- Web privacy notice
- Admission policy
- Disciplinary Procedures
- Safe space policy
- Student policy on harassement, bullying and sexual misconduct
- Staff - student relationship policy
Website Privacy Notice
This specific privacy notice covers activities relating to the provision of the following web domain, www.fonact.com. It is sub-layer of the School’s overarching privacy notice found at www.fonact.com/policies. The collection of personal data for other purposes is covered elsewhere.
The Fontainebleau School of Acting is committed to protecting your privacy; this privacy notice explains how we use information about you and how we protect your privacy. If you have any concerns or questions about how the School looks after your personal information please contact the Administrative Team at email@example.com.
We may collect the following information:
- Contact information including email address
- Demographic information, such as postcode
- Website usage data
- Other relevant information relating to student enquiries
- Other information pertaining to surveys
How We Use this Data
We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and in particular for the following reasons:
- Internal record keeping.
- We may use the information to improve our products and services.
- We may periodically send promotional emails about new products, special offers or other information which we think you may find interesting using the email address which you have provided.
- From time to time, we may also use your information to contact you for market research purposes. We may contact you by email and we may use the information to customise the website according to your interests.
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.
Controlling information about you
When you fill in a form or provide your details on our website, you will see one or more tick boxes allowing you to opt-in to receive marketing communications from us by email. If you have agreed that we can use your information for marketing purposes, you can change your mind easily, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will never lease, distribute or sell your personal information to third parties. Any information we have about you is stored and processed under our data protection policy, in line with the Data Protection Act 1998.
A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer’s hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.
We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about web page traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system.
Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us. You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.
Links to other websites
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.
When using or subscribing to our services, you may choose to provide us with information which is defined as sensitive personal information in the Data Protection Act 2018.
The Fontainebleau International School of Acting (Fonact) values its diversity of cultures and welcome applications from all over the world. The selection of students is based on talent following a rigorous selection process. Fonact is committed to pursuing equality of opportunity in its recruitment processes.
The selection process varies according to programme and may involve audition via Skype and screening of applications. Both methods are designed to assess both attainment and potential to successfully complete the programme of study. Students without prior acting experience will still be considered for audition. Full details about the application and selection process, including audition details for relevant courses can be found by contacting email@example.com.
To maximise the number of applicants who can benefit from Fonact’s open admissions policy, Fonact will accept applications all year round, dependent on capacity and availability of the applied course. Fonact will begin accepting applications from 10 months prior to the course start date.
Fonact is not only committed to admitting students solely on the basis of talent but aims to ensure the no student who is offered a place is prevented from taking up that place on grounds of financial hardship. While Fonact is currently unable to offer scholarships or bursaries, we will work closely to produce mutually beneficial payment plans that work with the individual, within reason, to ensure their ability to partake in training without extreme financial stress.
Applicants seeking feedback can contact firstname.lastname@example.org and will be provided with a précis of the audition/interview report. An applicant may complain against an admissions decision if s/he/they feel that their application was not treated fairly or their audition was conducted in a prejudicial manner.
An applicant may not complain against the School’s assessment of their ability or suitability for a programme.
1 INTRODUCTION & PURPOSE
1.1 The School’s jurisdiction under this Code is not limited to its own premises. The Code includes misconduct occurring in any place to which a student is guaranteed access by virtue of their status as a student. This would, therefore, include external engagements, placements including clinical placements, community/school experiences, and outside performances and
1.2 The Student Disciplinary Procedure is intended to provide a clearly formulated and impartial process for dealing with allegations relating to student discipline or behaviour within a reasonable timescale having due regard to the spirit of natural justice.
1.3 Fonact reserves the right to terminate attendance with immediate effect if the Fonact team deems a student unfit to complete the programme. This policy applies to all students at Fonact. The performance review process is in the best interest of staff and students to protect them throughout their time at Fonact.
1.4 STUDENT PERFORMANCE
- Fonact recognises the demands of study upon students and that an individual student at a particular time may experience difficulties. The review process is necessary to respond when a student is experiencing difficulty which may be related to health, personal, academic, professional or other challenges with the aim of providing support and advice to assist them achieve their academic and professional goals.
- This policy is intended to help the School address issues, including behaviour, giving cause for concern and to find agreed ways for the student to continue their study, to take a break, or finish their studies early. It is intended as far as possible to work in partnership with the individual student.
- If a student will not engage with necessary staff intervention, we may continue the process in their absence. In such circumstances we will always seek to protect the interests of the student and balance these with the needs of other students and staff.
