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Assessing Performance

Code or Professional Conduct for Teachers

Besides working to the requirements of PART TWO of the Teachers’ Standards, trainees are expected to adhere to the LJMU Code of Professional Conduct for Trainee Teachers as outlined below. Trainees sign acceptance of the code at the start of each year of study.

Preamble

This code of conduct is informed by the following:

  • Consultations with head teachers and school-based staff including ongoing consultations with members of the LJMU Partnership Strategic Development Board.
  • Programmes which involve the possibility of recommendation for QTS, whether undergraduate, postgraduate, Primary, Secondary, Early Years and School Direct are courses of professional training and therefore carry the expectation that trainees will conduct themselves in a professional manner.
  • Work-related elements of the programmes are designed to mirror the professional experience of a teacher.
  • In addition, the standards of behaviour expected of teachers are governed by a number of DfE and other government documents which have statutory status including:
    • Education Act 2002 & 2006
    • Working Together to Safeguard Children (March 2015)
    • Children, Schools and Families Act (2014) DfE
    • Safeguarding and Child Protection 2010
    • Equal Opportunity and Discrimination (Equality Act 2010) DfE
    • Special educational needs and disability code of practice 0-25 years (June 2014) DfE
    • Keeping children safe in education Statutory guidance for schools and colleges (May 2016) DfE. Guidance commences Sept 2016
    • Keeping children safe in education: information for school and college staff (May 2016) DfE. Guidance commences Sept 2016
    • Protecting children from radicalisation: the prevent duty DfE (August 2015)
  • Partner establishments and/or LAs have their own Codes of Professional Conduct/Practice and this document is designed to reflect these. Trainees must adhere to the expectations of their placement school and have responsibility for familiarising themselves with all relevant policies and protocols.
  • The following documents also impact on the professional conduct of trainees on programmes which lead to recommendation for QTS within the Liverpool John Moores University Partnership
    • LJMU Placement Information and regulations see: www.itt-placement.com
    • LJMU Student Disciplinary Procedures
    • QAA Code of Practice: Placement Learning

Code of Professional Conduct

Key Requirements: On both placement experience and in the University professionalism will be demonstrated by:

  • Regular attendance: including adherence to the requirements for notifying absence from both placement establishment and LJMU (see sections on attendance and absence in Programme Handbooks).
  • Punctuality: as required by placement and by the demands of lectures, workshops, tutorials etc. for each programme at LJMU. In placement establishments there will be a requirement that trainees are present at a specified time before the start of the day and for a specified time after the end of the day. School-based mentors will inform trainees of the exact requirements for the individual establishment.
  • Active and appropriate participation: ensuring all set tasks and/or reading are completed for taught sessions; equipment is used appropriately; questions are asked to further develop personal understanding; participation in group discussions; all tasks set in sessions are completed in order to further learning; a proactive attitude is demonstrated at the University and whilst on placement.
  • Respect for others both at school and at University: including all staff (teaching and non-teaching), other trainees, pupils and parents in accordance with LJMU and school/LA policies. These include disciplinary procedures, equal opportunities, anti-discriminatory and anti-bullying policies.
  • Appropriate use of internet facilities and on line activity including mobile phone use: as required by the policies of LJMU and individual establishments.
  • Appropriate behaviour: towards all children and young people in relation to contacts in formal and informal settings.
  • Ability to listen and act on feedback and advice: from mentors, other staff in schools/establishments, liaison tutors and other staff from LJMU.
  • Taking responsibility for own learning: this will include being familiar with the information on the website - itt-placement.com and the requirements of the placement as set out in the Placement Experience Handbooks. This will include maintaining and keeping up to date any placement documentation which includes planning teaching, learning, assessment and training proformas in the training files throughout the placements.
  • Being proactive in own professional development: and providing the evidence of meeting the Teachers Standards in written and verbal formats. Taking responsibility for addressing concerns relating to individual experience on the programme by discussing such concerns with the appropriate tutors and/or LJMU staff.

On Placement, the following additional professional requirements also apply:

  • Maintaining an appropriate standard of dress and appearance: as required by the establishment and University/Programme Guidance.
  • Establishing and maintaining appropriate relationships, including on-line: with all of those involved with the University and School including children, parents, support staff, teaching staff and senior management.
  • Carrying out duties as required by mentors, other placement staff and University Liaison: in relation to classroom observation, meeting with and working with teachers and other staff, planning, teaching and assessment of pupils and other appropriate professional duties.
  • Taking responsibility for familiarising yourself immediately with key policies and procedures: this includes, but is not restricted to, child protection and safeguarding policies and fire evacuation procedures.
  • Carrying out reasonable instructions: as requested by the head teacher/principal, senior staff, tutors and other staff in placement establishment.
  • Complying in full with Part 2 of the Teachers' Standards
NB. Trainees must be aware that requirements as to timekeeping, dress code, use of internet facilities etc., will vary from placement to placement. It is the responsibility of trainees to ensure that they are fully informed of the expectations of them via discussions with the Professional Mentor within their placement.

Consequences of failure to follow the Code

Action to be taken by the partner establishment and University

If a trainee fails to follow the Code of Professional Conduct, or if their personal or professional conduct (as outlined by PART TWO of the Teachers’ Standards) gives concern, the head teacher/principal or delegated staff of the establishment will follow normal procedures in relation to staff discipline. In extreme circumstances, inappropriate behaviour may result in immediate removal from the premises.

