This code of conduct must be followed by all Avanti Language Institute’s staff, clients, contractors and so on.
Avanti Language Institute recognises the importance of creating a safe school culture where trust is built between staff and persons under 18 and both are protected from any harmful behaviour. We proactively work to provide a genuine environment of care fostered by robust procedures and recruitment and training activities.
Do’s and Don’ts of Working with Persons Under the Age of 18
— Remember the safety and well-being of persons under 18 is of paramount importance
— Behave professionally at all times
— Treat everyone with respect
— Listen to children
— Be aware of policies and procedures
— Report any suspicious activity that relates to any potential or actual harm to a person under 18.
— Make inappropriate physical contact
— Use offensive language or language that may be deemed otherwise inappropriate
— Be alone with a person under 18, unless it is unavoidable
— Threaten, raise your voice, be aggressive or intimidating
— Undermine, insult, ignore or make fun of a person under 18
— Allow or let persons under 18 expose themselves to danger
— Take photographs or videos of persons under 18, without the prior knowledge and consent of the senior management of Avanti Language Institute.
Incidents that must be Reported / Recorded
If any of the following occur you should report this immediately to an appropriate member of the Avanti Language Institute staff and have the incident recorded in the school’s Accidents & Incidents record the incident.
— If you accidentally hurt or harm a person under 18 or witness another person hurting or harming a person under 18
— If they seem distressed in any manner
— If a person under 18 misunderstands or misinterprets something you have done.
If a person under 18 has an accident which does not require hospital treatment:
— Management should be notified and monitor the individual
— The under 18’s parent(s) should be notified of the incident at an appropriate time
— A member of Avanti Language Institute staff should be informed immediately. The accident or incident should then be recorded in the Institute’s Accident & Incidents book which is kept in the Institute’s reception.
Responding to Allegations or Suspicions
It is not the responsibility of anyone working in Avanti Language Institute in a paid or unpaid capacity to decide or make a judgement whether or not abuse of a person aged under 18 has taken place. Nevertheless, there is a responsibility to act on any concerns through contact with the appropriate authorities.
Avanti Language Institute assures all staff that it will fully support and protect anyone who reports in good faith, their concern that a colleague is, or may be, harming or abusing a person under 18.
If you do notice anything suspicious, you should report this to the Designated Student Lead (DSL) or a Designated Student Person (DSP) at the Institute.
Do’s and Don’t’s of Responding to Allegations and Suspicions of abuse concerning Persons under 18
— Stay calm
— Listen carefully to the Person aged under 18 and focus on what they are telling you
— Allow the person the time to express themselves and say what they want to say; use the TED technique – Tell me, Explain to me, Describe to me.
— Ask leading questions
— Interrupt, Assume or Paraphrase
— Promise to keep secrets or assure the person under 18 that everything will be OK, as you are in no position to guarantee this.
Internal enquiries and suspension
Should a complaint be made against someone employed directly or indirectly by Avanti Language Institute, the senior management of the Institute will immediately remove the adult from contact with students pending further Garda and TUSLA inquiries. In accordance with the findings of those inquiries the senior management of Avanti Language Institute will assess all individual cases to decide whether a member of staff or volunteer can be reinstated and how this can be sensitively handled. The welfare of the person aged under 18 should remain of paramount importance.
The key elements of our code of conduct are interaction, appearance, intoxicants, IT and social networks, accommodation and transport. We expect all adults working on behalf of Avanti Language Institute to provide an excellent role model for all students in their care and to cultivate a respectful, safe and secure environment for members of staff and students.
— All employees of Avanti Language Institute, be they direct or indirect employees, should maintain professional physical and relationship boundaries, and act in a way appropriate to your Duty of Care
— Do not make suggestive or inappropriate remarks to or about any adult or Person under the age of 18. Inappropriate remarks include innuendo, swearing and discussing their or your own intimate relationships
— Other than in exceptional circumstances, do not communicate directly with persons under the age of 18 via email or text messages and only then with the prior consent of the child’s parent(s) or guardian
— Do not engage in behaviour that may be construed as ‘grooming’ a person under the age of 18 — for example giving money, presents or favours or talking or behaving in an inappropriate or unprofessional manner
— As far as possible, avoid putting yourself in a situation where you are on your own with a person under 18
— Conduct all interactions in a calm manner, and avoid shouting at persons under the age of 18, wherever this is possible unless there is a Health and Safety risk
— Ensure any physical contact is within clear boundaries to avoid any allegations of inappropriate touching
— If you are required to be in a one-to-one setting with a person under 18, consider how this can be managed effectively i.e. Leaving a door open, using a room that has a window in the door, positioning yourself within sight of the door and considering if the one-to-one setting is really necessary
— Do not socialise with students under 18 outside of school-organised events.
Adults should present an appearance which:
— Promotes a positive and professional image
— Is appropriate to their role
— Is not likely to be viewed as offensive, revealing or sexually provocative — does not distract, cause embarrassment or give rise to misunderstanding
— Is absent of any political or otherwise contentious slogans — is not considered to be discriminatory.
Alcohol, drugs and smoking
— Do not consume, or allow persons under the age of 18 to consume any alcohol, drugs, cigarettes or intoxicating substances on the school premises or during any activity organized by Avanti Language Institute
— Do not provide alcohol, drugs, cigarettes or intoxicating substances to Persons under the age of 18
— Do not work under the influence of any intoxicants or drugs including alcohol.
IT and social networks
— Do not share your personal social media details with any under persons under the age of 18
— Do not take any images or videos of persons under the age of 18 on your personal recording equipment.
— Understand and abide by Avanti Language Institute’s accommodation rules and guidelines
— Do not enter private areas without first gaining the student’s permission, or in the case of needing to search property, without informing them first and doing so in their presence.
— Understand and follow the specific guidelines of your centre
— All transport providers, whether staff or contractors, to have appropriate suitability checks.