- This policy will apply to students experiencing difficulty which is interfering with progress on their course. This may be due to health, personal, academic, or other challenges.
- Intervention may be initiated by the student, staff or student support services. Other students will not be permitted to initiate action themselves however their concerns may result in intervention being initiated by academic staff or student support services.
2 GENERAL CONDUCT
2.1 The School expects students to conduct themselves at all times in an orderly manner, respecting the rights, privacy and property of others.
2.2 No student shall engage in conduct which amounts to the improper interference, in the broadest sense with the proper functioning of the School, those who work or study within it, or its reputation. Such interference will be regarded as misconduct and investigated under the disciplinary procedure below; examples of the types of behaviour that will be construed as misconduct are given in Appendix a. (The list is not intended to be exhaustive.)
2.3 Specific regulations exist with respect to accommodation, and use of School facilities and equipment. Students are required to observe these regulations. In some circumstances failure in such observance may also result in the matter being pursued under this Code at which point this Code takes precedence.
2.4 CONTACT DETAILS.
It is the responsibility of students to keep the School informed of their current home and term-time addresses, personal email, and mobile number at all times while they remain members of the School.
The primary method of formal communication with all registered students shall be via email. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they activate their email account registered with the
School and regularly check the account for messages. Failure to check an email account regularly will not be accepted as a reason for failing to observe an instruction sent by
Each student is expected to show respect for the environment by helping to ensure that the School premises are not damaged or disfigured by litter, unnecessary noise or other pollutants.
2.7 Animals are not permitted on School premises, except for guide dogs for disabled students and authorised visitors, or if required in a performance.
2.8 Furniture, equipment and other property owned or leased by the School must not be removed without proper authority.
Anything moved in contravention of this regulation may be recovered without notice by authorised staff. Those responsible may be liable for recovery costs.
2.9 No student shall wilfully damage or deface, or wrongfully treat as their own, any property owned or leased by the School. A student will be required to make good in whole or in part, to the satisfaction of the School, any damage of this kind that they cause, in addition to any other penalty imposed.
2.10 No student shall wilfully damage, or wrongfully treat as their own, the property of any other person on School premises. The School accepts no responsibility for private property lost or damaged on School premises.
2.11 Members of School staff have authority to check breaches of the rules of discipline. If a member of staff feels it necessary, the member of staff may require a student, whose conduct is believed to be in breach of this Code, to withdraw from any room or facility affected by the conduct in question.
3.1 Improper interference, in the broadest sense, with the proper functioning or activities of the School, or with those who work or study in the School; or action which otherwise damages the School, or action that deviates from accepted institutional, professional, academic or ethical standards, will be regarded as misconduct and an infringement of these regulations.
3.2 Consistent lack of punctuality for programme activities is a matter for invoking disciplinary procedures.
3.3 In all disciplinary proceedings a student will be presumed to be innocent of the allegation or charge until the contrary is proved on the balance of probabilities.
4 MISCONDUCT WHICH MAY CONSTITUTE A CRIMINAL OFFENCE & RELATED MATTERS
4.1 Where alleged misconduct could also constitute an offence under the criminal law special provisions will apply and the School’s own disciplinary investigations or proceedings may be delayed until such time as the police and/or courts have completed their investigations and proceedings. However, the School reserves the right to proceed with a disciplinary case where it feels it has sufficient information to do so without waiting for the completion of the police investigation.
4.2 Where a student has also been convicted and sentenced by a criminal court in respect of the same facts, the findings of the court and the penalty set will be taken into consideration at any hearing conducted by the School.
4.3 Where a student has been issued with a formal police caution, the caution will be taken into consideration at any hearing conducted by the School.
5 DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE OVERVIEW
5.1 The Director has ultimate responsibility for all matters of student discipline. The Director may delegate their powers under this Code to the Operations Office either generally or in a particular case. In the case of ‘informal action’ this delegation may also include the Programme Leader or Student Welfare Office. Reference in this Code to the Director should
also be read as a reference to their designated deputy.
5.2 Any complaint about the conduct of a student, whether made by a member of staff or by a member of the public, or by one student about another, shall be considered in the light of the rules laid down in this Code. However, allegations from parents, relatives or friends, on behalf of a student who chooses not to make an allegation themselves, cannot be pursued under this Code (except where the student concerned is a minor).
5.3 Where a complaint has been made, the Director may rule that it should not be subject to further action under this Code.
