Staff Policy

All actions concerning children and young people must uphold the best interests of the young person as a primary consideration. Staff must always be mindful of the fact that they hold a position of trust, and that their behaviour towards the children and young people in their charge must be above reproach.

Staffs will:

  • Model pro-social behaviour in interactions with peers and students.
  • Use non-punitive, developmentally appropriate classroom management strategies.
  • Employ pedagogic strategies
  • Work collaboratively with peers through teaming and communities of practice.
  • Participate in professional development opportunities to strengthen awareness of and ability to respond appropriately to situations that negatively impact school climate (e.g., bullying) and to students’ barriers to learning.
  • Effectively engage all students to be critical contributors to the school climate improvement process.
  • Provide feedback and welcome reactions from other teachers, coaches, staff and administrator to enhance school climate knowledge and skills

The Policies are not intended to detract from the enriching experiences children and young people gain from positive interaction with staff within the education sector. It is intended to assist staff in respect of the complex issue of child abuse, by drawing attention to the areas of risk for staff and by offering guidance on prudent conduct.

  1. Staff should be aware of the dangers which may arise from private interviews with individual pupils. It is recognised that there will be occasions when confidential interviews must take place. As far as possible, staff should conduct such interviews in a room with visual access, or with the door open.
  2. Where such conditions cannot apply, staffs are advised to ensure that another adult knows that the interview is taking place. It may be necessary to use a sign indicating that the room is in use, but it is not advisable to use signs prohibiting entry to the room.
  3. Where possible another pupils or (preferably) another adult should be present or nearby during the interview.
  1. As a general principle staff will refrain from making unnecessary physical contact with their pupils.
  2. It is unrealistic and unnecessary, however, to suggest that staff should touch pupils only in emergencies. In particular, a distressed child, especially a younger child, may need reassurance involving physical comforting, as a caring parent would provide. Staff should not feel inhibited from providing this.
  3. Staff should never touch a child who has clearly indicated that he/she is, or would be, uncomfortable with such contact, unless it is necessary to protect the child, others or property from harm .
  4. Physical punishment is illegal as is any other form of physical response to misbehaviour, unless it is by way of necessary constraint.
  5. Staffs who have to administer first aid to a pupil should ensure whenever possible that this is done in the presence of other children or another adult.
  6. Following any incident where a member of staff feels that his/her actions have been, or may be, misconstrued, a written report of the incident should be submitted immediately to the principal.
  7. Staff should be particularly careful when supervising pupils in a residential setting, or in approved out of school activities, where more informal relationships tend to be usual and where staff may be in proximity to pupils in circumstances very different from the normal school/work environment.
  8. Staff will seek at all times to operate according to the School Policy on ‘The Use of Reasonable Force.
  1. Teachers such avoid teaching materials, the choice of which might be misinterpreted and reflect upon the motives for choice.
  2. When using teaching materials of a sensitive nature a teacher should be aware of the danger that their application, either by pupils or the teacher, might after the event be criticised. The school will consult with others when proposing to use materials such as AIDS education for schools and in connection with sex education programmes.
  3. If in doubt about the appropriateness of a particular teaching material, the teacher should consult with the Level Head/ principal before using it.

Within the Policies of the school and the employing authority staff should ensure that their relationship with pupils is appropriate to the age, maturity and gender of the pupils, taking care that their conduct does not give rise to comment or speculation. Attitudes, demeanour and language all require care and thought, particularly when staffs are dealing with adolescent boys and girls.


Where teachers see signs which cause them concern they should seek clarification from the pupil with tact and understanding. Where a classroom assistant or another member of the ancillary or auxiliary staff sees such signs, he/she should immediately bring them to the attention of the class teacher or the designated teacher who may carry out the necessary clarification. While such clarification may reassure teachers that abuse has not occurred several points should be borne in mind:

  • Do not ask the pupil leading questions, as this can later be interpreted as putting ideas into the child’s mind;
  • Do not ask questions which encourage the child to change his/her versions of events in any way. For example and appropriate question is, ‘Tell me what happened’ rather than ‘Did they do X to you?
  • The chief task at this stage is to listen to the pupil and not interrupt or try to interpret if he/she is freely recalling significant events, as soon as possible afterwards to make a note of the discussion and pass it on to the designated teacher. The note should record the time, date, place and people who were present, as well as what was said. Signs of physical injury observed should be noted in detail, but under no circumstances should a child’s clothing be removed;
  • Any comment by the child/parent/guardian about how an injury occurred should be written down as soon as possible afterwards, quoting actual words where possible.
  • Avoid giving pupil undertakings of confidentiality although they should be reassured that information will only be disclosed to those professionals who need to know.
  • Be aware that any notes made may need to be used in subsequent court proceedings. Lack of records will not absolve the school from a requirement to give evidence in court; it is therefore essential that proper contemporaneous records are kept.


Treating other people with dignity and respect.

