C.H.I.S.Z. CODE OF ETHICAL PRACTICE

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. The five core tenets of independence of CHISZ members are the rights of a school to:

    1. follow its own distinctive mission (including its particular ethos, faith and philosophy;
    2. determine its own policies for the admission of pupils;
    3. choose its curriculum and exit examinations;
    4. determine how it will be governed, financed and staffed;
    5. manage its own operations.

    While CHISZ recognises the autonomy of each individual school, it is expected that Heads who are in membership of the Conference undertake to subscribe to this Code of Conduct as per Clause 7.1 of the CHISZ Constitution:

    Subject to the directions of or any amendment by the Governing Bodies of their respective Trust Schools, all members of the Conference undertake to adopt and honour guidelines or Codes of Conduct within their schools as agreed and adopted at any General Meeting.

  3. GENERAL GUIDELINES
  4. Heads should:

    1. at all times act honestly, fairly and with due respect for the rights of staff, pupils, parents and members of the governing body;
    2. be the educational leader of the school and, as such, encourage the professional development of the staff and seek to improve the quality of learning and teaching;
    3. be the moral leader of the school, and, as such, promote a sound value system in his/her school and exemplify these values in his/her personal life;
    4. encourage a broad-based pupil-centered philosophy in the school in order to develop:
      1. each child to his/her full potential, academically, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually;
      2. a community of pupils who are self-disciplined and have a sound work ethic; and
      3. a code of conduct based on courtesy, mutual respect and acknowledgement of the rights of all groups in the school community;
    5. maintain good relations with the governing body, parents, neighbouring schools and education authorities;
    6. ensure that the school implements fair admissions and employment practices;
    7. portray sound leadership and management skills in the running of the school;
    8. promote public-spirited policies in the school and social responsibility programmes in the wider community; and
    9. implement on-going quality assurance processes to maintain and improve the quality of education at the school.
  5. ADMISSION OF PUPILS
  6. In all matters concerning the admission of pupils at all levels Heads should adopt a fair and professional attitude towards other Heads and ensure co-operation between schools whenever possible.
    At all levels Heads should not accept a pupil who still has an outstanding debt to his/her previous school. It is incumbent upon the school admitting the pupil concerned to check with the feeder school that all debts and other matters are in order before accepting the pupil.
    Entrance to Primary Schools
    It is at the discretion of individual schools what process (readiness test/interview etc.) is used for the admission of pupils into Primary schools at all levels.
    Entrance from Primary to Secondary schools
    The following should be noted:

    1. All potential entrants to any ATS Secondary school should write the Common
      Assessment paper (CAP) set by CHISZ;

      1. this test provides an objective benchmarking standard and procedure outside the aegis of each individual school;
      2. the CAP is written on the first Saturday of July prior to the January of admission and should be written at the Secondary school of first choice, except under special conditions contained in the rubric of the exam;
      3. to maintain the credibility of the CAP, confidentiality of the papers must be strictly observed;
      4. the rubric accompanying the papers must be followed by all Primary schools;
      5. papers must not be released to Primary schools until final selection procedures by Secondary schools are complete;
      6. the publication date of the results of the CAP must be observed in dealing with Primary schools; no places may be offered before the CAP procedure is completed;
      7. if a Head/school does not wish to use the CAP for the admission of pupils at Form 1 level to Secondary school he/she should, in the first instance, and as a matter of courtesy, raise the matter with STANCO for agreement/approval.
    2. A Head should not initiate contact with a pupil who has already registered with another school of first choice and indicated an intention to write the CAP for that school; and
    3. Heads should also not approach the pupil before the conclusion date of the CAP entry procedures.
    4. Heads are entitled however to use other means of assessment as is deemed useful to them, in addition to the CAP

    Entrance at higher levels
    It is at the discretion of individual schools what process (exam/interview/public exam results
    etc.) is used for the admission of pupils into Secondary schools above Form 1 level.

  7. SCHOLARSHIPS AND BURSARIES.
  8. Scholarships
    A scholarship may be awarded to a potential pupil (from within or outside the ATS system) or existing pupil who demonstrates excellence in a particular field (e.g. academic, music, sport
    etc.).

    CHISZ strongly recommends that:

    1. any scholarship is openly competitive; and
    2. all details of scholarships (i.e. the number being awarded; the type of scholarship (academic etc.); the method of selection (exam, sports trial, music audition etc.); the value of the award; and the date and method of application) are available via the school’s website and other admissions/marketing material.

