ST Mary's College

ST. Mary’s College

Whistleblowing Policy

Statement of intent

St. Mary’s College is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, probity and accountability. In line with that commitment we expect all St. Mary’s employees, and others that we deal with, who have serious concerns about any aspect of the school’s work to come forward and voice those concerns.

 

What is ‘whistleblowing’?

‘Whistleblowing’ is the practice of employees raising serious concerns within (St. Mary’s College) withother colleagues, as opposed to overlooking or ignoring the concern.

Employees are often the first to realise that there is something seriously wrong within a school. They may not, however, express their concerns as they feel that speaking up would be disloyal to one or several of their colleagues or friends.

 

St. Mary’s College policy on whistleblowing is intended to demonstrate that the school…

  • Will not tolerate malpractice.
  • Respects the confidentiality of employees raising concerns and will provide procedures
  • To maintain confidentiality so far as is consistent with progressing the issues effectively.
  • Will provide the opportunity to raise concerns outside of the normal line management
  • structure where this is appropriate.
  • Will invoke the school’s disciplinary policy and procedure in the case of false, malicious,or frivolous allegations.
  • Will provide a clear and simple procedure for raising concerns, which is accessible to allemployees.

 

Malpractice

St. Mary’s College staff should not use the whistle‚Äźblowing procedure to raise grievances about their personal employment situation. The whistleblowing procedure enables employees to express a legitimate concern regarding suspected malpractice within the school and these concerns should be in the public’s interest.

Malpractice is not easily defined however; it includes but is not limited to allegations of

fraud, financial irregularities, corruption, bribery, dishonesty, acting contrary to the staff code of ethics and behaviour, failing to comply with safeguarding and welfare responsibilities, criminal activities, failing to comply with a legal obligation, a miscarriage of justice, creating or ignoring a serious risk to health, safety or the environment.

 

The procedure – whistleblowing and investigation

St. Mary’s College staff will be at liberty to express their concerns with Owner/Director, Director of Studies or Designated Senior Person for Safeguarding. Any concerns raised will be investigated thoroughly and in a timely manner. Appropriate corrective action will be pursued. The member of staff raising a concern or making the allegation will be kept informed of progress wherever possible and, subject to third party rights, will be informed of the outcome. An employee who is not satisfied that his/her concern is being properly dealt with, will have the right to raise it in confidence with the Principal.

 

Confidentiality

St. Mary’s College staff who wish to raise a concern under this procedure are entitled to have the matter treated confidentially. Their name will not be disclosed to the alleged perpetrator of

malpractice without their prior approval. It is appropriate to preserve confidentiality where

concerns are raised orally rather than in writing, although employees are encouraged to

express their concern in writing wherever possible.

 

External procedures

It should be noted that under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, there are circumstances where a St. Mary’s College employee may be entitled to raise concern directly with an external body. Such an instance would normally occur when the employee has already raised the matter internally, but has reasonable grounds to believe that:

  • their concerns are not being taken seriously
  • it is justified by exceptionally serious circumstances.
  • the school would conceal or destroy the relevant evidence.
  • he or she would be victimised by the school.
  • the Secretary of State has ordered it.

Malicious accusations

False, malicious or frivolous accusations will be treated as gross misconduct and dealt with

accordingly by the management of the school.

No employee at St. Mary’s College will suffer a detriment or be disciplined for raising a genuine and legitimate concern, providing that they do so in good faith and follow the Whistleblowing

procedures outlined in this document.

 

Revised:March 2017