Unacceptable Behaviour Policy

We do not expect our staff to tolerate behaviour that we consider to be unacceptable, and will take action to protect our staff from such behaviour. We will, for example, not accept communication that is:

  • abusive, offensive or defamatory
  • aggressive, threatening, coercive or intimidating
  • unreasonably persistent or demanding

If a complainant’s (the person who is making the complaint) behaviour is deemed to be unacceptable, we will explain the reason(s) for this and will ask the complainant to modify his/her behaviour. If the unacceptable behaviour continues, we will be forced to take action to restrict the complainant’s communication with LAL.

This action could be the refusal to discuss the complaint or problem further, waiting for the complainant to calm down and re-evaluate his or her behaviour, and/or referring the matter to the individual’s third party agent, where relevant.

LAL also reserves the right for its staff to video the behaviour where this is threatening or dangerous, prior to which, the complainant will be advised that this will happen if they do not stop. The person will be advised in advance that they will be recorded and given a chance to cease the unacceptable behaviour. This video will be destroyed immediately after agreed action.

Any decision on restricting access will be taken by any two of the following senior staff:

  • The School General Manager
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Chief Executive Officer

The complainant will be given a letter that sets out the reason(s) his/her behaviour has been deemed unacceptable and the actions we will be taking.

Any restrictions imposed will be appropriate and proportionate. The actions we are most likely to consider are:

  • Requesting contact in a particular form (e.g. by letter only)
  • Requiring that contact take place with a single, named individual
  • Restricting telephone calls to specified days and times
  • Asking the complainant to appoint a representative to correspond with us
  • Asking the complainant to enter into an agreement about their conduct.

Where a complainant behaves unacceptably during a telephone conversation, we may, after advising that the behaviour is, in our opinion, unacceptable, terminate the call.

Where the behaviour is so extreme that it threatens the immediate safety and welfare of LAL staff or students, we will consider other options, e.g. reporting the matter to the police or taking legal action. In such cases we may not give the complainant prior warning of that action.

Fraternisation

Sexual, intimate, dating or other romantic relationships between staff and students and International Group Leaders can be detrimental to LAL’s goal of creating a collegial and supportive learning environment. Even non-romantic friendships can interfere with a proper learning environment, if the relationship becomes overly familiar or exclusive and goes beyond the caring and professional behaviour that staff should extend equally to all students.

Additional concerns, including potential criminal liability, arise if the student involved is under age 18. Accordingly, LAL is establishing the following guidelines for the protection of LAL students and staff. All staff are expected to read and comply with these guidelines. Staff should direct any questions regarding this policy to LAL’s General Manager or the Operations Director.

LAL strictly prohibits:

  • Even if consensual, any sexual, intimate, dating or other romantic relationship between any staff and any current or former student under the age of 18.
  • Even if consensual, and even if initiated by the student or International Group Leader, staff may not participate in any sexual, intimate, dating or other romantic relationship with any current student or International Group Leader of any age.

Staff must maintain neutral and friendly relationships with all students. Staff must not initiate and must resist any attempt by any student to develop an overfamiliar or exclusive social relationship

Staff must not engage in any social activity with students unless sanctioned by LAL.

LAL prohibits all staff communication with former students under the age of 18, except when:

  • Appropriate contact occurs via an LAL-sponsored Facebook page or other LAL-sponsored Social Media sites; or
  • The staff member and former student had a pre-existing appropriate relationship (e.g., a relative or a close family friend) before the student became associated with LAL. It may be in the interest of the staff member to notify the General Manager before engaging in any such communication.

Staff must not initiate or accept ‘friend’ or similar social networking connection requests with or from any former students under the age of 18, or any current students or International Group Leaders.

Each LAL school, however, has its own Facebook page and LAL invites all staff, students, and alumni to join. LAL manages this site and attempts to screen all friend requests for legitimacy. All content posted to this site by staff must comply with LAL’s Social Media policy. Staff should keep in mind that others admitted to LAL social media sites may include students under the age of 18. Accordingly, before participating on any LAL Social Media site, staff members are required to regulate content and privacy settings on their personal Social Media sites to prevent publication of content that may be inappropriate if viewed by minors.

Staff have a duty to report to their Line Manager any actual or perceived inappropriate development of the relationship between students and staff, electronic or otherwise.

If a student communicates sensitive personal information, staff have a duty to listen and respond in a professional manner in accordance with LAL Language Centres guidelines relating to disclosure. Any sensitive information communicated by a student to a staff member, electronic or otherwise, must be reported immediately to the staff member’s Line Manager, who will immediately report the communication to the LAL Chief Operating Officer.

LAL has a duty to remove an individual from their position if there is risk of harm to students and may have a duty to report suspicion or allegations of abuse or neglect.

LAL has a ‘duty to refer’ to external authorities (including, but not limited to, police and local child protection authorities) any suspicion or allegation of abuse or neglect of children as well as any other behaviour that creates a risk of harm to any students.

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