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Thorpe Acre Pre-school Playgroup

C/O Thorpe Acre Infant School

Alan Moss Road
Loughborough

LE11 4SQ

Tel: 07803 054757
E-mail: playgroup@tais.leics.sch.uk

 

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Working Together to Safeguard Children
            Working Together to Safeguard Children

10.13 Whistle blowing policy

The whistle blowing procedure aims to help and protect staff, volunteers, students and children. By following the procedure you are acting to:

  • Prevent a problem getting worse,
  • Safeguard children and young people, and
  • Reduce the potential risks to others.

The earlier you raise a concern, the easier and sooner it is possible for the setting to take action.

 

Introduction

Thorpe Acre Preschool Playgroup is committed to the highest possible standards and recognises that its staff, students and volunteers are often the first to realise that there may be something wrong within the setting.  However, they may not express their concerns, because they feel that speaking up would be disloyal to their colleagues, or they may fear harassment or victimisation.  In these circumstances, it may be easier to ignore the concern, rather than report what may just be a suspicion of malpractice.

Concerns that should be raised via the Whistle Blowing Policy may be in relation to the actions/behaviours of other staff, students or volunteers, or about something that is perceived as:

  • Unlawful
  • Failing to comply with the setting’s policy and procedures
  • Poor practice
  • Is against Financial Regulations and policies

 

  • Falls below established standards of practice

 

  • Amounts to improper conduct, including something that is believed to be:

 

      • Against the law

 

      • A Health & Safety risk.

 

·         Damaging to the environment

 

·         A misuse of money

 

·         Corruption or unethical conduct

 

·         Abuse of clients or service users

 

 

 

Policy statement

 

The aim of the Policy and associated procedures, is to establish an internal procedure that will encourage and enable staff, students and volunteers to raise concerns about any aspect of the practice (which do not meet the criteria for being dealt with as a complaint, grievance or allegation) at Thorpe Acre Preschool Playgroup, in confidence and without fear of reprisals, to ensure that the setting continues to work within best practice and safeguard children, young people and adults.

 

Principles

This policy is based on the following fundamental principles:

  • All staff, students and volunteers have a right to raise concerns about perceived unacceptable practice or behaviour
  • The responsibility for expressing concerns about unacceptable practice or behaviour rests with all staff, students and volunteers.
  • Thorpe acre Preschool Playgroup will not tolerate harassment or victimisation and will take action to protect workers when they raise a concern in good faith.
  • The setting will do its best to protect a whistle blower’s identity when he/she raises a concern and does not want his/her name to be disclosed.  However, if the concern raised needs to be addressed through another procedure, e.g. disciplinary procedure, the worker may be required to provide a signed statement as part of the evidence.
  • In some circumstances, the setting may have to disclose the identity of the worker without his/her consent, although this will be discussed with the worker first.
  • Appropriate advice and support will be made available to staff, students and volunteers who raise concerns.
  • Those who raise concerns will be kept informed of the progress and outcomes of any investigation.
  • Thorpe Acre Preschool Playgroup will not tolerate malicious allegations.  This may be considered as a disciplinary offence.

Procedures

  • Staff, students and volunteers can raise concerns (no matter how small they may appear) internally, as a matter of course, and receive feedback on any action taken.
  • Report any concerns to your Manager.  If this is not possible, then report your concerns to a senior member of the Management Committee.
  • Staff and volunteers are reassured that they will be protected from reprisals or victimisation for whistle blowing in good faith.
  • Staff and volunteers can take the matter further if they are dissatisfied with the setting response and seek external advice and guidance.
  • Issues raised are addressed via other procedures and policies as appropriate, e.g. safeguarding policy, allegations against an adult working in a setting, grievance, disciplinary, health and safety.
  • Appropriate records are maintained for monitoring purposes.

 

Raising a concern

Staff, students and volunteers should raise concerns with the manager or member of the management committee.  Concerns should include:

  • Reference to the fact that it is a whistle blowing disclosure
  • The background and history of the concerns
  • Names, dates and places (where possible)
  • The reasons why the individual is concerned about the situation

Staff who feel they are unable to put their concerns in writing, can speak with either the manager or a member of the management committee in person.

 

Who to contact

You should contact one of the following people in confidence:

 

            _________________________Rachel Dashi – Manager   ________________________________­­­­

 

            _________________________Claire Walker – Registered Person_______________________­_

 

            _________________________Lesley Giles - Chair of the Committee_______________________­­­­­

Telephone numbers of committee can be found displayed in the office.

 

Other contacts:  NSPCC Whistleblowing helpline 08000 280 285

                             Public Concerns at Work – online or 02074 046 609

                             OFSTED Whistleblowing Helpline 03001 233 155

 

Investigation

The action taken will depend on the nature of the concern.  All matters raised, with the exception of allegations of abuse against of staff member, or unlawful activity, will be investigated internally.

The appropriate person/s will investigate the concerns, thoroughly, promptly and confidentially and the outcome of the investigation will be reported back within 10 working days.

The response should include details of how the matter was investigated, conclusions drawn from the investigation, and whom to contact should the staff member be unhappy with the response that indicates:

  • Progress to date
  • How the matter is being dealt with
  • How long it will take to provide a final response

In order to protect individuals, initial enquiries (usually involving a meeting with the individual raising the concern),

will be made to decide whether an investigation that raises issues that fall within the scope of other policies/procedures, will be addressed under those procedures. Some concerns may be resolved at this initial stage simply, by an agreed action or an explanation regarding the concern, without the need for further investigation.

If you do not feel that the complaint has been dealt with effectively or you still have concerns, you have the right to refer your concerns to Ofsted.

 

Allegations of abuse against adults who work or volunteer in the setting

If an allegation is made against a staff member or volunteer, the following action will be taken as per our Safeguarding Children Policy and Guidance.

  • The setting will ensure the immediate safety of the children
  • The setting will not investigate and immediately contact the Designated officer or Designated Person
  • The Senior Officer will notify the Local Authority Designated Officer, who will decide if it could be a child protection concern.
  • If the Local Authority Designated Officer decides that there is a child protection concern, external/internal agencies (e.g. Police) will be informed by the Local Authority Designated Officer and the setting will act upon the advice given, to ensure that any investigation is not jeopardised.
  • It may be necessary for the employer to suspend the alleged perpetrator.  Suspension is a neutral act to allow a thorough and fair investigation.
  • If it is agreed that there is not a child protection concern, the setting will investigate further and feed back the outcome of the investigation to the Early Years Named Senior Officer and Ofsted.

Legal framework

  • Public interest Disclosure Act 1998 (Whistle Blowing Act)
  • Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) Order 1999
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • The Children Act 1989, The Children Act 2004, 2006 (Every Child Matters)
  • Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006
  • Human Rights Act (1998)

 

 

This policy was adopted by

Thorpe Acre Preschool Playgroup

(name of provider)

On

September 19

(date)

Date to be reviewed

Septemer 20

(date)

Signed on behalf of the provider

 

Name of signatory

 

Role of signatory (e.g. chair, director or owner)

 

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 19

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