This policy has been drawn up using the ‘Model Policy for Schools Whistleblowing Procedure’ on the Oxfordshire County Council website.
Oxford Brookes University Nursery is committed to the highest possible standards of:
The aims of this procedure are to:
The university will provide all reasonable protection for those who raise concerns “made in the public interest”. The university will be responsible for ensuring that appropriate personal support is offered both to an employee raising a concern and to any employee against whom allegations have been made under this procedure.
‘Whistleblowing’ is defined as ‘raising concerns about misconduct within an organisation or within an independent structure associated with it’ (Nolan Committee on Standards in Public Life). In the legislation it is called a protected disclosure. The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 protects employees from suffering a detriment in their employment or being dismissed by their employer if they make disclosures in accordance with the legislation.
An employee has certain common law confidentiality obligations to their employer. However, in a limited set of circumstances whistleblowing may override these obligations if an employee reveals information about their employment or the work of the nursery. This guidance sets out the circumstances under which these disclosures may lawfully be made.
A concern must relate to something which:
These issues could have arisen in the past, be currently happening or likely to happen in the future. The law does not protect an employee who would be breaking the law in making the disclosure.
All concerns will be treated sensitively and with due regard to confidentiality and where possible every effort will be made to protect your identity if you so wish. Nevertheless, this information will need to be passed on to those with a legitimate need to have this information and it may be necessary for you to provide a written statement or act as a witness in any subsequent disciplinary proceedings or enquiry. This will always be discussed with you first.
This policy was reviewed in May 2018.
If you wish to raise a concern you should normally raise it
with your line manager. This can be done
in person or in writing.
The nursery recognises that sometimes it may be inappropriate
for you to approach your line manager with your concern. In these circumstances, a number of
alternatives are available depending on the nature of your concern. You can contact any of the following:
Although you are not expected to prove beyond doubt the truth
of your concerns, you will need to demonstrate that you have sufficient
evidence or other reasonable ground to raise them.
The person with whom you have raised your concern will
acknowledge its receipt as soon as possible and will write to you within 10
days to let you know how your concern will be dealt with. The information you can then expect to
The person with whom you have raised your concern will at the
same time notify the HR team that a whistleblowing allegation has been made.
Initial enquiries will be made to decide whether an investigation
is appropriate. Where an investigation
is necessary, it may take the form of one or more of the following:
You will be informed of the outcome of any investigation, in
writing, and/or of any action taken, subject to the constraints of
confidentiality and the law. If you do
not feel your concern has been addressed adequately you may raise it with an
independent body such as one of the following as appropriate:
You must make a disclosure “in the public interest”; and in
the circumstances it must be reasonable for you to make the disclosure. If there is an issue of an exceptionally
serious nature which you believe to be substantially true, then you may
disclose the issue to someone other than those listed above. In determining whether it is reasonable for
you to have made a disclosure the identity of the person to whom the disclosure
is made will be taken into account. Disclosures
to anyone outside of the recognised bodies specified may not be protected
disclosures under the Act.
You have a duty to the nursery not to disclose confidential
information. This does not prevent you
from seeking independent advice at any stage or from discussing the issue with
the charity Public Concern at Work on 020 7404 6609 and www.pcaw.co.uk in accordance with the
provisions of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.