The Code of Professional Conduct stipulates minimum standards of professional conduct of teachers and is not an exhaustive list of such standards. Any member of SADTU, who is alleged to have violated the standards of the profession and the provisions of the Code, may be subject to disciplinary action by the Union.
In relation to pupils:
- The teacher teaches in a manner that respects the dignity and rights of all persons without prejudice as to race, religious beliefs, colour, sex, physical characteristics, age ancestry of place of origin.
- The teacher is responsible for diagnosing educational needs, prescribing and Implementing instructional programmes, and evaluating progress of pupils. The teacher treats pupils with dignity and respect and is considerate of their circumstances.
- The teacher may not divulge information about a pupil received in confidence or in the course of professional duties, except as required by law or where, in the judgement of the teacher, to do so is in the best interest of the pupil.
- The teacher may not take advantage of his/her professional position to profit from the sale of goods or services to, or for, pupils in the teachers charge.
- The teacher may not accept pay for tutoring a pupil in any subjects in which a teacher is responsible for giving classroom instruction to that pupil.
- The growth of a friendly relationship between teacher and pupil which is based on mutual respect and recognition of the role that each plays in the learning situation, is desirable.
It is, however, an abuse of this professional relationship for the teacher to:
- Enter into improper association with a pupil
- Show undue personal favour or disfavour towards a pupil
- Commit such acts against a child which are illegal; and
- Endeavour to exert an undue influence with regard to personal attitudes, opinion and behaviour, which are in no way connected with the work of the school.
The teacher shall to the best of their abilities work to promote the qualities of initiative, self-reliance and independence in their pupils. In so doing they shall recognize the human right to self-determination and strive to endow pupils with the confidence necessary to become agents of their own learning and discovery.
The teacher, in discharging his/her duties in relation to the pupils, shall be punctual, prompt and prepared, and shall recognize his/her responsibility with regard to the academic and personal development of the pupil.
In relation to school authorities/administration:
- The teacher protests the assignment of duties for which the teacher is not qualified, or conditions which make it difficult to render professional service.
- The teacher fulfils contractual obligations to the employer until released by mutual consent pr according to law.
- The teacher provides as much notice as possible of a decision to terminate employment.
- The teacher adheres to agreements negotiated on his/her behalf by the Union.
- The teacher shall act responsibly in the discharge of professional, organizational and administrative duties.
In relation to colleagues:
- The teacher does not undermine the confidence of other teachers.
- The teacher criticizes the professional competence or professional reputation of another teacher only in confidence to proper officials and after the other teacher has been informed of the criticism.
- The teacher, when making a report on the professional performance of another teacher, does so in good faith and, prior to submitting the report, provides the teacher with a copy of the report.
- The teacher does not take, because of animosity or personal advantage, any steps to secure dismissal of another teacher. If a teacher experiences any concern or dissatisfaction in relation to a colleagues conduct or standard of work, the teacher should discuss the issue informally and in confidence with the colleague concerned.
- Where the issue is not resolved informally, the teacher should take no further action without informing the colleague. Should the teacher have reason to believe that a colleague is acting in a way which might be harmful to the school or to individual pupils, then there is a clear duty to make a report to the head teacher.
- The teacher recognizes the duty to protest, where possible through proper channels, administrative policies and practices, which the teacher cannot accept.
The teacher, as an administrator, provides opportunities for staff members to express their opinions and to initiate and develop democratic processes in the administration of the school.
In relation to the profession:
- The teacher acts in a manner which maintains the honour and dignity of the profession.
- The teacher should not denigrate their colleagues in the presence of other parties nor should a teacher adversely criticize a colleague in the presence of others, save in the context of appropriate procedure.
- The teacher does not engage in activities which adversely affect the quality of the teachers professional service.
- The teacher submits to the disputes arising from professional relationships with other teachers which cannot be resolved by personal discussion.
- The teacher makes representation on behalf of the Union or members thereof only when authorized to do so.
- The teacher accepts that service to the Union is a professional responsibility.