5.4 If the Director (or nominee) considers that action is required, they shall exercise their discretion to determine whether the formal or informal procedure is to be used. The Director’s decision on how to proceed shall be final. The student will be given a copy of this Code and procedure.
5.5 If more than one student has been accused of the same or substantially similar conduct, then the authorised officer shall decide whether the cases of all or any of the students shall be investigated and/or heard together.
5.6 The School abides by the principles of natural justice and in the context of this Code, the following applies. Students will:
- be presumed to be innocent of an allegation or charge until the contrary is proved on the balance of probabilities;
- be made fully aware of the nature of allegations made against them;
- be given an opportunity to reply to any allegations and to be accompanied;
- be given a fair and unbiased hearing before a Student Disciplinary Committee, at which all relevant circumstances can be taken into account;
- have the right to appeal against any decision of the Student Disciplinary Committee which involves suspension, exclusion or expulsion.
5.7 The operation of informal procedures is underpinned by the following principle: that where allegations of misconduct are of a minor nature it is desirable to address these, where appropriate, as close as possible to the source of the alleged offence.
5.8 Informal procedures are to be used for minor acts of misconduct and the following actions can be taken:
a) Dismissal of the case.
b) Verbal warning with a requirement to desist from any further such action.
c) Written warning reprimanding the student; a copy of the warning to lie on file for the duration of the student’s period of study with a requirement to desist from any further such misconduct.
d) A fine and/or restitution of any damage caused by way of payment with a requirement to desist from any further such misconduct.
e) Exclusion from specified activities or facilities
f) Referring the case back for formal process.
5.9 With the informal procedure the Principal may choose to delegate functions or day to day responsibilities under their authority in these matters through the Operations Office, to the relevant Programme Leader, or Student Welfare Officer.
Complaints may be dealt with in consultation with any relevant personnel. The matter may be referred back to the Operations Office at any stage. Notes of any action taken and copies of any letters written will be lodged with the Operations Office.
5.10 A student will have 14 days from the date of the letter informing them of the outcome of the informal procedure to request to have their case considered under the formal procedures of the Student Disciplinary Committee instead.
6 FORMAL PROCEDURES
6.1 Formal procedures are to be used for:
a) Repetition of minor acts of misconduct.
b) Where informal action has failed or is considered inappropriate.
c) For serious allegations.
6.2 Such misconduct may be subject to any of the following measures as ordered by the Student Disciplinary Committee:
a) Dismissal of the case.
b) Verbal warning with a requirement to desist from any further such action.
c) Written warning/reprimanding the student; a copy of the warning to lie on file for the duration of the student’s period of study with a requirement to desist from any further such misconduct.
d) Final written warning which will remain on the student’s file until they have finished their studies at the School.
e) A fine and/or restitution of any damage caused by way of payment with a requirement to desist from any further such misconduct.
g) Suspension where this is defined as a temporary prohibition on attendance.
h) Exclusion where there is a partial or selective prohibition on access to School facilities.
i) Expulsion (this will be noted permanently on the student record, and will be given as the reason for withdrawal on any transcript or status letter or similar).
6.3 The Committee will have the absolute discretion to determine the appropriate measure(s) but in arriving at its decision will consider the following:
- The nature of the offence, and its impact on any victims (where relevant)
- The level of intent
- The consequences of the penalty on the student
- The level of insight and responsibility shown by the student in respect of their actions
- Any previous record of misconduct
- The tariff guidelines (see appendix c)
- Mitigating or extenuating circumstances
7 ACTION & INVESTIGATION
7.1 The Director shall rely on the Operations Office to instigate action either directly or through an authorised officer.
7.2 In the circumstances of an allegation the Operations Office will require a written statement of the allegation from the complainant(s) with any evidence or corroboration available. A police caution will be accepted as corroboration. This should also include a statement of desired outcomes where possible and where appropriate.
7.3 The Operations Office shall provide written information to those who are the subject of the allegation – of its nature and the anticipated timescale for investigation.
7.4 The Operations Office will instigate an investigation of the allegation, securing further evidence where this is possible.
7.5 They shall be entitled to call for such evidence in writing from any relevant party or examine any witnesses to the alleged events.
7.6 If there is no corroborative evidence to the initial complaint then the Operations Office will advise all concerned, in writing, of the insecurity of the allegation and the complaint will terminate. All records of the case will be destroyed.
7.7 Where corroboration is available, the Operations Office, or authorised officer, will either: (i) for a minor offence, utilise the informal procedures or (ii) require the student to attend a meeting of the Student Disciplinary Committee.
