Literacy Pirates

a fleet of learning centres in Hackney, Haringey and soon beyond

Code of Conduct for Staff & Volunteers

All staff and volunteers will be encouraged to demonstrate exemplary behaviour to uphold
good practice when working with young people. The following Code of Conduct illustrates
principles The Hackney Pirates wishes to uphold when working with young people.


Conduct with young people

  • Treat all young people with respect.
  • Give enthusiastic and constructive feedback rather than negative criticism.
  • Do not initiate any physical contact with young person.
  • If a young person initiates physical contact such as approaching you for a hug, deflect them if possible and remain side on to the young person.
  • If a young person informs you of a problem/ disclosure, follow disclosure procedures, immediately following the conversation. Even if there is no disclosure related to abuse, record the contact and report to the designated person responsible for safeguarding immediately following the conversations.
  • Do not ask probing questions about a young person’s personal circumstances.
  • If a young person has an accident the staff that are in loco parentis are responsible for administering first aid. Volunteers should inform staff of any accidents immediately.
  • Maintain professional behaviour at all times.
  • If you are at all concerned about a young person then follow disclosure procedures immediately following the conversation.
  • Do not give young people lifts in your car.
  • It is inappropriate for any staff member or volunteer to initiate contact with a young person outside of The Hackney Pirates’ projects, unless previously agreed with project leaders. If a young person initiates contact with you, you must immediately inform a staff member.
  • Do not share personal details with a young person and if they share theirs with you, inform a staff member immediately.
  • Do not wear inappropriate clothing
  • Volunteers should not be alone with young people, and should not leave the room with a young person without explicit direction from a Hackney Pirates staff member.
  • At the direction of Hackney Pirates staff members, volunteers and children may move around the building in groups of at least 4 (2 volunteers, 2 children). If so instructed, the group should remain together so that children are not left alone with adults.


Conduct around the Premises

  • You are a role model for the children. Everything you do should reflect this.
  • Do not smoke anywhere on the premises including in your vehicle.
  • Do not smoke in front of young people.
  • Alcohol should never be present while young people are on the premises.
  • Recreational drugs should never be taken onto premises under any circumstances.
  • No-one should consume alcohol before work or before volunteering.
  • Prescribed drugs should be kept hidden and out of reach.
  • Make sure language and conversation is appropriate.
  • Report any accidents or breakages immediately.


Practices never to be allowed

The following should never be allowed:

  • A volunteer to be alone with a child.
  • Rough, physical or sexually provocative activities.
  • Young people to be left unattended. A person who is ultimately responsible for the young people must always be present.
  • Allow or engage in any form of inappropriate touching.
  • Allow young people to use inappropriate language unchallenged.
  • Make sexually suggestive comments to a young person, even in fun.
  • Reduce a young person to tears as a form of control.
  • Allow allegations made by a young person to go unrecorded or not acted upon following procedure.
  • Do things of a personal nature for young person

Last review 01 November 2016

Next review 01 November 2017

If you have any questions about any of the above, please email