All staffs are expected to treat other colleagues, pupils and external contacts, such as parents, with dignity and respect. Staffs are required to comply with the school's policies in respect of colleagues, students and other contacts such as parents. Unacceptable behaviour such as discrimination, bullying, harassment or intimidation will not be tolerated in schools. This includes physical and verbal abuse and use of inappropriate language or unprofessional behaviour with colleagues, pupils and parents.

Appropriate relationships with children.

School staffs are expected to act in an open and transparent way that would not lead any reasonable person to suspect their actions or intent.

Staffs in schools are in a position of trust and have a duty to protect young people from discrimination and harm and to maintain appropriate professional boundaries. It is equally important for staff to avoid behaviour that might be misinterpreted by others to protect both young people and themselves. Staffs are required to read and understand school policies on child protection.

Professional behaviour

Staffs must not misuse or misrepresent their position, qualifications or experience or bring the reputation of the school into disrepute. Such behaviour may lead to disciplinary action.

Criminal actions

School staffs must inform the Head of the School immediately if they are subject to a criminal conviction, caution, ban, police enquiry, investigation or pending prosecution. The Head of the school or the Governing Body will discuss this with the staff in the context of their role and responsibilities to help safeguard children and other staffs at the school.

Health and safety

Staffs must adhere to the school’s Health and Safety policy, procedure and guidance and must ensure that they take every action to keep themselves and everyone in the school environment safe and well. This includes taking immediate safety action in a potentially harmful situation (either at school or off-site) by complying with statutory and school guidelines and collaborating with colleagues, agencies and the local authority.

Use of alcohol and illegal drugs

The taking of illegal drugs during working hours is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. All staffs are expected to attend work without being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs and without their performance being adversely impacted by the consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs. If an alcohol or drug usage impact on the staff’s working life, the school has the right to discuss the matter with the staff and take appropriate action, having considered factors such as the school or local authority’s reputation and public confidence.

Use of school premises, equipment & communication systems

School equipment and systems (phone, email and computers) are available only for school-related activities and should not be used for the fulfillment of another job or for personal use. This is unless authorised by the Head of the school in case of an emergency, or where used for brief periods outside of working hours.

This includes photocopy facilities, stationery and premises. It also applies to access provided for remote use (e.g. hand held portable devices etc.) and to staff working outside of school premises and using their own IT equipment.

Illegal, inappropriate or unacceptable use of school equipment or communication systems may result in disciplinary action and in serious cases could lead to an staff's dismissal. This list is not exhaustive and includes;

  • Creating, sending or forwarding any message that would reasonably be considered inappropriate or unacceptable.
  • Committing or implying commitment to any contractual arrangements.
  • Accessing, publication or circulation of illegal, offensive, unacceptable, inappropriate or non-work related material.
  • Any illegal activities.
  • Posting confidential information about the school and/or other staffs, children or parents.
  • Gambling or gaming.
  • Unauthorised use of school facilities (or staff's personal IT equipment), for personal use during staff's working time.

Staffs receiving inappropriate communication or material or who are unsure about whether something h/she proposes to do might breach this policy should seek advice from their Head of the school.

The school has the right to monitor e-mails, phone-calls, internet activity or document production, principally to avoid offensive or nuisance material and to protect systems from viruses, but also to ensure proper and effective use of systems Communication systems may be accessed when the school suspects that the staff has been misusing systems or facilities, or for the investigation of suspected fraud or other irregularity. Passwords should not be shared and access to computer systems must be kept confidential. Breach of this confidentiality may be subject to disciplinary action.

Social networking websites

School staffs must not access social networking websites for personal use (i.e. non- job related use) during work time.

Access to some journals, blogs and social networking sites is permitted during work time for the purposes of undertaking job related duties only. School staffs must act in the best interests of the school and not disclose personal data or information about any individual including staff, young people or children. This includes images. Access may be withdrawn and disciplinary action taken if there is a breach of confidentiality or defamatory remarks are made about the school, staff, young people or children.


It is not recommended that staff use these sites, however if staffs have a profile they must ensure that they:

  1. Keep their profile private.
  2. Lock all pictures and make sure that they can only be seen by friends.
  3. Be careful of profile content
  4. NEVER accept pupils as friends.

The school respects a staff's private life. However, it must also ensure that confidentiality and its reputation are protected. Staffs using social networking websites in their private life;

  • Must refrain from identifying themselves as working for the school, in a way which has, or may have, the effect of bringing the school into disrepute.
  • Must not identify other school staffs, children or young people without their consent.
  • Must not make any defamatory remarks about the school, it's staffs, children or young people, or conduct themselves in a way that is detrimental to the school.
  • Disclose personal data or information about the school, staffs, children or young people, that could breach the Data Protection Policy.
  • Must not allow pupils to access their personal social networking accounts.
  • Must not use pictures taken in school on any of the social networking sites.
Personal Websites and Blogs

Staffs who wish to set up personal web forums, weblogs or 'blogs' must do so outside of work, not using school equipment.


Staff should not disclose sensitive information about the school, its staffs or the local authority to other parties, for example, parents or colleagues.

Access to data

Everyone has the right to request access to data that is held about them and such requests should be made to the Head of the school who will address the request.