Whistleblowing Policy and Procedure



  1. Policy Statement
  2. Aims of the policy
  3. Key Points
  4. Scope
  5. Reporting
  6. Confidentiality
  7. Anonymous Allegations
  8. Untrue Allegations
  9. Procedure for Making an Allegation
  10. Allegation
  11. Raising a concern externally
  12. Making a disclosure to the press
  13. Support
  14. Responsibility for the Procedure
  15. Monitoring and Review
  16. Reporting a concern to the Charity Commission
  17. Related Policies


1. Policy Statement

The School of Philosophy and Economic Science (the School) is committed to the highest standards of honesty, transparency, probity, integrity and accountability. This policy explains how concerns can be raised, our commitment to investigate and take corrective action where necessary.

Whistleblowing is a procedure by which an individual may bring information about wrongdoing, in any part of the School, to the attention of a Head of Stream, Branch Leader or other person in the School, who will bring it to the attention of the Principal.


2. Aims of the policy

The aims of this policy are to:

  • Provide a simple but effective way to raise serious concerns about illegal, corrupt, inappropriate, improper, unsafe or unethical practice.
  • Provide guidance as to how to raise those concerns.
  • Ensure that feedback is given on any action undertaken as a result of  a serious concern being raised.
  • Ensure that anyone raising a concern will be protected from reprisals or victimisation for having raised a concern in good faith .
  • Provide a signpost to further options available if the response is considered unsatisfactory or an internal investigation is not considered appropriate.
  • Allow the School to take action against anyone who makes allegations in bad faith and/or publicly discloses information when it is unreasonable for them to do so.

3. Key Points

The Whistleblowing Policy sets out the framework for dealing with allegations of illegal and improper conduct.

This procedure is intended to provide a means of making serious allegations about standards, conduct, financial irregularity or possible unlawful action in a way that will ensure confidentiality and protect those making such allegations, in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest or the School’s interest to do so from being victimised, discriminated against or disadvantaged.

This procedure does not replace other policies and procedures such as the complaints procedure, the Grievance and Harassment and Bullying Policies and other specifically laid down statutory reporting procedures. 

This procedure is intended to ensure that the School complies with its duty under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.

4. Scope

This procedure applies to all School students, employees and trustees.

This procedure applies to, but is not limited to, allegations about any of the following:

  • Conduct which is an offence or breach of the law.
  • Alleged miscarriage of justice.
  • Serious Health and Safety risks.
  • The unauthorised use of public funds.
  • Possible fraud and corruption.
  • Sexual, physical or verbal abuse, or bullying or intimidation of employees, students.
  • Abuse of authority.
  • Other unethical conduct.

5. Reporting

The School recognises that the decision to make an allegation can be a difficult one to make. However, whistle-blowers who make serious allegations in the reasonable belief that it is in the interests of the School to do so have nothing to fear because they are doing their duty to the School and/or to those for whom the School is providing a service.

The School will take appropriate action to protect a whistle-blower who makes a serious allegation in the reasonable belief that it is in the public interest or the School’s interest to do so from any reprisals, harassment or victimisation.


6. Confidentiality

All allegations will be treated in confidence and every effort will be made not to reveal a whistle-blower’s identity unless the whistle-blower requests. However, if the matter is subsequently dealt with through other School procedures such as the Disciplinary Procedure it may be necessary to do so.

Similarly, if the allegation results in court proceedings then the whistle-blower may have to give evidence in open court.

The School will not, without the whistle-blower’s consent, disclose the identity of a whistle-blower or the person to whom the allegation refers, to anyone other than those involved in the investigation/allegation.

7. Anonymous Allegations

This procedure encourages whistle-blowers to put their name to an allegation wherever possible as anonymous allegations may often be difficult to substantiate/prove.  Allegations made anonymously are much less powerful but anonymous allegations will be considered at the discretion of the Principal and the Treasurer where there is a cause for concern relating to School funds.

In exercising discretion to accept an anonymous allegation the factors to be taken into account:

  • The seriousness of the issue raised
  • The credibility of the allegation; and
  • Whether the allegation can realistically be investigated from factors or sources other than the complainant

8. Untrue Allegations

No disciplinary or other action will be taken against a whistle-blower who makes an allegation in the reasonable belief that it is in the School’s or public interest to do so even if the allegation is not substantiated by an investigation.  However, action may be taken against a whistle-blower who makes an allegation without reasonable belief that it is in the School’s interest to do so (e.g. making an allegation frivolously, maliciously or for personal interest where there is no element of public interest).


