Whistle blowing policy

What is a whistleblower?

A whistleblower is a person who raises a concern about a wrongdoing in the workplace.

What does it mean?

If you see something within your workplace that you believe is negligent, improper or illegal, then you should report this to the relevant people. You should not suffer any detrimental treatment for doing so.


The Public Interest Disclosure Act (PIDA) 1998, known as the ‘Whistle blowing’ Act, is intended to promote internal and regulatory disclosures and encourage workplace accountability and self-regulation. The Act protects the public interest by providing a remedy for individuals who suffer workplace reprisal for raising a genuine concern, whether it is a concern about child safeguarding and welfare systems, financial malpractice, danger, illegality, or other wrongdoing. The concern may relate to something that is happening or has happened in the past.

If you believe The Old Fire Station Children’s Nursery is involved in any form of wrongdoing such as:

  • malpractice in the organization (for example, crimes, civil offences, miscarriages of justice, dangers to health and safety or the environment)
  • Endangering the Health and Safety of an individual/s
  • Failing to comply with a legal obligation
  • And the cover up of any of these. In the case of local authority safeguarding services, this is likely to be about a dangerous or illegal activity, or widespread or systemic failure in relation to children and young people and/or the services they receive.

You should ‘Whistle Blow’ immediately.

If you are unsure what to do?

You may seek further advice and support from the NSPCC Whistleblowing Advice Line on 0800 028 0285, the NSPCC offers free and anonymous advice for professional who have concerns about how child protection issues are being dealt with in the workplace.

Disclosure of Information

You should first raise your concern internally, with your Safeguarding Officer, line manager or DSL. If you feel you are unable to do this (perhaps because your concern relates to them), you should raise your concern with the Director of the nursery.

Your concern/s will be treated with complete confidence, if you are unsatisfied with the explanation or reason given to you, you should raise the matter with the appropriate body (Ofsted).

If you have any safeguarding concerns about a member of staff, student or volunteer, you must report these concerns directly and immediately to your Safeguarding Officer. The Safeguarding Officer will take a statement form you in the office recording concerns with factual information; you will then be asked to sign and date this record.  The Safeguarding Officer will then report and seek advice from the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) 0121 675 4996 or 0121 675 1943.

In certain circumstances the investigation will be passed back to us if it is not believed to be a substantial safeguarding concern, where section 47 can be opened; in this case the member of staff may/may not be suspended, the Nursery Director and Manager will continue to investigate and take disciplinary action if necessary.  If there is substantial belief to open a section 47 investigation the member of staff/student volunteer that the allegation has been made against will be suspended immediately by the Director.

The person is suspended without prejudice and will remain on full pay. The person is not only suspended to protect the children but to protect them from further allegations.

The person cannot be told any details of the allegation; they will just be told that a safeguarding allegation has been made against them. The parent/guardians of the child will be informed by the Nursery Manager and supported throughout, but no names are mentioned to the parent, we can only disclose the allegation that has been made.  Children’s Services will stay in contact with the parent throughout. The Nursery Director and Manager will then attend a POT (position of trust) meeting with the police, social services and the safeguarding board to provide all records on the member of staff, ascertain more information and come to a conclusion whether or not there is reasonable belief that this allegation did/did not happen.

If you have reported any concerns to your manager and you feel you do not feel the Manager has dealt with your concerns appropriately you need to go to the Director, if you still feel your concern has not been dealt with appropriately; or if you have serious concerns about your Manager or Director you can whistle blow anonymously to Ofsted.

Ofsted’s whistle blowing dedicated hotline is 0300 1233155, which was launched in April 2009, there opening hours are 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. The hotline can be used by anybody who has a whistle blowing concern about services or practice in any local authority, or in a care or educational setting regulated and inspected by Ofsted.

Whistle blowing disclosures can also be submitted to Ofsted by email to the Ofsted whistle blowing team (whistleblowing@ofsted.gov.uk) or by post to: WBHL Ofsted Royal Exchange Buildings, St Ann’s Square, Manchester, M2 7LA.

The public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 prevent you from suffering a detriment or having your contract terminated for whistle blowing and we take very seriously any concerns which you may raise under this legislation.

We encourage you to use the procedure if you are concerned about any wrong doing at work. However, if the procedure has not been invoked in good faith (e.g. for malicious reasons or in pursuit of a personal grudge), then it will make you liable it immediate termination of engagement or such lesser disciplinary sanction as may be appropriate in the circumstances.