Council meetings

Agenda item

Review of Whistle blowing Referrals and Policy


Helen Glass, Deputy Monitoring Officer, introduced the report and explained

there had been two referrals since the last report considered by the Standards



In relation to Case A, the Monitoring Officer had referred the matter to the

Executive Director Children and Young People Directorate (CYP)  for the

matter to be dealt with in accordance with the Directorate’s procedures.


Alan Docksey, Head of Resources, CYP, explained to the Committee that on

receipt of the complaint, which related to staffing and management issues at a

school, it was felt appropriate for the issues to be investigated and responded

to by the school and consequently the matter was passed to the Chair of



It was further explained that there had recently been a significant amount of

change at the school. The Governing Body had been dissolved and replaced

with an Interim Executive Board (IEB). This matter was being progressed by

the IEB although there was an acknowledgement due to the passage of time

and staff changes that matters may be more challenging to deal with at this

stage. Schools Human Resources Team would assist and offer a view as they

are contracted  to provide human resources advice to the school and would

have knowledge of some of the issues raised.


It was commented that it was for the Council in dealing with complaints

brought under the whistleblowing policy to demonstrate independence and

that it would be appropriate to seek to obtain some corroboration of the

matters complained about before forwarding the matter to the school .


It was suggested that  the better course of action would have been for the

matter to be investigated by the Council and not simply referred to the school.

An effective whistleblowing policy must instil confidence  that people can raise

issues and that those issues will be properly investigated.


There were some comparable comments in relation to Case B. It was also

asked that as that complaint related to safeguarding  was  there not a different

procedure to be adopted. Officers explained that where complaints are made

about safeguarding these are always matters of serious concern and CYP

Directorate will always look for corroboration. However where the complainant

is anonymous and no school identified, in the absence of any further

information, it is very difficult to know how to progress.


It was noted that it seemed to be a generic response  that enquiries about

schools are referred to the school/governing body. A request was made for

the Children & Young Person’s Directorate procedures to be submitted to the



In response to an enquiry about timescales in relation to Case A it was

confirmed that this had not been agreed with the IEB. It was agreed that

information in relation to timescales will be  referred back to the Committee.


In relation to Case B members enquired whether the response from the

Monitoring Officer had been sufficiently proactive. The Deputy Monitoring

Officer informed the Committee that she did not have knowledge of the actual

complaint but explained that if the complaint was anonymous and did not

identify a particular school, save attempting to obtain further information, it

would be virtually impossible to take matters further. The Deputy Monitoring

Officer agreed to report to the Committee after making further enquiries into

the complaint.




(i) there be a review of the Whistle blowing Policy and Procedures. An

update of the review to be brought to the next meeting of the Standards



(ii) timescales in relation to the investigations into Case A be provided to the

committee members.


(iii) the Monitoring Officer review Case B and provide an update as to whether

there was sufficient information for a safeguarding investigation.


(iv) the report be otherwise noted

Supporting documents: