Staff Code of Conduct
Policy Last Updated on: January 2018
Policy Last Updated by: Matt Pattison
Next Review Date: January 2019
Staff must act in a professional manner at all times and aim to provide a safe and supportive environment which secures the well-being and very best outcomes for children in our care.
Staff conduct is a broad topic and encompasses all parts of your job role. Whilst it is difficult cover all aspects, the policy looks at a number of key areas. If you are concerned about a situation that you find yourself or a colleague in then always seek advice from your line manager, Designated Safeguarding Lead.
Attendance and Timekeeping
Staff are expected to arrive promptly for the start of their working day. Attendance at training days are expected unless otherwise agreed. If a member of staff knows in advance that they will be late or absent then they should discuss this with their line manager to ensure cover is in place. When absence is at short notice, such as when unwell, then the Camp manager needs to be contacted as early as possible so that cover can be arranged. If you need to leave early the same procedure applies.
In accordance with UK law, and to promote a healthy and pleasant working environment, smoking is not allowed anywhere on site.
Alcohol and Illegal Drugs
The consumption of alcohol is not permitted on site except when a member of staff is attending a function on site or an event where modest amounts of alcohol may be consumed. Employees must remember that they represent Elite Holiday Clubs at all times and therefore their behaviour and conduct must not be adversely affected as a result of drinking alcohol. The consumption of illegal drugs are not permitted at any time. If staff are felt to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol whilst at work then they will see the Camp Manager. This may then result in the employee being asked to leave the site and then be subject to disciplinary proceedings. It should also be noted that if a member of staff is thought to smell of alcohol the same process will apply.
Elite Holiday Clubs wishes to convey an impression of professionalism. Therefore whilst not wishing to impose unreasonable obligations on staff they are, nonetheless, required to look smart in appearance. Staff Uniform will need to be worn at all times, firstly to keep our level of professionalism and secondly, parents and children who aren’t familiar with staff will need to know who is working.
Use of Mobile Phones and Cameras Mobile phone technology has advanced significantly over the last few years and it continues to evolve. Wireless connections in particular have extended the capabilities of mobile phones, enabling access to a wide range of new content and services globally. Many phones now offer Internet and email access, alongside the most often standard functions of messaging, camera, video and sound recording. Mobile phones, alongside other forms of technology are changing the way and speed in which we communicate. They can provide security and reassurance; however there are also associated risks. All staff at Elite Holiday Clubs need to understand these risks in order to help them develop appropriate strategies for keeping themselves safe. It is recognised that it is the enhanced functions of many mobile phones that cause the most concern, and which are most susceptible to misuse. Misuse includes the taking and distribution of indecent images, age inappropriate language and topics exploitation and bullying. It is also recognised that mobile phones can cause an unnecessary distraction during the working day and can be intrusive when used in the company of others. When mobiles phones are misused it can impact on an individual’s dignity, privacy and right to confidentiality. Such concerns are not exclusive to children and young people; hence there is a duty to protect the needs and vulnerabilities of all. It is appreciated that it can be very difficult to detect when such devices are present or being used, particularly in relation to enhanced functions, such as cameras. The use of all mobile phones is therefore limited, regardless of their capabilities. The aim is to avoid distraction and disruption of the working day, and to minimise the opportunities for any individual to make any covert images or misuse functions in any other way. In certain areas of the setting it is prohibited to use a mobile. These areas are those which are considered to be the most vulnerable and sensitive, and include:
- changing areas ( including nappy changing area)
- swimming pool
- EYFS setting
Due to the nature and size of the site it is reasonable that staff will carry mobile phones on them. However whether the phone is a work issued or personal phone precautions should be taken. There is a clear expectation that all personal use is limited to allocated at lunch and break times.
Personal mobile phones must not be used to photograph pupils. A Elite Holiday Club digital camera must be used. Should pupils be allowed a mobile phone on them there will be clear guidance as to how, and when, they can be used. Children should not be given access to the school’s Wi-Fi connection. All members of the community leave their belongings in safe storage at their own risk. It is therefore recommended that phones are security marked, password protected and insured. No liability for loss and damages is accepted by the school. 7.
If a member of staff has concerns about the behaviour of another member of staff, he or she should report it at once to the Camp Manager. Any concern will be thoroughly investigated under the Holiday Club whistle-blowing procedures. Where there are allegations of criminal activity, the statutory authorities will always be informed. Wherever possible, and subject to the rights of the pupil or other persons involved, the member of staff will be informed of the outcome of the investigation. No one who reports a genuine concern in good faith needs to fear retribution. Under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 the member of staff may be entitled to raise a concern directly with an external body where the circumstances justify it. The Whistle Blowing Policy can be found on the school Website and in all of the offices of the members of SLT.