8 STUDENT DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE
8.1 The student against whom an allegation is made for which there is corroboration available will be advised in writing of the case against them and provided with details of all evidence acquired (a report from the Operations Office). This will be provided before the Student Disciplinary Committee meets.
8.2 The student will be informed of their rights to be heard at a meeting of the Committee and to be accompanied by a friend. The name of the friend will be notified in advance to the Operations Office.
8.3 The student will be advised of the procedures of the Committee including the calling of witnesses in support of either the allegation or the student and the consideration of any written statements/documentation from the student. Where the
student provides a written statement/documentation this will be submitted to the Operations Office at least three days before the meeting to enable proper consideration.
8.4 The Operations Office will be responsible for convening the meeting of the Student Disciplinary Committee. The Committee shall normally consist of the following:
- A member of the Senior Teaching Team (in the Chair)
- A member of the teaching staff not drawn from the student’s department and who is independent of the case
- The Student Welfare Officer
A secretary to the Panel will also be appointed.
8.5 The Committee will require attendance of the student against whom the allegation has been made (together with any friend), with any witnesses as necessary. However, none of the proceedings outlined in this code and procedure will be invalidated or postponed by reason of the absence of the student provided that the student has been given written notice of the interview or hearing.
8.6 A formal record will be kept of all Disciplinary Committee business.
8.7 At the meeting, the Committee will interview the student, receive a report of the event(s) from the Operations Office and any evidence available and hear the response of, and receive, any written submission from the student.
8.8 The Student Disciplinary Committee will first determine the facts of the case and whether there has been a breach of the Student Code of Conduct. The Student Disciplinary Committee will then consider, where relevant, any contextual information or mitigating circumstances. The student and their friend and any witnesses may be asked to leave the room between these two stages of the proceedings. The Student Disciplinary Committee may exercise its discretion to adjourn the hearing at any time (for up to one week) if it feels the need to verify a fact or summon additional witnesses.
8.9 The Student Disciplinary Committee will inform the student of its findings and, where relevant, its order. Any order, or orders, will be chosen from the list in paragraph 6.2 (with regard to 6.3 and the tariff guidelines in appendix c). The Committee will make its decision known to the student in writing within three working days of the conclusion of the hearing.
8.10 The records of the case of a student against whom charges have been proven are normally entered on the student’s record.
8.11 If the case is dismissed all records of the case will be absolutely and unconditionally destroyed after a period of 6 months.
8.12 All proceedings shall be recorded but remain confidential, but the findings and order where relevant of the Committee shall be publicised.
8.13 The Committee shall conduct its business in accordance with a procedure which shall accord with principles of natural justice, but it is not required to observe formal rules of evidence. It shall be recorded whether or not any decision reached has been unanimous and it shall be announced if a decision is not unanimous.
8.14 The student shall have the right of appeal to the Student Disciplinary Appeal Panel against any decision which involves suspension or exclusion or expulsion. This right of appeal does not apply to any suspension/exclusion/expulsion carried out in advance of the meeting of the Student Disciplinary Committee.
8.15 There is no right of appeal on any other decision of the Student Disciplinary Committee.
9 STUDENT DISCIPLINARY APPEAL COMMITTEE
9.1 If a student wishes to appeal against the decision of the Student Disciplinary Committee to suspend/exclude or expel, they must lodge that appeal, in writing, with the Operations Office within 5 working days of the issuing of the Committee’s decision. The grounds for the appeal must be clearly stated; the student should indicate whether they are appealing against the finding of fact or the order issued or both, and demonstrate with supporting documentation that one or both of the criteria for appeal (see 9.2) apply.
9.2 The Operations Office will refer the matter to the School Director (or their nominee) who will allow an appeal to be heard if they are satisfied that there is a prima facie case that either or both of the following criteria apply:
i) that there is new evidence that could not have been, or for good reason was not, made available at the time of the hearing;
ii) that evidence can be produced of significant procedural error on the part of the School before or during the hearing.
9.3 A Student Disciplinary Appeal Committee shall where possible be constituted to hear the appeal within 10 working days of the receipt of the appeal.
9.4 The Appeal Committee shall consist of:
- The Director or nominee (in the Chair)
- The Student Welfare Officer
- A member of staff or student unconnected to the case nominated by the Chair
The quorum for the Appeal committee shall be three.
A secretary to the Appeal Committee shall be appointed by the Chair.
9.5 The Appeal Committee shall make no further enquiry into matters of fact relating to the allegation and the evidence, unless new evidence is forthcoming that could not have been, or for good reason was not, made available at the time of the original hearing. They shall have access to the full documentation on the case.
