Behaviour code for staff, volunteers and suppliers

Following this code will help to protect young people from abuse and inappropriate behaviour from their peers or adults and create a positive discussion environment. It will also help staff, volunteers and suppliers to maintain the standard of behaviour expected of them and reduce the possibility of unfounded allegations of abuse being made against them.

Upholding these codes of behaviour

All members of staff, volunteers and suppliers who engage with young people through the Foundation’s activities are expected to report any breaches of this code to Olivia Platman, the Designated Safeguarding Officer of the Foundation. In her absence, breaches of the code should be reported to Tiffany Smyly, Chief Programmes Officer.

Any breach of the code involving a member of staff, volunteer or supplier may result in them being asked to discontinue working for, or with, the Foundation.

Serious breaches will also result in a referral being made to a national agency such as the police or the relevant local authority young people’s social care department.

In addition to reading the Foundation’s safeguarding policy, staff, volunteers and suppliers must also read and agree to the behaviour code.

When working with young people for the Foundation, all staff, volunteers and suppliers are acting in a position of trust. It is important that staff, volunteers and suppliers are aware that they may be seen as role models by young people and that they must act appropriately at all times when working with young people.

When working with young people through the Foundation’s activities, it is important to:

  • follow The Economist Educational Foundation’s safeguarding and child protection policies, procedures and guidance at all times
  • listen to and respect young people at all times
  • show that you value and take their contributions seriously, and that you have high expectations of them
  • recognise that special caution is required when you are discussing sensitive issues with young people
  • recognise that some young people may require specific action to protect them from abuse or neglect because of the impact of previous experiences, their level of dependency, communication needs or other issues
  • treat young people fairly and without prejudice or discrimination, avoiding favouritism
  • ensure any contact with young people is appropriate and relevant to the activities through which you are working with them
  • ensure language is appropriate and not offensive or discriminatory
  • provide examples of good conduct you wish young people to follow
  • challenge unacceptable behaviour
  • report all allegations or suspicions of abuse
  • ensure that whenever possible there is more than one responsible adult present during activities with young people
  • ensure that, if alone with a young person, other staff or the young person’s teacher know where you are and what you are doing
  • respect a young person’s right to personal privacy
  • encourage young people and adults to feel comfortable and caring enough to point out attitudes or behaviour they do not like
  • if you are working within a school, follow their safeguarding policy and procedures.

You must not:

  • patronise or treat children and young people as if they are silly
  • allow allegations to go unreported
  • develop inappropriate relationships such as contact with young people that is not part of the work of the Foundation
  • conduct a sexual relationship with a young person or indulge in any form of sexual contact with a young person. Any such behaviour between an adult member of staff, volunteer or supplier and a young person using the services of the Foundation represents a serious breach of trust and is not acceptable under any circumstances
  • let young people have your personal contact details including personal social media handles
  • make sarcastic, insensitive, derogatory or sexually suggestive comments or gestures to, or in front of, young people
  • act in a way that can be perceived as threatening or intrusive
  • make inappropriate promises to children and young people, particularly in relation to confidentiality (because you must report any concerns you have about a young person)
  • jump to conclusions about others without checking facts
  • either exaggerate or trivialise child abuse issues
  • rely on your reputation or that of the organisation to protect you
  • take unnecessary risks in relation to a young person’s welfare

Building young people’s resilience to radicalisation

We recognise that some young people are at risk of radicalisation. We aim to give young people the skills to challenge different points of view, and a safe space to discuss and debate social, political and economic issues. We help them to understand how they can influence and participate in decision-making. This aligns with governmental advice for schools and childcare providers with regard to their duty to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

We do not promote any particular viewpoint on the issues discussed and we do not censor or discourage any particular arguments.

This advice should be considered alongside our safeguarding policy and on what to do if you are concerned about a child.