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Consultation on the revised Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for Registrants with the Education Workforce Council

Overview

This consultation, in accordance with the statutory requirement upon the Council in the Education (Wales) Act 2014, seeks the views of EWC registrants, stakeholders and the general public on a revised draft Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for Registrants with the Education Workforce Council (EWC).

How to respond

Responses to this consultation can be made using the online form available below or by completing the form and emailing it to code@ewc.wales.

The deadline for responses is no later than midday on 14 December 2018.

Contact details
For further information:

Mrs Susan Street
Fitness to Practise Manager
Education Workforce Council
e-mail: Susan.street@ewc.wales 
Tel: 029 2046 0099

About the EWC

The Education Workforce Council (EWC) is the independent regulator in Wales for:

  • school teachers;
  • school learning support workers;
  • further education teachers (lecturers);
  • further education learning support workers;
  • work based learning practitioners;
  • qualified youth workers;
  • qualified youth support workers.

The EWC was established by the Education (Wales) Act 2014. Under the Act, the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) was reconfigured and renamed to become the Education Workforce Council (EWC). The EWC came into being on 1 April 2015.

The primary aims of the EWC are to:

  • contribute to improving standards of teaching and quality of learning in Wales;
  • maintain and improve standards of professional conduct amongst registrants in the education workforce in Wales;
  • safeguard the interests of learners, parents and the public and maintain public trust and confidence in the education workforce.

The EWC’s responsibilities include:

  • maintaining a Register of persons deemed suitable to practise within the education workforce in Wales;
  • investigating and hearing cases against registered persons involving professional misconduct, incompetence or criminal offences;
  • providing a Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for registered practitioners;
  • accrediting programmes of initial school teacher education in Wales;
  • advising the Welsh Government and others on matters related to the education workforce and teaching and learning;
  • specific work as requested by the Welsh Government, for example, the EWC administers a funding programme for school teacher Induction. It also administers the award of Qualified Teacher Status and Induction including the issue of certificates and hears Induction Appeals;
  • promotion of careers within the education workforce.

The Code

The current Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for Registrants with the Education Workforce Council was prepared and published on 1 April 2015 by the Welsh Government in accordance with the Education (Wales) Act 2014. It was largely the same in content to the previous Code developed by the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) for school teachers.

The Code sets out the key principles of good conduct and practice our registrants uphold. It is intended to guide judgements and decisions and inform learners, parents, guardians, employers and the general public of the standards they can expect from registrants.

Under the Act, the EWC is required to review the Code every three years and, if appropriate, make revisions to it.

The Education Workforce Council (Main Functions) (Wales) Regulations 2015 require the Code to contain a minimum provision dealing with the following matters:

  • basing relationships between learners and registered persons on mutual trust and respect;
  • having regard to the safety and well-being of learners;
  • working in a collaborative manner with colleagues and other professionals;
  • developing and maintaining good relationships with parents, guardians and carers;
  • acting with honesty and integrity;
  • being sensitive to the need for confidentiality, where appropriate;
  • taking responsibility for maintaining the quality of professional practice; and
  • upholding public trust and confidence in the education workforce.

The Regulations also require an EWC Investigating or Fitness to Practise Committee to take into account any failure by a registrant to comply with the Code in any of the disciplinary proceedings against that person.

Proposed Revisions

In drafting the revised Code, the EWC has:

  1. taken account of the seven diverse workforce groups which are now required to register with the Council. Whilst meeting the requirements of Regulations in terms of matters to be included in the Code, the EWC has sought to retain the meaning and emphasis of the current Code but has also aimed to make the principles more practical and meaningful for all seven registrant groups;

  2. reviewed the Codes of other Regulators, throughout the world and across a range of professions.

  3. considered the professional standards that apply, have been developed or are in development for each registrant group. This is necessary as the EWC draft Code applies to registrants’ practice as well as their conduct. It is of note that in most other countries and professions, the Code is entwined with the professional standards.

In consulting on the revised Code, the Council welcomes the views of registrants, stakeholders and the public. No decisions have been made on the proposed revisions and we encourage you to make your views known.

Documents

DOCX File Consultation document and response form
PDF Icon Draft revised Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for Registrants with the EWC
PDF Icon Existing Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for Registrants with the EWC

Consultation response

We have included a number of questions about the Code which we would like you to answer. Please consider your responses in conjunction with the statutory responsibilities of EWC (see consultation document) in respect of the provision of a Code and the matters to be included within it. Responses will be collated and considered by the EWC Council who will approve final publication of the revised Code.

The deadline for submission is 12 noon on 14 December 2018

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Questions

  1. Is the purpose, scope and status of the revised Code clear and in line with Welsh Government legislation (as set out in the consultation document)?
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  1. Are the key principles (personal responsibility, knowledge, integrity and working collaboratively) appropriate in defining practitioner professionalism across all registrant groups? What revisions, if any, might be made to the key principles?
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  1. Are the expectations under each key principle (personal responsibility, knowledge, integrity and working collaboratively) appropriate? If not, what revisions might be made to address this?
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  1. Does the Code offer reassurance to learners, parents, guardians and the general public about the conduct and practice of the education workforce?
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  1. We would like to know your views on the effects the draft Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for registrants with the Education Workforce Council would have on the Welsh language, specifically on:
    1. opportunities for people to use the Welsh language; and
    2. treating the Welsh language no less favourably than the English language
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  1. Do you have any other comments?
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