    Bursaries
    A bursary may be awarded to a potential pupil (from within or outside the ATS system) or existing pupil on the basis of financial need.

    CHISZ strongly recommends that:

    1. abursaries are awarded on an annual basis; and
    2. parents are required to make a means-tested submission before the award of a bursary is confirmed.
  9. STAFF
  10. General guidance
    Heads should ensure that they create an environment in which all staff feel free to:

    1. make inquiries about a position in other schools, without consultation between the Heads of the two schools; and
    2. ask for a reference and enquire about or make application for a position elsewhere without prejudicing their present position.

    Appointment of Staff
    Heads should take note of the following:

    1. in the interests of collegiality, it is not considered appropriate for Heads or their representatives to make direct approaches concerning appointments to members of staff from other ATS schools.
    2. if an applicant for a position, whether teaching, administrative or support staff, is already employed by another ATS school, no appointment should be made unless due notice (as per the Labour Act) has been served, or a lesser term agreed by mutual agreement between the two Heads;
    3. Heads should make full inquiries with an existing employer before making any staff appointments or offer of employment (see guidelines elsewhere on Child Protection); and
    4. consultation with the present Head should not be made without the express permission of the applicant.
  11. CORPORAL PUNISHMENT
  12. Heads and authorised persons practicing corporal punishment in their schools must do so in strict accordance with the law governing such practice.

  13. ADVERTISING/MARKETING LITERATURE
  14. Advertising and articles published by ATS member schools should be governed by professional ethics and should in no way reflect adversely on any other schools.

  15. APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR AT SPORTS AND SOCIAL FUNCTIONS
  16. Heads should play a leading role in setting appropriate behaviour of pupils, staff and parents at all sports and social functions. In particular Heads should:

    1. make themselves aware of the guidelines given in the CHISZ Charter for Sport, available elsewhere;
    2. make the CHISZ Charter for Sport and any additional school based guidance available to parents on their school website;
    3. ake immediate action, including submitting a full report, through the appropriate Head, any other Head or STANCO when a breach of the CHISZ Charter for Sport occurs to ensure that such conduct is stopped, prevented or sanctioned as appropriate.
  17. BREACH OF THE CHISZ CODE OF CONDUCT
  18. When a breach of the CHISZ Code of Conduct may have occurred:

    1. in the first instance the offended Head should communicate his/her concern with the offending Head and every attempt should be made to resolve the matter at a local level;
    2. if there is no response or if the response given falls short of the offended Head’s expectations, or if the matter cannot be resolved between the two Heads the offended Head should raise the matter with the Chairman of STANCO and the Executive Director
      of ATS;
    3. the Chairman of STANCO and the Executive Director will make every attempt to facilitate resolution between the two Heads or give a verbal admonishment to one or other of the Heads as necessary;
    4. in the event that resolution is still not possible the Chairman of STANCO and the
      Executive Director of ATS will arrange a hearing for the two Heads concerned;

      1. the Hearing Committee will consist of the Chairman of STANCO (Chair), the Executive Director of ATS and two other members of STANCO
      2. the Hearing Committee will invite both Heads to submit a written report/opinion prior to the hearing taking place
      3. the hearing will be expedited as quickly as is reasonably possible for all parties concerned
      4. the Hearing Committee will determine what if any action may be required – this may include:
        1. a reprimand;
        2. a written warning; or
        3. recommendation to ATS that the offending Head is suspended for a period of time or permanently excluded from CHISZ, as per Clause 6.2.g of the CHISZ Constitution:“ To recommend to ATS that an Ordinary Member of ATS be considered for suspension or termination in circumstances set out in Clause 7.2” ;
      5. any decision made by the Hearing Committee will be communicated to the
        Chairman of Governors of both schools and to the two Heads concerned within 7
        working days of the hearing taking place.

      In dealing with any breach of the Code of Conduct the Chairman of STANCO, the Executive Director of ATS, members of STANCO and any ATS members involved will, in accordance with Paragraph 7.2 of the CHISZ Constitution, Codes of Conduct and Guidelines, ensure that the general rules of natural justice are observed before making any decision/recommendation. [Paragraph 7.2 of the CHISZ Constitution:“ Where any member displays a wilful disregard for any agreed guidelines or Code of Conduct or is in breach of any of the guidelines or Code of Conduct of the Conference or for other good and sufficient cause, the Standing Committee shall be entitled to recommend to ATS that such Ordinary Member of CHISZ be considered for suspension or termination, provided the Conference complies with the general rules of natural justice before making any such recommendation under this clause” .]

STANCO
October 2017