This code of conduct has been created to clarify the professional responsibility of WHG staff, which includes:
Head Office Staff
Local Guardians (LG)
Local Guardians Deputies
Local Guardians Assistants
All household members of Home Stay Families
This policy is to give a distinction between acceptable behaviour and otherwise and to establish a set of standards that we expect from all those who represent WHG.
The relationship between students and staff at WHG is very important. Our LG and Head Office staff are here to guide and support students through their education and time in the UK.
WHG acknowledge that along with a duty of care towards students, we hold a duty of care to all staff employed by us. Any allegations of unprofessional or improper conduct will be investigated fully and impartially.
Equality of opportunity
WHG promotes inclusivity and values diversity. It also seeks to ensure that the work environment for its employees is supportive, and one where individual respect is shown to all. All members of staff and students, regardless of their gender, race, ethnic background, culture, (dis)ability, sexual orientation, age, religion, socio-economic status or any other factor will be supported.
In the interests of security, employees must carry their ID badges whilst visiting School and host families. Each Id badge has a photo and name of the Local Guardian.
Being a professional outfit, WHG expects staff to speak with care and consideration both internally and externally. At no point should staff use language that could
be considered racist, sexist or homophobic
promote political views or radicalisation
be deemed as swearing, blasphemous or offensive
WHG has a zero-tolerance policy for drugs. Drinking alcohol with students is forbidden and should be limited to times outside of normal duties.
WHG does not have a dress code for Local Guardians, although we ask that if visiting schools, staff dress appropriately. WHG t-shirts and jumpers are available from Head Office.
WHG will need to receive written confirmation that a student can be included in photos. This will be for marketing purposes only, such as good news stories and pupil achievements. WHG staff must not post photos of students on any social media networks or online in the public domain.
When in a school, please request permission to take any photos as policies will differ from school to school.
Physical contact with pupils
There are occasions when it is entirely appropriate and proper for staff to have physical contact with pupils, but it is crucial that they only do so in ways appropriate to their professional role. Staff should, therefore, use their professional judgement at all times.
Staff should not have unnecessary physical contact with pupils and should be alert to the fact that minor forms of friendly physical contact can be misconstrued by pupils or onlookers.
A member of staff can never take the place of a parent in providing physical comfort and should be cautious of any demonstration of affection.
Physical contact should never be secretive, for of the gratification of the adult, or represent a misuse of authority. If a member of staff believes that an action could be misinterpreted, the incident and circumstances should be recorded as soon as possible, the Designated Safeguarding Lead informed and, a copy placed on the pupil's file.
Any physical restraint is only permissible when a child is in imminent danger of inflicting an injury on himself/herself or on another, and then only as a last resort when all efforts to defuse the situation have failed. Another member of staff should, if possible, be present to act as a witness. All incidents of the use of physical restraint should be recorded in writing and reported immediately to Head Office who will decide what to do next.
Physical punishment must never be used on any student for any reason whatsoever.
One to one situations
Staff working in one to one situations with children and young people are more vulnerable to allegations. Staff should recognise this possibility and plan and conduct such meetings accordingly. Every attempt should be made to ensure the safety and security needs of both staff and pupils are met.
avoid meetings with pupils in remote or secluded areas;
ensure there is visual access or an open door;
inform other staff of the meeting beforehand, assessing the need to have them present or close by; and
always report any concerns to Head Office.
Staff are reminded that it is a criminal offence for a person aged 18 or over to have a sexual relationship with a child under 18 where that person is in a position of trust in respect of that child, even if the relationship is consensual.
All staff should be working in compliance with all WHG Policies.
You can download a PDF version of this policy using the link below