SOL Language Clubs is committed to the highest standards of openness, honesty and accountability. If a member of staff/volunteer or visitor discovers evidence of malpractice or wrongdoing within SOL Language Clubs they can disclose this information internally without fear of reprisal.
Our Whistleblowing policy is intended to cover concerns such as:
Financial malpractice or fraud
Failure to comply with a legal obligation
Dangers to health and safety or the environment
Improper conduct or unethical behavior
This Policy should not be used to question business decisions made by SOL Language Clubs, or to raise any matters that are covered under other policies (e.g. discrimination or racial harassment). Any allegations relating to safeguarding will follow the procedures set out in the Safeguarding Policy.
Raising a concern
Ideally the staff/volunteer/visitor should put his or her allegations in writing, setting out the background to the situation, giving names, dates and places where possible, and the reason why they are concerned about the situation. In the first instance concerns should be taken to the Management Team/leader. If, due to the nature of the problem, this is not possible, the concern should then be raised with the Management Team of SOL Language Clubs. If this person or body is unable or unwilling to act on the concern, the staff/ volunteer/ visitor should then raise it with:
The Designated Officer or the Herts Safeguarding Children Board (HCSB) (if it concerns a safeguarding issue and is not already covered by the procedure set out in the organization/groups’ policies if a crime is thought to have been committed).
If the member of staff, visitor, and volunteer is still uncertain about how to proceed with the concern, he or she should contact the whistle-blowing charity PCAW (Public Concern at Work) for advice.
Responding to a concern
Initial enquiries will usually involve a meeting with the individual raising the concern, and will decide whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, what form it should take. If a concern relates to issues which fall within the scope of other policies, it will be addressed under those policies.
If an initial meeting does not resolve the concern, further investigation will be required. The appropriate person will investigate the concerns thoroughly, ensuring that a written response can be provided within ten working days where feasible, or if this is not possible, giving a date by which the final response can be expected. The response should include details of how the matter was investigated, conclusions drawn from the investigation, and who to contact if the member of staff/ visitor and volunteer is unhappy with the response and wishes to take the matter further.
Rights and responsibilities of the whistle-blower
All concerns will be treated in confidence and SOL Language Clubs will make every effort not to reveal the identity of anyone raising a concern in good faith. At the appropriate time, however, the member of staff may need to come forward as a witness. If a member of staff raises a concern in good faith, which is then not confirmed by the investigation, no action will be taken against that person.
If the investigation concludes that the member of staff maliciously fabricated the allegations, disciplinary action may be taken against that person.
HSCB - www.hertssafeguarding.org.uk – 01922 588757
Children’s Support Services (CSS) – 0300 123 4043
Targeted Advice Services (TAS) – 01438 737511
Designated Officer (DO) - 01992 555420
PCAW (Public Concern at Work) - 020 7404 6609