Voice Official Response: Consultation on the revised Code of Professional Conduct and Practice for Registrants with the Education Workforce Council
Background: 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).
Summary: The draft revised Code is concise but we consider that there are two major flaws:
- its scope is too wide; and
- the overlap with Professional Standards.
The Code will not wholly reassure learners, parents, guardians and the public, particularly as aspects of it tend towards aspiration rather than reality.
This notwithstanding, the Code sends an explicit message that requiring a high standard for the conduct and practice of the education workforce has a statutory backing, hence indicating its importance, and that the EWC therefore requires and promotes high standards for registrants in both conduct and practice. It is also important that it is made clear that the EWC has legal powers to investigate alleged cases of misconduct or serious professional incompetence.
Voice considers that the EWC should use its analysis of the fitness to practise cases over the past three years to discover common areas of misconduct/serious professional incompetence. It would then be possible to re-consider the draft revised Code to ensure that these areas are explicitly dealt with within the Code, in order to better guide registrants in the types of behaviours that are viewed as misconduct and/or incompetence (for example, misuse of social media).