Community Conduct Policy
This applies to all members of the Wesley College community (including parents and guardians, OWs and volunteers, conference attendees on College premises, contractors and vendors, or other persons who have interactions or dealings with the College but not staff or students, collectively members).
The Community Conduct Policy sets standards of behaviour which are expected of all members of the Wesley College community.
Wesley College is committed to:
- Developing and maintaining relationships based on mutual respect, responsibility and dignity
- The care, safety and nurturing of all community members
- Developing and maintaining professional and positive relationships with parents and guardians to enhance a true partnership in their child’s learning and development
- Fostering independence, responsibility and resilience in our students.
In developing this Policy, the College recognises that all community members want the best for the College community and the reputation of the College. In particular, the College recognises that parents and guardians ultimately want the best for their children. However, the College also expects parents and guardians to recognise that the College, through those leading it, must ultimately balance the interests of all of the College’s stakeholders (including not only students and members, but also the College’s staff and their right to a safe and respectful working environment).
This policy operates in addition to any other College policies and procedures which apply to members and may be varied from time to time by the College at its absolute discretion.
Being a Support Role Model and Supporting the College
Members are expected to support the educational ethos and values of the College, model appropriate behaviours for the College’s students to learn from, and work with the College as it educates and provides wellbeing support to all students.
Members can support the College and be positive role models by doing, for example, the following:
- Comply with the College’s policies, procedures and directions. Members who are parents and guardians must ensure their children do the same.
- Respect (and show Wesley College students they respect) that the College is inclusive and welcomes students and families from a variety of backgrounds and with different needs.
- Encourage Wesley College students to actively participate in the life of the College including in the many sporting and co-curricular activities available (noting that some will be compulsory and others option). Please note that Saturday sport is compulsory on all weekends during the respective season for students from Years 7 to 12.
- If a member is a parent or guardian, be responsive to concerns raised by the College about their own child, including by being cooperative, providing information and attending meetings when required.
- If the member is a parent or guardian, keep the College informed about a child’s behavioural, educational, health or social/emotional needs, including by providing updated medical information as it becomes available. However, parents and guardians need to appreciate that while the College will take into account any new information, Wesley College cannot accommodate every need.
- If the member is a parent or guardian, keep the College informed about a child’s parenting arrangements, including any courts orders, Family Violence intervention Orders (FVIO) or Personal Safety Intervention Orders (PSIO) that may be in place and ensure that any updated/amended orders are provided to the College in a timely manner. The College may seek additional information regarding these arrangements as appropriate. However, members should not involve the College in parenting disputes, or expect the College to act as the go-between for estranged Members.
- Recognise the damage that gossip can do within a school community, and avoid unconstructed commentary (including criticism, uninformed rumour or speculation) with other members, including social media or other digital communication channels.
Behaving Respectfully towards all Members of the Community
Wesley College expects that members will behave respectfully at all times towards the College’s staff (including employees, contractors and volunteers), students and other members. This applies not only to words used, but also to tone and body language.
'Respect' is intentionally a broad concept. The following is a non-exhaustive list of the behaviours that are not respectful:
- Bullying, intimidation, discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and child abuse.
- Actual or threatened aggression or violence.
- Behaviour that causes a risk to a person’s health and wellbeing.
- Defamatory or disrespectful comments.
- Gossip, rumour or innuendo.
- Raising one’s voice or using offensive language while communicating.
- Age-inappropriate language when communicating with children.
Use of Technology and Social and Digital Media
The expectations set out in this policy can also apply to the way a member uses technology and behaves online.
For example, members should:
- Respect a staff member’s professional and personal boundaries, by not using their personal online presence to raise College matters (or otherwise engage in disrespectful behaviour).
- Not take photos, videos or other recordings of a student without that student’s parent or guardian’s consent, and not publish information (including personal details, contact information, images and recordings) concerning a staff member, parent, student or other member of the College community online or elsewhere without express consent.
- Avoid publishing information which may intentionally bring the College (or any of its staff, students and Members of the College community) into disrepute. This includes where an image or recording shows a student in College uniform behaving inappropriately whether on College premises, at a College event or otherwise public place.
- Not communicate with students outside of the College, including by email, social media or other digital communication platforms, without prior consent from the student’s parent or guardian.
- Not discuss confidential or sensitive College matters, including in relation to grievances about a particular staff member or student, online.
- Not set up any online website, forum or group which features the College’s name or any derivative thereof in its title.
When visiting the College grounds or attending College activities and events
Members must respect the College’s risk management procedures when visiting the College. Members should immediately proceed to Main Reception at each campus (Reception at the St Kilda Road Junior School) or at Clunes upon arrival to sign in and should only enter a classroom or other student environment when invited to do so by a staff member. This requirement applies when visiting the College and extends to other venues when related to College activities and events.
This requirement does not apply when visiting the College to:
- Attend an activity or event to which all members of the campus or College community have been invited.
