Employees are often the first to realise that there may be something wrong within their setting. However, they may not express their concerns because they feel that speaking up would be disloyal to their colleagues. They may also fear harassment or victimisation as a result of speaking up. In these circumstances, it may be easier to ignore the concern rather than report what may be just suspicion of malpractice and wrongdoing at work.
Dawny’s Daycare is committed to the highest possible standard of openness. We encourage employees and others with genuine concerns about any person linked with the setting and/or others (e.g. Parents/Carers) to come forward and voice those concerns. This policy document makes it clear that employees, Parents/Carers and others can voice ANY concern without fear of reprisals. The Whistleblowing Policy is intended to encourage and enable employees and others to raise such concerns should they occur at Dawny’s Daycare rather than overlooking the problem.
This procedure will guide employees, Parents/Carers and outside agencies to raise concerns about the Management/Staff of Dawny’s Daycare should they occur.
How to raise a concern
Where at all possible concerns should normally be raised with the Nursery Manager, this is dependent upon, the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues involved and who is suspected of any wrongdoing (if necessary outside agency advice and guidance can be sought – please refer to ‘how the matter can be taken further’). Staff can raise concerns with any individual within the management team or a Director. Concerns should preferably be expressed in writing stating the history of the concern, names involved, dates and, places and any other information that is relevant to the concerns they wish to be investigated: the more details that are provided will allow the investigation to be completed in more detail and as promptly as reasonably possible. Although a member of staff is not expected to prove beyond doubt the truth of the allegation, they will need to demonstrate that they have an honest and reasonable suspicion that malpractice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur.
The action taken will depend on the nature of the concern. The appropriate person/s will investigate the concerns thoroughly, ensuring that a written response can be provided within ten working days. The response should include details of how the matter was investigated, conclusions drawn from the investigation, and whom to contact should the individual raising the complaint be unhappy with the response and wish to raise the matter. If the investigation cannot be completed within the timescale above, the individual raising the complaint should receive a response that indicates:
- progress to date
- how the matter is being dealt with
- how long it will take to provide a final response.
In order to protect individuals, initial enquiries (usually involving a meeting with the individual raising the concern), will be made to decide whether an investigation is appropriate and, if so, what form it should take. Concerns or allegations that raise issues that fall within the scope of other policies/procedures, will be addressed under those procedures. Some concerns may be resolved at this initial stage simply, by agreed action or an explanation regarding the concern, without the need for further investigation. If you do not feel that the complaint has been dealt with effectively or you still have concerns, you have a right to refer your concerns to Ofsted.
Dawny’s Daycare will do its best to protect your identity when you raise a concern. However, it must be appreciated that, in the interests of adhering to our safeguarding policies, the investigation process may reveal the source of the information and a statement by you may be required as part of the evidence.
You are strongly encouraged to put your name to any allegation you are raising: concerns expressed anonymously are much less powerful. Anonymous allegations will be considered and any action taken at the discretion of Dawny’s Daycare and in conjunction with the relevant agencies where appropriate. Keeping in line with this discretion, the following factors will be taken into account when considering how to deal with any allegations:
- The seriousness of the issues raised;
- The credibility of the allegation;
- The likelihood of confirming the allegation from attributable sources.
Dawny’s Daycare accepts that deciding to report a concern can be very difficult and uncomfortable. If a member of staff makes an allegation in good faith, but it is not confirmed by the investigation, no action will be taken against him/her. If, however, a member of staff makes an allegation frivolously, maliciously or for personal gain, disciplinary action may be taken against them.
How the matter can be taken further
If the complaint has not been dealt with in a manner which is satisfactory to the employee, Parent/Carer or others involved, then they can contact OFSTED directly at the following address.
Telephone: General helpline – 0300 123 1231