9.6 The appellant will be informed of their rights to be heard at a meeting of the Appeal Committee and to be accompanied by a friend. The name of such friend will be notified in advance to the secretary to the Appeal Committee.
9.7 The Appeal Committee shall hear the appeal as follows:
a) The Chair of the Disciplinary Committee, the appellant and any witnesses as the Appeal Committee considers appropriate will present the report of the Student Disciplinary Committee which will include a summary of process, evidence, and conclusions and decisions together with all papers associated with the case;
b) The appellant (and/or friend) will have the opportunity to address the Appeal Committee in support of the grounds for appeal;
c) Members of the Appeal Committee will be able to question the Chair of the Disciplinary Committee and the appellant;
d) In addition, the Appeal Committee may call any member of staff as a witness to clarify or provide advice on an issue.
e) The Chair of the Disciplinary Committee will then sum up;
f) The appellant will then sum up;
g) The Chair of the Disciplinary Committee and the appellant will then leave the room.
9.8 The Committee will require the attendance of the appellant (together with any friend). However, none of the appeal proceedings will be invalidated or postponed by reason of the absence of the appellant provided that the hearing takes place within the published timescale and the appellant has been given five working days’ notice of the date and time of the
hearing. The Appeal Committee may exercise its discretion to adjourn the hearing at any time.
9.9 The Appeal Committee will deliberate on the appeal and come to a decision. The Appeal Committee may reject the appeal or uphold the appeal. Where the Appeal Committee upholds the appeal, the Committee may order one or more of the following measures:
i) modify or reverse the finding of the Disciplinary Committee;
ii) modify or reverse the order of the Disciplinary Committee. The decision of the Appeal Committee shall be final.
9.10 The decision of the Appeal Committee shall be communicated to the appellant, in writing, within three working days of having been made.
9.11 The Appeal Committee shall have absolute discretion to regulate its own procedures, subject to keeping within the spirit of this procedure, with power to vary or adapt its procedures.
EXAMPLES OF BREACHES OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT
The following exemplifies the behaviour and conduct which would constitute a breach of the Student Code of Conduct, although not exclusively:
a) Disruption of the academic, administrative, recreational, social, or other activities of the School.
b) Obstruction of the functions, duties or activities of any student, member of staff or other employee of the School or any authorised visitor to the School.
c) Behaviour which restricts the legitimate freedom of speech, ideas, actions, or inquiry of any other student or member of staff.
d) Behaviour which is in breach of School regulations on health and safety, smoking, or eating and drinking on School premises.
e) Behaviour which brings the School into disrepute – including antisocial behaviour in and around the student residence.
f) Violent, indecent, disorderly, threatening or offensive behaviour or language whilst on School premises or engaged in any School activity.
g) Malicious damage to School property which includes inter alia, the hall of residence, School managed property, Students’ Union property or the property of any student, member of staff or visitor.
h) Conduct, including the possession or use of drugs or other illegal substance, which constitutes a criminal offence, where that conduct:
a) took place on School or School managed property, or
b) affected or concerned other members of the School community, individuals or groups in related School organisations or partner institutions and organisations, or
c) damages the good name of the School, or
d) is an offence of dishonesty, where the student holds an office of responsibility in the School, or
e) poses a danger to other members, or to the good order, of the School community.
a) Any breach of the School’s Equal Opportunities Policy including sexist, racist or homophobic activity or behaviour.
b) Any form of harassment, including the racial, sexual or religious harassment of any student, member of staff or other employee of the School or any visitor to the School.
c) Behaviour which would be likely to cause fear, distress or offence to others.
d) Failure to comply with the written policies and directions, including attendance, punctuality, tuition and compliance with academic work.
e) Theft, fraud, deceit, deception or dishonesty in relation to the activities/documents of the School or the property of the School or its staff or other students of the School.
f) Failure to follow a reasonable instruction from a School officer, including failure to disclose your name and other relevant details in circumstances when it is reasonable to require that such information be given.
g) Failure to comply with a previously imposed penalty under this Code or other School regulation.
SAFE SPACE POLICY
We want Fonact to be a place where creativity is free. Where both staff and students feel confident to be bold and brave in their work. A place where we can explore, take risks, push boundaries. We want to give ourselves freely to our work, and collaborate professionally at the highest level.
