Whistleblowing (3.5)

Reepham Nursery School is committed to the highest possible standards of openness and accountability.

At Reepham Nursery School it is important that any fraud, misconduct or wrongdoing by employees, or people engaged in the organisation’s business, is reported and properly dealt with. We therefore encourage all individuals to raise any concerns that they may have about the conduct of others in the early years setting or the way in which the early years setting is run.

We recognise that effective and honest communication is essential if malpractice is to be effectively dealt with and the organisation’s success ensured.

Whistleblowing relates to all those who work with, or within, the early years setting, who may from time-to-­time think that they need to raise with someone in confidence certain issues relating to the organisation.

Whistleblowing is separate from the grievance procedure. If you have a complaint about your own personal circumstances, you should use the normal grievance procedure. If you have a concern about malpractice within the organisation, then you should use the procedure outlined below.

  • Report any concerns to your line manager. If this is not possible, then report your concerns to the chair of the committee.
  • All employees and those involved with the early years setting should be aware of the importance of preventing and eliminating wrongdoing within the organisation. They should be watchful for illegal, inappropriate or unethical conduct and report anything of that nature that you become aware of.
  • Any matter raised under this procedure will be investigated thoroughly, promptly and confidentially, and the outcome of the investigation will be reported back to the person who raised the matter.
  • The person who reported their concern must not be victimised for raising a matter under this procedure. This means that their continued employment and opportunities for future promotion or training will not be prejudiced because they have raised a legitimate concern.
  • Victimisation of an individual for raising a qualified disclosure will be a disciplinary offence.
  • If misconduct is discovered as a result of any investigation under this procedure the early years setting’s disciplinary procedure will be used, in addition to any appropriate external measures.
  • If anyone should make a malicious, vexatious or a false allegation then this will be considered to be a disciplinary offence and disciplinary action will be taken.
  • An instruction to cover up wrongdoing is itself a disciplinary offence. If someone is told not to raise or pursue any concern, even by a person in authority such as a manager, they should not agree to remain silent. In this event you should report the matter to the Chair of the Committee.

In addition to this policy, the setting has other policies and procedures covering discipline, grievance and complaints. This policy is intended to compliment these and to cover concerns that fall outside the scope of their procedures.

 

 

How to raise a concern:

Concerns are best raised in writing. The complainant should set out the background and history of the situation, giving names, dates and places where possible and the reason for their concern. The earliest that concerns are raised the easier it is to take action.

If it is not possible to put the allegations in writing, the person to whom you are reporting the complaint to should make a written record of the conversation and will ask the complainant to sign to confirm the accuracy of the notes taken.

Concerns expressed anonymously are much harder to investigate however, this does not mean that they will not be considered.

Although the complainant will not be expected to prove the truth of the allegations, it will be necessary to demonstrate that there are sufficient grounds for the concern.

If the complainant does not feel able to take their concern to their Supervisor or the Chair of the Committee, they can take their concern to Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO). Their contact number is given below.

Confidentiality:

The person the investigating will do their best to protect the complainants identity when a concern is raised. However, in some circumstances identities will have to be revealed to the person complained about.

If a person’s identity is to be disclosed, he/she will be told before the disclosure and the reasons why this is necessary.

Having raised a concern the complainant must not talk about it to any person, inside or outside the setting.

The complainant should NOT:

  • Investigate the matter themselves
  • Alert those suspected of being involved
  • Approach or accuse indviduals
  • Tell anyone other than the designated person.

The Investigation Procedure:

The Complainant will receive a written acknowledgement of their complaint, along with a copy of their statement within 3 days of raising their concern.

Depending on the nature of the concern the supervisor/ Chair of the Committee will either investigate the matter or elevate the concerns to appropriate agencies.

Where a safeguarding allegation is made against a member of staff the procedure for ‘Allegations against a member of staff’ in our Safeguarding children policy will be followed.

 At the end of the investigation the complainant will be informed in writing as to whether the complaint has been upheld or not.

 

 

Important contact information:

Chair of the Committee:  Rachael Jones

Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO): LADO@norfolk.gov.uk

Ofsted: 0300 123 4666

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This policy was adopted by:  Reepham Nursery School
Held in:  November 2016
Date to be reviewed:  November 2019
Signed on behalf of the management committee:  Rachael Jones – Chairperson.