A protected disclosure may be presented to the Principal and /or the Board of Trustees when a member of staff has reasonable grounds to believe that a serious wrong doing is being done by or in the school by another member of staff. If the disclosure relates to the Principal it must be reported to the Board of Trustees. In such circumstances, a member of staff can report in good faith asking that the alleged wrongdoing be investigated (without worrying about negative consequences). The disclosure will be about the employer or another employee/s not about a student or parent.
i. To meet the requirements of the Protected Disclosures Act 2000.
ii. To meet the requirement to have an internal procedures in place that enables employees, past and present and contractors providing a service to the school, to make protected disclosures.
i. The Principal will receive any and all ‘protected disclosures’, unless the disclosure is about the Principal, at which time, the Board of Trustees will receive the disclosure.
ii. The Board of Trustees is entitled to:-
a) Call a meeting that deals with confidential employment issues.
b) Contact M.O.E, Principal Federations, NZSTA and/or PPTA for advice and guidance.
c) Contact the Board’s insurer on employment matters.
d) Refer the matter to another appropriate authority, if urgency or seriousness dictates.
iii. The Board must take action or recommend action within 20 working days of receiving a ‘protected disclosure’. Should the Board not act within 20 working days, the person who has made the disclosure is entitled to take the matter to an appropriate authority and ask them to investigate.
iv. Information which would identify the person who makes the disclosure is confidential to the Board unless:-
a) The person making the disclosure consents in writing to the information being disclosed, or,
b) It is essential to disclose the identifying information for reasons of an effective investigation or to prevent serious risk to public health or public safety or to the environment or the need for regarding principles of natural justice.
v. A serious wrongdoing is defined as being any of the following:-
a) An unlawful, corrupt, or irregular use of public funds or public resources; or
b) An act, omission, or course of conduct that constitutes a serious risk to public health or public safety or the environment ; or
c) An act, omission, or course of conduct that constitutes a serious risk to the maintenance of law, including the prevention, investigation, and detection of offences and the right to a fair trial; or
d) An act, omission, or course of conduct that constitutes an offence; or
e) An act, omission, or courser of conduct by a public official that is oppressive, improperly discriminatory, or grossly negligent, or that constitutes gross mismanagement ...
vi. When considering information revealed by a protected disclosure, the board will determine:-
a) Does the disclosure constitute serious wrongdoing in terms of the Act?
b) Inform the discloser of the protections they have including any possible reasons that the information may identify them may need to be disclosed. The discloser will be reminded that those protections only exist if the allegation is made in good faith.
c) What is the best course of action?
d) Would it be advisable to refer the matter to another appropriate party?
e) The appropriate mechanism for informing the person who made the disclosure of the outcome of the investigation.
vii. The protections for the discloser are:-
a) The discloser’s identity will be confidential unless they give written permission to be identified.
b) The discloser cannot be victimised by their employer for having disclosed the information.
c) The discloser is not liable for civil or criminal proceedings for disclosing information.
d) If the discloser believes that they are unfairly treated in their job or unreasonably dismissed following a disclosure, they can take a person al grievance against their employer.
viii. A protected disclosure can be done verbally or in writing. The discloser must identify that the disclosure is being made under the Protected Disclosures Act and is following School Board procedures, provide detail of the complaint, (disclosure), and whom the complaint is about.
ix. It is anticipated that most complaints can be dealt with through other avenues, in conjunction with EEO committee, members of staff meeting to resolve such matters, with or without the support of middle or senior school management.
x. A copy of the Act may be found on the Internet at Legislation on Line;
Click on “P” then scroll down to Protected Disclosures Act 2000
This policy will be reviewed as part of the Board’s cycle of review/schedule
Date of Approval __________________________________________________