On other occasions it may involve the issuing of a warning (formal or informal) or advice about more appropriate professional behaviour. For example, a tutor may discuss targets for improvement in relation to professional conduct, which will be recorded alongside targets relating to teaching. Where professional conduct is a persistent problem, either at University or in School, a tutorial may be convened to discuss the appropriate next steps, which may include an investigation regarding fitness to practice. In school, concerns regarding professional behaviour may form part of an Intervention Action Plan as part of the Partnership’s Additional Support Framework.

Serious breaches of the Code of Professional Conduct

In the case of a serious breach of the Code of Professional Conduct, the head teacher/principal will wish to remove a trainee from the placement.

If instructed to leave the premises by the head teacher/principal the trainee must do so immediately.

The establishment will immediately notify LJMU of its intention to remove a trainee from the placement by notifying the University via the Partnership office. The Programme Leader, along with the ITT Partnership lead will activate appropriate University procedures. In cases where gross misconduct is suspected, the appropriate student disciplinary procedures may be enacted (see LJMU website). The trainee will be notified in writing of the procedures and of their right to representation and appeal.

NB: In serious cases in breach of the LJMU Code of Conduct where disciplinary measures are upheld, the University is under no obligation to provide a further placement.

What constitutes a breach of the Code?

This section lists actions, which constitute a serious breach of the LJMU Code of Professional Conduct and the DfE Personal and Professional Conduct.

Some breaches of the code may not immediately result in a Progress Tutorial being arranged. For example, establishment staff and LJMU liaison tutors may wish to informally warn a trainee that some aspect of behaviour (such as timekeeping, attendance or standard of dress) is not acceptable. A written record of informal warnings regarding professional conduct will be made and targets will be set for improvement. In most cases this will be noted within the context of the weekly mentoring session but may form part of an Intervention Action Plan as part of the Partnership’s Additional Support Framework.

Provided that such warnings are acted upon and the trainee is seen to comply with the code of conduct such records will not be prejudicial to the trainee’s progress on the course and they will not be taken into account in any reference.

Behaviours which will constitute a serious breach of the Code of Conduct

** indicates behaviours which will result in automatic exclusion from school/establishment.

In the case of the other incidents listed below the decision on whether to exclude rests with the head teacher/principal in the first instance and it is sensible to assume that exclusion is the likely outcome of such a behaviour.

  • Violent behaviour towards children (on or off school premises) **
  • Sexual or inappropriate relationship with a pupil (including those over the age of 16)**
  • Sexual offences involving a child under the age of 16 (as defined, for example, by circular 1/95 and by The Protection of Children Act (PoCA)(1999)**
  • Sexual offences against someone over the age of 16**
  • Any offence involving serious violence**
  • Drug trafficking and/or dealing**
  • Taking hard drugs (e.g. heroin)**
  • Being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs on school/establishment premises**
  • Stealing school/establishment or University property or money or stealing from staff/students pupils**
  • Deception e.g. falsifying qualifications, medical declarations, failure to disclose past convictions**
  • Inappropriate on-line behaviour or use of mobile phones
  • Falsifying pupil records
  • Helping a pupil to cheat or gain exam advantage
  • Taking recreational drugs (for example cannabis, ecstasy)
  • Drink/drug driving offences
  • Regular lateness
  • Regular unexplained or poorly justified absence
  • Refusal to carry out duties
  • Refusal to carry out reasonable instructions
  • Inappropriate dress and/or appearance following warnings
  • Making inappropriate remarks or using inappropriate language/behaviour to or about pupils, staff or others on school/establishment or University premises (for example in contravention of school/establishment, LA and University equal opportunities, anti-discriminatory and anti-bullying policies)
  • Repeated refusal to act on advice resulting in very poor pupil progress.

Please note that the list refers to behaviours both on school/establishment premises and in other circumstances. So, for example, if it is found that you have falsified records in relation to your past qualifications while on a course leading to recommendation for QTS, you will be excluded from the placement.

This list is not exhaustive and the fact that a behaviour or activity is not listed here does not imply that it is acceptable. All trainees must adhere to and demonstrate Part 2 of the Teachers' Standards.

Part two: Personal and Professional Conduct

A teacher is expected to demonstrate consistently high standards of personal and professional conduct. The following statements define the behaviour and attitudes which set the required standard for conduct throughout a teacher's career.

  • Teachers uphold public trust in the profession and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside school, by:
    • treating pupils with dignity, building relationships rooted in mutual respect, and at all times observing proper boundaries appropriate to a teacher’s professional position
    • having regard for the need to safeguard pupils’ well-being, in accordance with statutory provisions
    • showing tolerance of and respect for the rights of others
    • not undermining fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
    • ensuring that personal beliefs are not expressed in ways which exploit pupils’ vulnerability or might lead them to break the law.
  • Teachers must have proper and professional regard for the ethos, policies and practices of the school in which they teach, and maintain high standards in their own attendance and punctuality.
  • Teachers must have an understanding of, and always act within, the statutory frameworks which set out their professional duties and responsibilities.
NB: The health, safety, welfare and education of pupils and young people are the utmost importance in decisions relating to your progression through the Programme of Study and in deciding upon your ‘Fitness to Practise’.
End of Section D