This statement applies to all employees of QEHC Academy Trust, temporary staff, any voluntary staff and visitors.
Confidentiality is defined for the purposes of this statement as “something which is spoken or given in confidence; private, entrusted with another’s secret affairs.”
When speaking confidentially to someone the confider has the belief that the confidante will not discuss the content of the conversation with another. That is, the content would be kept secret by the confidante.
Confidentially for the purposes of this statement relates to:
1. Any information including sensitive or private information given to adults concerning children in their care or prospective children in their care or in the care of QEHC Academy Trust and/or
2. Any personal or sensitive information, especially information raising child protection concerns, shared by children with an adult
3. Concerns or information about the conduct or intentions of another staff members
It is important for all staff to understand and be clear about when and with whom information can be shared and in what circumstances it is appropriate to do so. When uncertain, staff should seek advice from the Headteacher or additionally where issues of child protection are concerned, the designated teacher for child protection.
Sometimes students or adults may not specifically ask you to keep information confidential when they discuss their own problems or pass on information about others, but may assume that personal information will be treated as confidential. In these situations staff should check whether information is or is not confidential, the limits around confidentiality and under what circumstances information may or may not be shared with others (adults or students.)
This statement attempts to lay out examples of where confidentiality should be kept or should not be kept, but is not exhaustive.
1) Information including sensitive or private information given to adults concerning children in their care or prospective children in their care or children in the care of QEHC Academy Trust.
Any information given at staff meetings or staff briefings should be kept confidential within the staff group unless advised otherwise. This information should never be discussed with or within the hearing of the student body even if students seem to have some knowledge of this information from another source.
Information contained in the personal files of students which may from time to time be shared with staff or which certain staff may have access to should not be discussed with others unless they have a legitimate reason to have access to this information. This information should never be discussed with or within the hearing of the student body even if students claim to have some knowledge of this information from another source.
In some circumstances staff may have access to or be given highly sensitive or private information. These details must be kept confidential at all times.
Any information acquired about students must not be used to intimidate, humiliate or embarrass the person concerned.
2) Any personal or sensitive information, especially information raising child protection concerns, shared by children with an adult
In our dealings with the student body of the academy it must be made clear at the outset of any conversation that information shared by students cannot always be kept confidential. Nor should staff request that students keep secrets on their behalf.
A student may tell a staff member a whole range of information some of which is not confidential, but may also ask the staff member to treat some specific information as confidential. The relationship then becomes confidential and information may not be shared with others unless consent is given or it is not in the best interests of the student to keep this confidentiality.
However, where information disclosed raises concerns about the welfare (child in need) or protection (child at risk of significant harm) of the student, confidentiality cannot be kept and the disclosure reported to the designated teacher or the Headteacher. Again this should be explained to the student at the outset. See the academy’s Child Protection Policy.
3) Concerns or information about the conduct or intentions of another staff member
Concerns and allegations about adults should be treated as confidential and passed to the Headteacher without delay.