We know that for this to happen, Fonact must be a safe space. Inside rehearsal rooms, practice rooms, theatres, concert halls, in and around our buildings, and online, our space must always be, and feel, safe. Safe for students, and for staff. Trust, openness and freedom of expression are essential.
We acknowledge there can be a specific and subtle power dynamic between staff and students in an arts Conservatoire like ours, due to the nature of the work, and perceptions around individual casting.
We acknowledge that despite clear and robust policies, students may feel they are not able to speak freely. Out of fear of appearing to resist the bold and exploratory nature of the work, for fear of being ‘difficult’, for fear of it adversely affecting their casting in projects and productions.
We know this has the potential to lead to blurred boundaries, and a space that isn’t safe.
The purpose of this document is to protect and empower students, staff and freelance creatives.
It is to say we will do everything we can to make Fonact a safe space for all.
From us, to you. From staff, to students.
We want you to speak,
We will listen,
We will act.
We acknowledge there is a possibility you will find it difficult to speak out against something you feel could be inappropriate.
We acknowledge this fear can be bound up with insecurities around your own understanding of the work, your relationships with teachers you admire, your future opportunities with regards to casting in projects and productions.
Whilst we will do everything we can to create an open and transparent culture, we know this can be true however approachable, rigorous, generous and supportive we are as a teaching body.
THE NATURE OF THE WORK
We all want the work to be open, free, heartfelt, passionate, and brave.
We know there will be times in your training where you will feel uncomfortable. Moving outside your comfort zones is an important part of your work, and we ask you to work with courage. The work often tackles difficult and emotive subject matters, and our job is to explore all aspects of the human condition. We are all excited by brave work, but we know this can sometimes create a feeling of confusion when it comes to boundaries.
Freedom needs trust. If you ever feel something is not ok, we want you to say so. Your boundaries are not your talent.
We want you to speak out if you feel something is inappropriate. If ever you feel something is ‘not ok’, inappropriate or wrong we want you to say so. We want to create an environment, ethos, atmosphere at Fonact where this is an absolute given. We want you to feel you can talk to us, that we are approachable and supportive. And we want you to know that if ever you come to us, whatever it is, we will hear you.
WHO CAN YOU SPEAK TO?
In the first instance we encourage you to speak to the teacher or director leading the session. To speak to the person involved helps to keep our space safe, as it fosters an open and transparent community.
We know, however, there might be occasions where you don’t feel comfortable speaking directly to the individual involved. In this case it’s best to speak to the Student Welfare Officer or project Director.
If, for any reason, you are not comfortable speaking to either of these people, then you can speak to any member of staff. That member of staff will hear you, and take the issue to the Student Welfare Officer or Director of Acting.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO KEEP OUR SPACE SAFE?
We will explore everything set out in this document with you at the beginning of your year, with core staff, where we explore our relationship with the work, our ethos and our values. We will create a living culture where boundaries are acknowledged and respected.
The Safe Space Policy will be introduced to any freelance directors/creatives working for Fonact, to ensure that they have read our policies on harassment, bullying, victimisation, staff-student relationships, equality and diversity.
We will regularly review this document and its effect on our living culture, consulting with students, core staff, freelance staff and graduates.
Fonact has clear policies covering harassment, bullying, victimisation, staff-student relationships, equality and diversity. All these are on the main school website, and can be found at http://www.fonact. com/policies.
STUDENT POLICY ON HARASSEMENT, BULLYING & SEXUAL MISCONDUCT
1. Fonact does not tolerate any form of victimisation, harassment, or sexual misconduct under any circumstances, and insists that all members of the Fonact community, including staff, students, visitors and contractors, treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration.
2. Fonact is committed to maintaining an inclusive culture which promotes equality, values diversity and maintains a holistic and supportive environment which respects the rights and dignity of all members of the Fonact community, across working, learning and social spheres.
3. Fonact takes allegations of harassment and sexual misconduct very seriously and may take action, including disciplinary action, in response to a complaint from a student.
The aims of this policy are to:
- Promote a positive and supportive environment in which people are treated with respect and consideration;
- Outline Fonact’s zero-tolerance towards any form of harassment, and that all members of the Fonact community are responsible for maintaining and fostering a harassment-free environment;
- Provide a framework of support for students who feel they have been subject to harassment;
- Inform students where and how to make a complaint.
- A person subjects another to harassment where they engage in unwanted and unwarranted conduct which has the purpose or effect of:
- Violating another person’s dignity, or
- Creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for another person.
The recipient does not need to have explicitly stated that the behaviour was unwanted.
