is involved in the suspected wrongdoing you shall be entitled to notify the Principal, as appropriate.

Response

You can expect a response detailing any action taken within seven days of the Principal becoming aware of the disclosure.

Stage three

Procedure

If no such response is forthcoming you should once more inform the Principal of the disclosure.

Stage four

Outside body

If you do not receive a response within seven days you shall be entitled to notify a relevant and appropriate body outside the College which may include:

  • the Health and Safety Executive
  • Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Children’s Safeguarding Board.
  • The LADO (Local Authority Designated Officer)
  • CIFE
  • the Environment Agency
  • the Information Commissioner
  • the Department of Education (DFE)
  • the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
  • In an Emergency – call the Police immediately on999
  • the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted)
Contact details for the Tri-Borough Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) for referral and management of allegations against staff:

Jane Foster
Safe Organisation Manager and Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
Telephone: 020 7641 6108
Email: jfoster1@westminster.gov.uk

Bypassing the procedure

In extreme circumstances you have the right to raise your concern directly with a relevant and appropriate outside body without first having followed the stages above. This may however cause damage to the College and its reputation as well as constitute a breach of your own duty of confidentiality towards the College and this action should only be taken in extreme circumstances and after careful thought.

Extreme circumstances

The College will consider extreme circumstances exist where you have a reasonable belief that: the College will subject you to detriment if you inform the Director of Studies in accordance with Stage one above or if you inform the Principal in accordance with Stage two or Stage three; a cover-up is being mounted by the College; or a disclosure made previously to the Director of Studies or the Principal in accordance with the stages above has not prompted a satisfactory response.

The Media

Even where extreme circumstances are thought to exist, you should under no circumstances approach a commercial body or the media with details of the suspected wrongdoing. If you approach any such body and / or where your concern is disclosed for personal gain, the College may consider this to be gross misconduct and immediate disciplinary action may be taken against you.

Queries

If you have any queries about this procedure you should contact the Director of Studies
 

Authorised by The Principal
Date November 2016
Effective date of the policy November 2016
Circulation Teaching staff / all staff / parents / Students on request
Review date September 2017