9. Procedure for Making an Allegation

It is preferable for allegations to be made to a group tutor, Stream Leader/ Branch Leader or the Principal.  However, this may depend on the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues involved and who is suspected of the malpractice. For example, if the whistle-blower believes that Tutor is involved it would be inappropriate to raise it directly with them.  The whistle-blower may then make an allegation directly to either of the following:

  • The Principal
  • The Treasurer

If either of the above receive an allegation he/she will consider the allegation and may discuss with the other.  The group tutor (or either/or both) of the above, after consideration, will discuss with the whistle-blower and if they wish to proceed with the allegation will be investigated.

Where a concern is about the Principal, the Treasurer should be contacted:



 principal@fses.org, treasurer@fses.org


In writing

 The Principal, School of Philosophy and Economic Science, 11-13 Mandeville Place, London W1U3AJ

10. Allegation

Whether a written or oral report is made it is important that relevant information is provided including:

  • The name of the person making the allegation and a contact point;
  • The background and history of the allegation (giving relevant dates and names and positions of those against whom the allegation is made);
  • The specific reason for the allegation. Someone making an allegation will not be expected to prove the truth of any allegations, they will need to provide information to establish that that there are reasonable grounds for the allegation.

Someone making an allegation may be accompanied by another person of their choosing during any meetings or interviews in connection with the allegation. However, if the matter is subsequently dealt with through another procedure the right to be accompanied will at that stage be in accordance with the relevant procedure.

Action on receipt of an Allegation

The Tutor/ senior member of the School,  will record details of the allegation gathering as much information as possible, (within 5 working days of receipt of the allegation) including:

  • The record of the allegation:
  • The acknowledgement of the allegation;
  • Any documents supplied by the whistle-blower

The investigator will ask the whistle-blower for his/her preferred means of communication and contact details and use these for all communications with the whistle-blower in order to preserve confidentiality.

If the allegation relates to fraud, potential fraud or other financial irregularity the Treasurer will be informed within 5 working days of receipt of the allegation.  The Treasurer will determine whether the allegation should be investigated and the method of investigation.

If the allegation discloses evidence of a criminal offence it will immediately be reported to the Principal and a decision will be made as to whether to inform the Police. If the allegation concerns suspected harm to children or vulnerable adults,  the appropriate authorities will be informed immediately.

The Safeguarding Policy should be referred to if there is an issue related to harm of an individual.


An acknowledgement the allegation will be made in writing within 10 working days with

  • An indication of how the School propose to deal with the matter
  • Information on whistle-blower support mechanisms
  • Indication whether further investigations will take place and if not, why not

Where the allegation has been made internally and anonymously, obviously the School will be unable to communicate what action has been taken.


11. Raising a concern externally

    In most cases it should not be necessary to alert anyone externally. The School strongly encourages the student/employee to seek advice about whistleblowing and the extent of the protection available for whistle-blowers before reporting a concern to anyone externally. The School strongly encourages that all internal processes set out above are used  in the first instance and used exhaustively.

    In exceptional or urgent circumstances, however, or where having made a disclosure, the person has a legal right to make a disclosure to prescribed bodies they may do so. These include but are not limited to:

    • The Charity Commission
    • HM Revenue & Customs
    • The Health and Safety Executive
    • The Financial Conduct Authority
    • The Office of Fair Trading
    • The Environment Agency
    • The Police


    12. Making a disclosure to the press

      Disclosures to the press will not be considered reasonable and may constitute misconduct.

      13. Support

      The School will take steps to minimise any difficulties which may be experienced as a result of making an allegation.  The School accepts that whistle-blowers need to be assured that the matter has been properly addressed, and  subject to any legal constraints, the School will inform those making allegation of the outcome.

      14. Responsibility for the Procedure

      The Principal and Treasurer have overall responsibility for the operation of this Procedure and for determining the administrative processes to be followed and the format of the records to be kept.

      15. Monitoring and Review

      A Register will record the following details:

      • The name and status (e.g. student, employee) of the whistle-blower
      • The date on which the allegation was received
      • The nature of the allegation
      • Details of the person who received the allegation
      • Whether the allegation is to be investigated and, if yes, by whom
      • The outcome of the investigation
      • Any other relevant details

      The Register will be confidential and only available for inspection by the Principal and Treasurer.

      The Principal  will report annually to the Executive Committee on the operation of the Procedure and on the whistleblowing allegations made during the period covered by the report. The report will be in a form which does not identify whistle-blowers.

      This policy will be reviewed every two years or sooner if necessary.


      16. Reporting a concern to the Charity Commission

        It is the responsibility of the charity trustees to decide whether an incident is significant and should be reported. Trustees will use Charity Commission guidance in the decision making process.

        A report would be made to the Commission following guidelines. The Commission would request any further information required and provide information on timing and outcomes.

        Email whistleblowing@charitycommission.gov.uk


        17. Related Policies

          Other policies that may be drawn upon are:

          • Safeguarding Policy
          • Complaints Policy

          Policy reviewed and approved by: Executive Committee


          Page created: 20 May 2024

           Page last edited: 20 May 2024