2. Bullying is a form of harassment and may be characterised as offensive, intimidating, malicious, or insulting behaviour, or a misuse of power through means intended to undermine, humiliate, denigrate or injure the recipient.
3. Victimisation is when one individual treats another badly or subjects him/her/them to a detriment because of a complaint about discrimination, harassment or bullying or have participated in an investigation, or because they have helped someone who has been a victim of discrimination, harassment or bullying. Fonact regards victimisation as misconduct.
4. Under this Code of Conduct unacceptable behaviour, whether intentional or not, can take a variety of different forms. The following descriptions are not exhaustive, but give an indication of the types of behaviour which the School considers to be unacceptable:
- Making sexually offensive comments about dress or appearance, the display or distribution of sexually explicit material, or demands for sexual favours;
- Engaging in harassment on the grounds of a person’s sexuality (or assumptions about a person’s sexuality) including making derogatory homophobic, transphobic, or biphobic remarks or jokes aimed at a particular person, offensive comments relating to a person’s sexuality, refusal to acknowledge a person’s gender or identity, or threats to disclose a person’s sexuality to others;
- Making offensive references to a person’s race, ethnicity, skin colour, religion or nationality, dress, culture, background or customs which have the effect of ridiculing or undermining an individual or fostering hatred and/or prejudice towards individuals or particular groups;
- Ignoring, disparaging, or ridiculing a person because of mistaken assumptions about their capabilities, or making offensive reference to an individual’s appearance, in the context of their disability;
- Controlling or coercive behaviour, such as pressure to subscribe to a particular political or religious belief;
- Offensive gestures, language, gossip or jokes;
- Insulting or abusive behaviour or comments;
- Display of sexually aggressive, pornographic, racist or otherwise offensive pictures or other material, or the transmitting of any such messages or images via e-mail or instant messaging;
- Intentional isolation or exclusion;
- Humiliating or demeaning behaviour and/or persistent criticism.
5. Online harassment may take the form of intimidating, offensive, or graphic posts on social media sites or chat rooms, or communications by email, text, or instant messaging.
6. Sexual misconduct includes the following, whether or not within a sexual or romantic relationship, including where consent to some form of sexual activity has been given and then withdrawn, or if consent has been given on previous occasions:
- Sexual intercourse or engaging in a sexual act without consent;
- Attempting to engage in sexual intercourse or engaging in a sexual act without consent; sharing private sexual materials of another person without consent;
- Kissing without consent;
- Touching inappropriately through clothes without consent;
- Inappropriately showing sexual organs to another person;
- Repeatedly following another person without good reason;
- Making unwanted remarks of a sexual nature.
7. Harassment can be defined by multiple, repeated forms of unwanted and unwarranted behaviour, as well as a one-off incident.
8. It is critical that every member of staff and student understands the definition of harassment. The perception of the complainant and the extent to which that perception is, in all the circumstances reasonable, will be relevant.
9. Being under the influence of alcohol, drugs or otherwise intoxicated is not an excuse for harassment under any circumstances.
10. Harassment may be verbal, psychological, or physical, in person or via a virtual platform, or through other methods of contact. Harassment may occur in the course of an academic, sporting, social, cultural, or other activity either within the School or elsewhere in the context of a person’s membership of the School, or in circumstances where the victim of the harassment is a member, officer, or contractor of the School. Through a prevailing workplace or study environment which creates a culture which tolerates harassment or bullying, for example the telling of homophobic, sexist or racist jokes.
11. Stalking is also considered a form of harassment, and may be characterised by any of the following repeated, and unwanted behaviours:
- Following a person;
- Persistent contacting, or attempting to contact, a person by any means;
- Publishing any statement or other material relating or purporting to relate to a person; or purporting to originate from a person;
- Monitoring the use by a person of the internet, email or any other form of electronic communication;
- Interfering with any property in the possession of a person;
- Watching or spying on a person, including through the use of CCTV or electronic surveillance.
APPLICATION OF THE POLICY
12. Fonact considers that discussion and debate is proper and acceptable in the academic context, and staff and students have freedom within the law to voice a wide range of views and opinions on social, economic, political, cultural and religious issues, and to express new discussions that may be considered controversial or unpopular opinions. However, such freedoms do not provide immunity from the law nor personal liability. Academic debate
must be conducted respectfully so as not to amount to harassment, and shall not violate the dignity of others to create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them.