Position of Trust
As a result of their knowledge, position and/or the authority invested in their role, all adults working with children and young people in education settings are in positions of trust in relation to the young people in their care. A relationship between a member of staff and children who attend holiday clubs cannot be a relationship between equals. There is potential for exploitation and harm of vulnerable young people and all members of staff have a responsibility to ensure that an unequal balance of power is not used for personal advantage or gratification. Staff should be aware of the potential of infatuation of a pupil with a member of staff and seek advice from senior staff is they have any concerns that this may be occurring. Wherever possible, staff should avoid behaviour which might be misinterpreted by others, and report and record any incident with this potential. It is an offence for any member of Elite Holiday Club staff, 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, in the case of those over 16, the relationship is consensual.
Corporal Punishment is prohibited for all children at Elite Holiday Clubs. The prohibition includes the administration of corporal punishment to any child during any activity. The prohibition applies to all members of staff.
Communication with children
Staff should not give their personal mobile phone numbers or email addresses to any child, nor should they communicate with them by text message, personal email or via any form of social media.
Physical Contact with Pupils
A member of staff can never take the place of a parent in providing physical comfort although there are occasions when it is entirely appropriate and proper for staff to have physical contact with pupils. It is crucial that they only do so in ways appropriate to their professional role. Staff should, therefore, use their professional judgment at all times. Staff should be mindful of how demonstrations of affection can be misinterpreted. Physical contact should never be secretive, or of the gratification of the adult, or represent a misuse of authority. If a member of staff believes that an action could be misinterpreted, the incident and circumstances should be recorded as soon as possible and the DSL informed. Where exercises or procedures need to be demonstrated, caution should be used if the demonstration involves contact with pupils. It is acknowledged that some staff, for example, those taking sports activities or games, will, on occasions, have to initiate physical contact with pupils in order to support a pupil so they can perform a task safely, to demonstrate the use of a particular piece of equipment/instrument or assist them with an exercise. This should be done with the pupil’s agreement. Contact under these circumstances should be for the minimum time necessary to complete the activity and take place in an open environment. Staff should remain sensitive to any discomfort expressed, verbally or nonverbally by the child. Some job responsibilities necessitate intimate physical contact with children on a regular basis, for example assisting young children with toileting, providing intimate care for children with disabilities or in the provision of medical care. The additional vulnerabilities that may arise from a physical or learning disability are always taken into account. All children have a right to safety, privacy and dignity. The requirement of physical or intimate contact is dependent on the children’s abilities, age and maturity. The views of the child should be actively sought, wherever appropriate, when drawing up and reviewing formal arrangements. As with all individual arrangements for intimate care needs, agreements between the child, parents/carers and Holiday Club staff must be negotiated and recorded.
Any physical restraint is only permissible when a child is in imminent danger of inflicting an injury on himself/herself or on another, and then only as a last resort when all efforts to diffuse the situation have failed. Another member of staff should, if possible, be present to act as a witness. All incidents of the use of physical restraint should be recorded in writing and reported immediately to the DSL who will decide what to do next.
Staff members should never give absolute guarantees of confidentiality to pupils or adults wishing to tell them about something serious. They should guarantee only that they will pass on information to the minimum number of people who must be told in order to ensure that the proper action is taken. Staff/children must be advised that this may include external agencies. They will also take whatever steps they can to protect the informing pupil or adult from any retaliation or unnecessary stress that might be feared after a disclosure has been made.
At times staff may receive gifts from pupils or parents. In the majority of cases these are small gestures of thanks and are of low monetary worth. Whilst it is difficult to put an exact definition of what is or is not appropriate all staff are reminded to seek advice if the gift seems excessive or inappropriate. Likewise any gift or reward given to children should be appropriate. Rewards that potentially show favouritism of one child over another or are excessive in nature are not acceptable. Again staff are reminded to seek advice from the Camp Manager.
In summary staff should remember the following:
- The welfare of the child is paramount.
- Each child must be treated as an individual and adjustments made to meet that child’s individual needs so that they can be encouraged to meet their full potential.
- Staff must create a safe environment and have a duty to care for all the children attending Elite Holiday Clubs. In order to do this staff must follow the relevant guidelines set out in the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy as well as guidance contained in any other relevant policies.
- Staff must provide support to children who confide in them, but must follow the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.
- It is the responsibility of all adults to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in our care. This responsibility extends to a duty of care for those adults employed, commissioned or contracted to work with pupils.
- 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.
- Staff must recognise that there is a power imbalance between pupils and staff, and different levels of seniority of staff and ensure power and authority are never misused.
- 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 guidance contained in this document. Staff must take responsibility for their own continuing professional development.
- All staff must act in a responsible and appropriate manner, taking into account the needs of the children, the values of Elite Holiday Clubs, and the importance of communicating in a way that promotes a system of mutual respect between staff and pupils.
- All staff members and volunteers must work to promote all the Safeguarding Policies. Staff are advised of these at induction and annually (through training delivered by the Designated Safeguarding Lead and/or external agencies). All new staff receive Safeguarding Training and are aware of where to find and how to access Holiday Club policies. Staff are given a copy of this policy during their induction.
- Staff have the right to work in a safe environment and as such all allegations of abuse towards staff or actions against staff must be taken seriously and followed up as stated in this policy.