- Access mini school receptions for a particular purpose (such as dropping off an item of clothing or a forgotten lunch).
- Attend special functions eg assemblies.
- Drop off or collect a child from school
When visiting the College, or attending College activities and events, Members should model appropriate and respectful behaviours. This includes:
- Demonstrating good sporting conduct and an understanding of the importance of fair play and respect when attending the College’s sporting events
- Complying with applicable occupational health and safety and risk-management procedures.
- Complying with any reasonable directions given by the College’s staff or other duly authorised College delegate.
- Showing appropriate care and regard for the property of the College and other. Any damage should be promptly reported to the College.
- Dressing appropriately for the occasion.
- Not smoking on College premises or at College events and not being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Drop off/Pick Up
When dropping off and picking up students from the College or otherwise attending the College, Members are expected to ensure the health and safety of all members of the College community, as well as the wider community, at all times.
Members must comply with all traffic rules and any College traffic management system in place. This includes adhering to applicable speed limits, observing all traffic signs, limiting the use of car horns (unless indicating imminent danger) and parking appropriately and safely.
Responsibility for Others
Members are expected to ensure that other individuals that are invited onto College property for any reason, such as relatives and carers, also comply with this Policy.
Raising Concerns Appropriately and Productively
The College is committed to the education and wellbeing of each student. It is therefore critical that members are able to raise genuine concerns and grievances they may have about such matters in an appropriate, constructive and mutually respectful forum.
The College’s grievance-management procedures are set out in the Wesley College Community Grievance Policy. This policy sets out how concerns and grievances may be raised with the College; who they should be raised with; and how the College will deal with these in a respectful and timely manner.
Member with concerns and grievances should consult the policy. However, in general:
- Concerns should be resolved in a timely way and at the lowest level possible within the College, having regard to the nature of the concern or grievance.
- Parents and guardians should not communicate with another student about an issue concerning their own child. Parents and guardians must not attempt to discipline a student who is not their child and should not raise their voice or be aggressive or hostile when communicating (verbally or non-verbally) with another family’s child.
- Parents and guardians should raise their concerns with their child’s Homeroom teacher/Tutor or Head of Year/Head of House in the first instance. More serious concerns and grievances, including where a parent or guardian is dissatisfied with a teacher’s response to a concern, may be raised with appropriate Head of School (as set out in the policy).
- Members should arrange a face-to-face meeting to discuss their concerns and grievances, rather than relying on email or other written communications.
- Members should clearly set out their concerns and grievances, and what they would practically like to see happen.
- Members should appreciate that while the College is committed to dealing with their concerns and grievances in a timely manner, it will not always be practicable for staff to provide an immediate acknowledgement or response (particularly where a concern or grievance is sent by email).
- Members should respect that the College employs experienced educators and other professionals who are well trained in making academic, disciplinary, extracurricular, pastoral and wellbeing decisions every day. Parents and guardians in particular, must understand, that while the College will always take into account the interests of the parent and guardian’s child, the College must ultimately make decisions that take into account the interest of all students (and others who may be affected by the College’s decision).
- Members should recognise that just as the College will seek to respect all member’s privacy, the College will also respect the privacy of members of the College community. This means there are limits to what information the College will share with a member when issues arise. This does not mean that the College is not taking an issue or situation seriously or hiding information from a member.
- If a member is not satisfied with the College’s response to a concern or grievance, a College Grievance policy may provide a member with a right to request and internal review of the College’s decision. The College respects a member’s right to invoke formal grievance resolution procedures. However, the College will not continue resolution processes with members who refuse to engage in constructive processes that may resolve their grievances, or who choose to publicly air their grievances about the College (and in particular about staff or students or other members) on social, digital or other media.
Consequences for breaching this Code of Conduct
The Principal will have absolute discretion for deciding how to best respond to concerns about a member’s compliance with the Code of Conduct.
When the Principal considers that a members has breached this Code of Conduct, the Principal may implement one or more of the following consequences (and not necessarily in any particular order):
- A request that the relevant conduct immediately cease.
- A written warning.
- A member (or another relevant person) being banned from the College grounds, either for a particular period of time or permanently.
- A member (or another relevant person) being excluded from College activities or event.
- A requirement that a member (or another relevant person) only communicate with a nominated school representative.
- Termination of the enrolment of a member’s student (s).
Staff and volunteers are empowered to take steps to protect their own health and wellbeing. If they feel that a member is being inappropriate, they are encouraged to indicate this and ask that it stop. If it does not, or if a staff member feels that a member’s actions are posing a risk to their or someone else’s health and wellbeing, they are empowered to remove themselves from the situation. This may include by immediately concluding a meeting or phone call, or by demanding that a member immediately leave the College grounds (or a College activity or event).
An Incident Report should be completed by the staff member and submitted to the Head of Campus or the Principal for review in accordance with College policies.