13. Harassment and/or bullying or sexual misconduct is a serious offence. Any student who feels she/he/they have been subject to harassment or bullying, or believe that they have been the subject of sexual misconduct by another student or staff member, should make a complaint to the relevant class Director where their complaint is against a member of the student body. Where the complaint is against a member of staff the complaint should be made to the Student Welfare Officer, who will bring it to the Head of Operations and School Director. Fonact strives to create a supportive and transparent culture, and therefore, should the student feel uncomfortable approaching either of the above points of help, they can expect to receive support from any staff member. For advice, a student can speak in confidence to any member of the staff body.
14. Where a complaint of harassment, bullying or sexual misconduct may constitute a criminal offence, the complainant will be encouraged to report the matter to the police. However, Fonact does not enforce any requirements for a complainant to report the matter to the police. Fonact will only report the matter to the police directly where failure to do so may be against the public interest or against the interest of the Fonact community. (eg. there is a risk to others).
15. If a complainant is deemed to have known or to have reasonably been expected to know that a complaint was unfounded, the allegation of harassment or bullying may be judged to be vexatious or malicious, and disciplinary action may be taken against them. No action will be taken if a complaint which proves to be unfounded is judged to have been made in good faith.
16. All parties involved in a complaint (including any witness who may be interviewed as part of any investigation) should maintain the confidentiality of the process. Those involved in advising complainants should, where possible, seek the consent of the individual for onward disclosure of relevant information to those with a clear need to know. Where such consent is not forthcoming, the person entrusted with the information should make it clear that, in exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to disclose the information, taking account of the duty of care which may be owed to the individual and/or others.
POLICY ON STAFF - STUDENT RELATIONSHIP
1. Fonact believes the professional relationship between a student and a member of staff is a critical part of the student’s educational development. In this context, the professional relationship is defined as one in which there is an assessing, teaching, tutoring, supervising or pastoral role, or where administrative or technical support is provided. It includes all Fonact contracted staff in contact with the students.
2. Staff have a professional duty to develop their students’ abilities while maintaining responsibility to safeguard students’ welfare, and Fonact places importance on the essential relationship of trust and confidence between staff and students. The staff duty covers all school-related activities, wherever they are conducted.
3. It is equally important that a personal relationship between a member of staff and a student neither adversely affects the learning environment for other students, nor prejudices the provision of equality of treatment for all students.
4. Whilst Fonact acknowledges that staff and students potentially may be involved in business and/or financial relationships, the school strongly advise staff not to enter into such a relationship if it could compromise or be seen to compromise either party.
5. Fonact acknowledges that staff are in a position of authority over students and therefore the relationship is not an equal one. Under no circumstances should a member of staff abuse their position of trust and power by entering into a sexual or romantic relationship with a student or by encouraging such a relationship. Fonact regards it as unprofessional for any staff member to initiate or pursue such a relationship, without any regard to the problem which may ensue.
6. If a member of staff believes a relationship or attraction may be developing, or if there is a danger of such relationship developing, they must inform the school Director and Human Resources department. As a result, teaching, tutoring or assessment arrangements, or any other activity which may affect equality of treatment of students, can be adjusted and monitored appropriately and where necessary. This is for both protection of staff and student. Directors reserve the right to ensure separation of parties, where possible, in all activities associated with teaching, learning and assessment.
7. The Director will meet with the individual(s) concerned to agree the course of action. If agreement cannot be reached, the matter will be considered by senior staff members for resolution/decision.
8. All disclosures and information will be treated as confidential, unless otherwise agreed by all parties involved, or there is a legal obligation for Fonact to disclose such information. A note of any agreed action will be placed on the individual’s HR file.
9. It is the responsibility of the Director to detect what may be a violation of this policy, to investigate promptly, and to take appropriate or disciplinary action. In deciding their action, the Director should consult with the Head of HR.
10. Students must note that if a professional relationship between a member of staff and a student, as defined as above, is compromised or breached in any way as outlined in this policy, disciplinary action may be invoked against either individual, including sanctions up to and including dismissal.
11. Staff or students who have any concerns regarding the development or existence of a relationship between a member of staff and a student should contact the Student Welfare Officer.
12. Staff or students should not accept unwanted attention or harassment from any other student or member of staff. Any concerns regarding sexual misconduct or harassment should be reported to their Director or Student Welfare Officer.
13. In the event that a member of senior staff has, or has had a close relationship with a student whose results are being considered at a meeting, the individual must declare a conflict of interest at the beginning of the meeting, and as a result, exclude himself/herself/themselves from any discussion or decision-making in respect of that student. Close relationship constitutes as familial, business, financial or of a sexual/romantic nature.