3.3 Evaluate ways in which concerns about poor practice can be reported whilst ensuring that whistleblowers and those whose practice or behaviour is being questioned are protected.
Every school has whistle blowing policies and procedures and these policies are put in place to provide protection for the person against victimisation or reprisals from other members of staff (physical or verbally) when the concerns are genuine and accurate. If a member of staff is the victim of reprisals then an employment tribunal may be able to take action. If any concerns about malpractice or misconduct in a school setting are raised against another member of staff then this should be reported to the safeguarding officer of the school. If concerns are raised then they are certain procedures to follow.
• The whistle blower must think about what is disturbing them and why.
• Concerns should be reported to the relevant person when the time is right.
• Write those concerns down giving background details, names, witness names (if any) dates and places.
• Both parties can be offered help and support if required and all information disclosed for both whistle blower and the accused will be kept confidential and is investigated discreetly (Data Protection Act)
• Preparations for any ramifications that could follow whistle blowing.
If employment is terminated or a person suffers as a result of whistle blowing they are then protected by law under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998, this law was brought in to protect whistle blowers from detrimental treatment by their employers.
Although whistle blowing may be a daunting and frightening experience to act upon, the safety and wellbeing of a child may depend on another person’s actions, subsequently all aspects of whistle blowing are to be thought over with the best intentions of children or young people in mind.