Whilst we expect all our colleagues, both internal and external, to be professional at all times and hold the welfare and safety of every child as their paramount objective, there may be occasions where this may not be happening.
It is vital that all team members talk through any concerns they may have with their line manager at the earliest opportunity to enable any problems to be resolved as soon as they arise.
The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, commonly referred to as the `Whistleblowing Act` amended the Employment Rights Act 1996 to provide protection for employees who raised legitimate concerns about specified matters. These are called ` qualifying disclosures`. On 25th June 2013 there were some legal changes to what constitutes a qualifying disclosure
A qualifying disclosure is one made in the public interest by an employee who has a reasonable belief that the following is being/has been or is likely to be committed:
- A criminal offence
- A miscarriage of justice
- An act creating risk to health and safety
- An act causing damage to the environment
- A breach of any other legal obligation or concealment of any of the above or any other unethical conduct.
Qualifying disclosure made before 25th June 2013 must have been made `in good faith¬ but when disclosed, did not necessarily have to be made in the public interest.
Disclosures made after 25th June 2013 however, do not have to be made in good faith; they must however be made in the public interest. This is essential when assessing a disclosure made by an individual.
- The Public Interest Disclosure Act has the following rules for making a protected disclosure: You must believe it to be substantially true
- You must not act maliciously or make false allegations
- You must not see any personal gain
It is not necessary for the employee to have proof that such an act is being, has been, or is likely to be, committed, a reasonable belief is sufficient
Disclosure of information
If, in the course of your employment, you become aware of information which you reasonable believe indicates that a child is/may be or is likely to be in risk of danger and/or one or more of the following may be happening, you MUST use the nurseries disclosure procedure set out as below:
- That a criminal offence has been committed or is being committed or is likely to be committed
- That a person has ailed, is failing or is likely to fail to comply with any legal obligation to which they are subject to ( i.e. EYFS)
- That a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur
- That the health or safety of any individual has been, is being, or is likely to be endangered
- That the environment, has been, is being or is likely to be damaged
- That information tending to show any of the above has been, is being or is likely to be deliberately concealed
If this information relates to safeguarding then the nursery safeguarding policy should be followed, with particular reference to the staff and volunteering section.
Where you reasonably believe one or more of the above circumstances listed above has occurred you should promptly disclose this to your Manager so that any appropriate action can be taken in accordance with the Safeguarding Policy by filling the CP Concerns Record Form (Appendix 4 in Safeguarding Policy).
Initial action taken by the DSL/Nursery Manager should be in accordance with the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy of Little Miracles Day Nursery.
If it is inappropriate to make such a disclosure to your manager (i.e. because it relates to your Manager) you should speak to the owner Shyamalie Ranasinghe Telephone No. 07973699272.
Employees will suffer no detriment of any sort for making such a disclosure in accordance with this procedure. For further guidance in the use of the disclosure procedure, employees should speak in confidence to the Nursery Manager/DSL.
Any disclosure or concerns raised will be treated seriously and will be dealt with in a consistent and confidential manner and will be followed through in a detailed and thorough manner.
Any employee who is involved in victimising employees who make a disclosure, takes any action to deter employees from disclosing information or makes malicious allegations in bad faith will be subject to potential disciplinary action which may result in dismissal.
Failure to report serious matters can also be investigated and potentially lead to disciplinary action which may result is dismissal.
Any management employee who inappropriately deals with a whistleblowing issue ( ie failing to react appropriately by not taking action in a timely manner or disclosing confidential information) may be deemed to have engaged in gross misconduct which could lead to dismissal.
All of our staff have access through the Safeguarding policy of the telephone numbers of the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO), Local Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB) and Ofsted (displayed on all floors of the nursery), so all staff may contact them if they cannot talk to anyone internally about the issue/concerns observed.
LADO DESIGNATED OFFICER: Gill Nash 0208 496 3646
Ofsted Hotline : 0300 123 3155