Hayden Llewellyn, Chief Executive of the Education Workforce Council (EWC) explains why all parents should read the revised Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for education practitioners in Wales.
As a parent, when you send your children to school each day, you put your trust in the teachers and support assistants who work there.
In Wales, anybody working as a teacher or in a learning support role in a maintained school must be registered with the EWC. All of these 70,000 staff must also follow the EWC Code of Professional Conduct and Practice. The Code sets out the standards you and your children should expect of them and is intended to help and guide their behaviours and judgements, both inside and outside of school. The Code deals with matters like physical contact with pupils, duty of care and maintaining professional boundaries.
Codes of conduct and practice are common in other professions. Doctors, nurses, dentists, physiotherapists, solicitors, social workers and many others all have one. If you have never looked at them, you really should. Go on the web and have a read. It may make you think next time you go to see your GP because you feel unwell or use a solicitor to help you sell your house or make a will.
Under Welsh Assembly legislation, the EWC must review its Code every three years. We ran a three month consultation in the Autumn and are grateful to the many parents who sent in their views about the Code. These comments have helped us to update the Code and make sure it does what it needs to, namely guide practitioners and protect you.
The new Code applies from 1 September 2019. You can get a copy online at www.ewc.wales/EWCcode. There will also be posters in schools, colleges, youth clubs and other education establishments promoting it.
We have lots of support materials which help people to use and understand the Code. For example, we give hints and tips on matters such as using social media safely. We also run regular training and awareness sessions. If you are interested in arranging a session for your school or group, please give us a call at 029 2046 0099 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog is also available in Welsh here.