Does your academy have a strong whistleblowing policy and procedure in place?

If not dealt with correctly, whistleblowing can lead to financial and reputational damage. Veritau’s service supports schools and academies to get this right.

Whistleblowing legislation provides protection to every employee in the UK. Concerns should be taken seriously, and schools and academies must be aware of legislation that protects whistleblowers.

The Education and Skills Funding Agency’s ‘Academy Trust Handbook’ says:

“The academy trust must have procedures for whistleblowing, to protect staff who report individuals they believe are doing something wrong or illegal.”

Our whistleblowing service

Our annual support package includes:

  • Whistleblowing policy template
  • Independent whistleblowing hotline, answered by qualified investigators
  • Awareness raising material for staff
  • Access to helpdesk for provision of advice to senior managers
  • Learning material for managers and trustees on whistleblowing
  • Two places on an annual training session, held virtually, providing updates on whistleblowing law, best practice, and recent employment tribunal decisions
  • An annual report for your audit committee, trustees or senior managers

Access to an independent whistleblowing hotline gives reassurance to members of staff who might be reluctant to report concerns directly to school staff or trustees.

Veritau’s hotline is answered by knowledgeable staff who are used to taking sensitive and confidential information and are able to give advice to whistleblowers.

Experts in the education sector

We have over 500 schools and academy clients, many of whom we support with other areas of assurance such as:

This support package perfectly complements our other assurance services, helping you to fulfil your responsibilities as set out in the the Academies Financial Handbook.

Veritau’s professionally qualified officers can support you through the complexities of whistleblowing, and ensure that you know what to do should someone raise a concern.

Our whistleblowing leads

Jonathan and Kelly both have first-hand experience working with schools, and working on a wide range of sensitive whistleblowing issues.

They’re also qualified investigators, should you require a trained officer to carry out an enquiry at your academy. This could relate to:

  • Fraud or corruption
  • A whistleblowing concern
  • Theft or other wrongdoing
Jonathan Dodsworth, Assistant Director - Corporate Fraud

Jonathan Dodsworth

Assistant Director - Corporate Fraud

Jonathan is an Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist with a wealth of experience delivering counter fraud services to public sector organisations across the region. He was instrumental in establishing the North Yorkshire housing fraud partnership and is an active member of various public sector counter fraud networks.

Kelly Holmes, Senior Corporate Fraud Investigator

Kelly Holmes

Senior Corporate Fraud Investigator

Kelly holds both Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist status and a qualification in investigative practice from CIPFA. She has many years of experience as a fraud investigator and leads on complex internal and whistleblowing investigations. Kelly also has experience working in a busy HR team and is ACAS trained on conducting internal investigations.

Case study

Whistleblowing investigation into conflict of interest and alleged timesheet fraud

A whistleblowing allegation was made at a local council, alleging that a member of staff was working on a self-employed basis during office hours and fabricating their timesheets.

Read this case study