Code of Conduct for Staff and Volunteers
This code of conduct needs to be read in conjunction with our Child Protection and Behaviour Policies.
Aims of this code:
- To outline the principles of good practice in matters of attitude and conduct when dealing with children in our care.
- To help safeguard children from any abuse, whether physical, sexual, emotional or through neglect.
- To protect adults working with children against any false allegations
Staff and volunteers will agree to work within the following guidelines:
1. General behaviour
- Treat all children and young people with respect
- Provide an example of good conduct you wish others to follow
- Encourage children and adults to feel comfortable and caring enough to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like
- Address complaints to the children’s behaviour not to their character
- Challenge unacceptable behaviour and report all allegations/suspicions of abuse
- Follow the school’s principles, procedures and guidance, and any specific procedures.
2. Relationships with children
Adults will conduct themselves in a professional manner in their relationships with children, including not overstepping the boundaries into personal contacts outside school, unless the child is already known to them in another capacity.
3. Physical contact with children
In order to maintain an appropriate professional relationship, physical contact between adults and pupils should be kept to a minimum. Young children may be comforted when distressed but adults should always be aware that innocent physical contact may be misinterpreted by observers or the recipient. Adults should avoid putting themselves in potentially compromising situations by observing the following rules:
- Do not initiate physical contact
- Do not prolong physical contact initiated by the child
- When comforting a child, keep physical contact to a minimum (e.g. taking child’s hand, putting a hand on their shoulder)
- Physical contact should never take place privately.
- Physical contact may be necessary as part of instruction, for example in PE. This should be kept to a minimum and should be made clear to children what contact will be used and why.
4. Intimate care
- When changing or cleaning a child or dealing with an injury that involves the removal of clothing, 2 people should be present if possible.
- If this is not possible, keep an open door policy.
- As far as possible, children should deal with his/her own needs.
5. Seeing children alone
- As a general rule, adults should not speak to, or work with, a child alone in the room with the door closed.
- If the adult (other than teacher or TA) needs to speak to or work with a child out of sight or earshot of other children or adults, another adult should be present.
- If circumstances where extreme quiet or confidentiality is essential, the work should take place in room with a window in the door, allowing others to see through or guidance should be sought from the designated safeguarding lead.
6. Physical restraint
This should only take place if it is necessary to:
- Protect this child from danger
- Protect another child from danger
- Protect serious damage to property
Adults should follow guidance from training on how to restrain children and in the physical intervention policy.
6. Transporting children
- Staff may only transport pupils in their car as part of school duties if they have appropriate insurance cover (Business Use) and have provided school with evidence of this and have another adult in the car.
- Adults should not transport children in their cars without parental permission.
- No adult may (as part of their school duties) transport an individual child in their car without another responsible adult or other children present.
- In an emergency when children are taken to hospital in a staff car, there will always be another member of staff present. Depending on the nature of the emergency, parental permission may not be requested before transportation.
7. Children’s images and use of the internet
- Staff should use cameras belonging to the school wherever possible when taking images or videos of children.
- If this is not possible, images should be transferred onto school network at the earliest opportunity.
- Images of children should be stored on the school network, not stored on personal computers or mobile phones.
- Staff should not have contact with pupils on social networking websites such as ‘Facebook’.
- Adults working in school may have access to sensitive information about children. This information should be treated confidentially.
- Volunteers working in school should inform a member of staff if they have concerns about a child and should not approach the child’s parent with this.
If you have any concerns about how your actions may be interpreted, please report them to the designated safeguarding lead.