The Education Workforce Council (EWC) is the independent, professional regulator for education practitioners in Wales. It seeks to raise the status of workers in education and training by maintaining and promoting the highest standards of professional conduct and practice, in the interests of learners, young people, and the general public.
The EWC was established under the Education (Wales) Act 2014, and regulates:
- qualified 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
Its primary aims are to:
- contribute to improving the standards of teaching and the 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, young people, parents and the public, and maintain public trust and confidence in the education workforce.
The Education Workforce Council (Main Functions) (Wales) Regulations 2015, as amended, stipulates a code must be published which specifies the standards of professional conduct and practice expected of persons registered with the EWC.
This Code sets out the key principles of good conduct and professional practice EWC registrants uphold, and is intended to inform, support, and guide all in their day to day conduct and practice. It is also information for parents, the public, and stakeholders involved in the education of learners and young people in Wales, and learners and young people themselves, as to the standards they can expect from registrants.
Failure by a registrant to adhere to the Code may call their registration with the EWC into question. The EWC has legal powers to investigate and hear cases of alleged unacceptable professional conduct, serious professional incompetence, and criminal offences involving registrants. Every case is investigated on its own merits, including the employment context (the sector/practitioner role) involved. The Code is applied proportionately to any facts found proven in a particular case.
The five key principles
Registrants, including those registered on a provisional basis, commit to upholding the key principles of: Personal and Professional Responsibility, Professional Integrity, Collaborative Working, Professional Knowledge and Understanding, and Professional Learning.
A. Professional Conduct
1. Personal and Professional Responsibility
- recognise their personal responsibility as a role model and public figure, to uphold public trust and confidence in the education professions, both in and out of the workplace
- conduct relationships with learners and young people professionally by:
- communicating with learners and young people respectfully, in a way which is appropriate for them
- using all forms of communication appropriately and responsibly, particularly social media
- ensuring any physical contact is necessary, reasonable, and proportionate
- contributing to the creation of a fair and inclusive learning environment by addressing discrimination, stereotyping, and bullying
- maintaining professional boundaries
- engage with learners and young people to encourage confidence, empowerment, educational and personal development
- have a duty of care for the safety, physical, social, moral, and educational wellbeing of learners and young people:
- acting on anything which might put a learner, or young person’s safety or welfare at risk
- reporting, in line with 4.3, any safeguarding issue, or any other issue, which may potentially harm a learner, or young person’s safety or welfare
- are mindful of their professional responsibility for the health, safety, and wellbeing of colleagues and themselves
- demonstrate a commitment to equality and diversity
2. Professional Integrity
- are accountable for their conduct and professional competence
- behave honestly, and with integrity, particularly with regard to:
- finances and funds in the workplace
- personal credentials, experience, and qualifications
- references, declarations made, and signing documents
- assessment and examination related tasks
- use of property and facilities provided by their employer
- communications with the EWC, informing it of any recordable criminal conviction or caution, or restriction placed on their practice by any other body
- their employer, and report any matter which is required by their terms and conditions of employment
- their conduct, both in and out of the workplace
- handle information and data appropriately, applying the necessary protocols to matters relating to confidentiality, sensitivity, and disclosure
- adhere to lawful standards of behaviour, in a manner in keeping with their position as a member of the education profession
3. Collaborative Working
- respect, support, and collaborate with colleagues, learners, young people, and others to achieve the best learning outcomes
- share experience and knowledge to help themselves and other practitioners develop and maintain best practice (see section B)
- aim to develop and maintain professional working relationships with parents, guardians, carers, and other stakeholders
- communicate appropriately and effectively with all involved in the education of learners and young people
B. Professional Practice
4. Professional Knowledge and Understanding
- know, use, and take responsibility for the relevant professional standards for their particular profession throughout their career
- know, understand and comply with current policies, procedures and guidelines which are relevant to their practice
- know, understand, and comply with current safeguarding policies, procedures, and guidelines which are relevant to their practice
- where necessary, seek support, advice, and guidance and are open to feedback, responding to it positively and constructively
5. Professional Learning
- demonstrate a shared commitment to their continuing professional learning by reflecting upon, and evaluating, their practice, keeping their professional knowledge and skills up to date and taking steps to improve their practice where necessary
Publication and review
The Code is available without charge and is published on the EWC’s website. It is available in easy read, large text, and other formats, if required.
This Code supersedes the Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for registrants which the EWC published on 1 September 2019. In accordance with the Education (Wales) Act 2014, the EWC will review this Code every three years.