Whistleblowing Policy

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.
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.
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.
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.
Whistleblowing Procedures
Stage one
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 should inform the Principal. If the Principal is suspected you should inform the Local Authority (LADO) directly. 
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
If no response is forthcoming after seven days or you should notify the Principal, as appropriate.
You can expect a response detailing any action taken within seven days of the Principal becoming aware of the disclosure.
Stage three
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)
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 on 999
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:
Sharon Ackbersingh
Safer Organisation Manager and Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO)
Telephone: 07714 845 702; 020 7641 7668
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.
If you have any queries about this procedure you should contact the Director of Studies

Authorised by
The Principal

September 2021

Effective date of the policy
September 2021

Teaching staff / all staff / parents / Students on request

Review date
September 2022

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