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

CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS IN ZIMBABWE

  • The five core tenets of independence of CHISZ members are the rights of a school to:
  • follow its own distinctive mission (including its particular ethos, faith and philosophy)
  • determine its learner admission and promotion policies
  • choose its own curriculum and exit examinations
  • determine how it will be governed, financed and staffed
  • manage its own operations

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

While CHISZ recognises the autonomy of each individual school, Heads who join the Conference undertake to follow this Code of Ethical Practice as a guideline.

GENERAL

CHISZ believes that a Head 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, should 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, should promote a sound value system in his/her school and exemplify these values in his/her personal life;
  4. Encourage a broad-based learner-centred philosophy in the school in order to develop:
    • Each child to his/her full potential, academically, socially, emotionally physically and spiritually,
    • A community of learners who are self-disciplined and have a sound work ethic, and
    • 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;
  9. Implement on-going quality assurance processes to maintain and improve the quality of education at the school;

ADMISSION OF PUPILS

In all matters, heads should adopt a fair and professional attitude towards their colleagues and ensure co-operation between schools wherever possible.
Entrance from Primary to Secondary schools – the following practice must be observed:

  1. All potential entrants to any ATS/CHISZ Secondary school shall write a Common Entrance Test (CET). This is an OBJECTIVE and EXTERNAL test written by all Primary pupils that provides an objective benchmarking standard and procedure outside the aegis of each individual school.
  2. The Tests must be written at the Secondary school of first choice, except under special conditions contained in the rubric.
  3. To maintain its credibility, 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 CET’s must be observed in dealing with Primary schools.
  7. Under no circumstances may a Head initiate contact with a pupil who has already registered with another school of first choice and indicated writing the CET at that school. They may also not approach the pupil before the conclusion date of the CET entry procedures.
  8. Schools operating in the same region and/or drawing from the same feeder schools should discuss mutual problems rather than change policy at a time which leaves other schools compromised.
  9. Where possible, heads should not accept pupils who still have outstanding debts to his/her previous school.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND BURSARIES.

  1. Scholarships – Any CHISZ school may award a scholarship that meets the following criteria. A scholarship is an openly competitive (i.e. broadly based applications are invited from within the school and from a more general base) financial award made or administered by a school to any qualifying pupil ( these may be restricted to any reasonable academic or sporting qualifying criteria) , whether currently enrolled at that school or not, in the hope of attracting him or her to enroll in or remain at the school. All details of available scholarships and other awards should be available to the public upon reasonable request.
  2. Bursaries – Any CHISZ school may award a bursary that meets the following criteria. A bursary is a financial award made or administered by the school to a pupil currently enrolled at the school and made on the basis of evidential need.
  3. Members should observe the following further guidelines in respect of the award of scholarships and bursaries;
    • The use of bursaries to help enroll or retain needy young people from outside of the CHISZ system and the inclusion of sporting, cultural or academic talent in making awards to good “all rounders” is acceptable and encouraged practice, but CHISZ strongly disapproves of the practice of “shopping” for or poaching players from other CHISZ schools by using or offering bursaries.
    • Candidates do not need to have been registered for the school or schools at which they compete for a scholarship award.

STAFF

  1. In the interests of collegiality, it is not considered appropriate for members to make, or be party to the making of, direct approaches concerning appointments to members of staff from other CHISZ schools.
  2. If an applicant for a position, whether teaching, administrative or support staff, is already on the staff of another CHISZ school, no appointment may be taken up unless due notice (as per the Labour Act) has been served, or a lesser term agreed by mutual agreement between the two Heads.
  3. Members are strongly advised to make full inquiries with an existing employer before making any staff appointments or offer of employment. However, consultation with the present head cannot be made until the express permission of the applicant has been obtained.
  4. Members should ensure that they create an environment where staff feel free to make inquiries about. a position in other schools, without informing their own head and without the need for prior consultation between the heads of the two schools.
  5. Heads should also ensure that they create an environment where all staff feel free to ask for a reference and enquire about or make application for a position elsewhere without prejudicing their present position.
  6. Heads should recommend to their governing bodies that they should offer assistance to staff members for the education of their children at CHISZ schools.

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT

Heads and authorised persons practicing corporal punishment in their schools must do so in strict accordance with the law governing such practice. No unauthorised person may administer corporal punishment. Corporal punishment may not be administered to girls.

ADVERTISING

Advertising and articles published by CHISZ member schools should be governed by professional ethics and should in no way reflect adversely on any other schools.

APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR AT SPORTS AND SOCIAL FUNCTIONS

Heads should play a leading role in setting appropriate behavior of students, staff and the parent body at all sports and social functions by ensuring that a Code of Behavior  setting out what is appropriate behavior for each is known throughout the school. In particular,

  1. Heads should make reference to the recommendations contained in the Sports Committee document.
  2. Parents Assemblies should be involved in the publication of their school’s Code of Conduct and, where possible, assist the Head and staff in the regulating of appropriate behavior amongst the parent body.
  3. Where there is a breach of any Code, the Head should take immediate action through the appropriate parent body or the Standing Committee, to ensure that such conduct is stopped, prevented or sanctioned as appropriate.
  4. Each Head shall submit a full report of any breach of ethical behavior to the Standing Committee, the Sports Committee and any other Head of the school involved.

BREACH OF THIS CODE

Where the Standing Committee, after due enquiry, holds that any Head has breached this Code, it may impose such sanction on any such member in accordance with Clause 8.2.7 of the Constitution as it deems fit.

UPDATED 2011
ATS/CHISZ