Code of Ethics
The following Code of Ethics applies to all individuals directly employed by the school or acting on behalf of or in the interest of the school, including employment agency workers, employees of legal entities outside of the school who are temporarily assigned to perform work tasks at or in relation to the school, persons in management positions and (members of) statutory and supervisory bodies of the school.
The School Code of Ethics regulates the rules that OPEN GATE Grammar School and Primary School and all persons affected by its authority adhere to when performing their everyday activities.
OPEN GATE Grammar School and Primary School, a company with its registered office at the address Na návsi 5, 251 01 Babice, Business ID Number 270 89 941, is registered in the Commercial Register maintained by the Municipal Court in Prague, Section C, File 95491 (hereinafter referred to as the “School”).
The purpose of the Code of Ethics is to capture the basic rules that the School follows when performing its daily activities, and to set out the corresponding obligations of the School and its staff. The Code of Ethics also establishes a framework within which all other valid and effective internal regulations adopted by the School must be interpreted.
The Code of Ethics is binding for both the School and all its staff members without exception. It contains the fundamental principles and values which the School adheres to now and intends to adhere to in the future. The School insists on compliance with all relevant principles and values and does not tolerate violations.
The Code of Ethics does not and cannot cover all rules and all situations that may arise. In matters, situations and relationships which are not expressly regulated by the Code of Ethics, the School and its staff are obliged to conduct themselves and act in compliance with the principles and objectives of the Code of Ethics, legislation, international conventions, and rules of ethics, morality and fair trade in a manner that lives up to the School’s name and reputation.
The following terms will be used in the Code of Ethics and are defined as follows:
Compliance Department – the competent body of the School for receiving and evaluating complaints, where the specifically authorised member of staff is the Compliance Manager;
Corporate Compliance – a set of tools which aim to prevent unlawful and/or unethical conduct of the School and its staff members;
Person Concerned – a person concerned by a complaint, especially a person who has supposedly committed an act described in the complaint, or been involved in such an act in some way;
E-mail address for ethical matters – an e-mail address set up for the purpose of receiving complaints, specifically: firstname.lastname@example.org; this address can also be found on the www.opengate.cz School website. If a complaint directly concerns the Compliance Manager or a person close to the Compliance Manager, e-mails may be sent to the address of the Managing Director of the School, which can be found on the School website;
School Code of Ethics – a code of conduct adopted at the level of the School and available internally via MS Teams, and externally on the School website;
Complaint – a notification concerning a violation of the Code of Ethics and indicating a possible misdemeanour or criminal liability on the part of the School or the Person Concerned, unless the Compliance Department assesses such notifications to be ungrounded (and therefore inadmissible). Ungrounded complaints include notifications concerning such issues as routine operational matters and complaints from staff members and pupils or their legal guardians, complaints regarding personal data protection, or claims regarding goods or services that do no not fall under the competencies of the Corporate Compliance programme and are dealt with in so-called Independent Proceedings, unless they fulfil the definition of a complaint set out in the preceding sentence;
Violation of the Code of Ethics – violations of the Code of Ethics include violations of any applicable internal regulations, legislation or international conventions;
Staff Members – all individuals directly employed by the School or acting on behalf of or in the interest of the School, including employment agency workers, employees of legal entities outside of the School who are temporarily assigned to perform work tasks at or in relation to the School, persons in management positions, and (members of) statutory and supervisory bodies of the School;
Rules for Settling Complaints According to the School Code of Ethics – an internal regulation of the School governing the rules of procedure for the internal settlement of notifications (Complaints) received according to the School Code of Ethics;
Independent Proceedings – proceedings intended for processing submissions and findings of a certain type (e.g. routine operational matters and complaints from staff members and pupils, complaints regarding personal data protection, claims for goods or services etc.) in accordance with the requirements of applicable legislation (if any exists) and with normal market practice, provided that all such submissions and findings are always dealt with through the given proceedings;
School – the company OPEN GATE – gymnázium a základní škola, s.r.o. (OPEN GATE Grammar School and Primary School), with its registered office at the address Na návsi 5, 251 01 Babice, Business ID Number 270 89 941, registered in the Commercial Register maintained by the Municipal Court in Prague, Section C, File 95491;
Bribe – any offer and acceptance of an unjustified advantage, a payment without legal grounds or any other unauthorised payment, regardless of the form and manner in which such an advantage or payment is provided;
Manager – a person who, at individual management levels, is authorised to establish and assign work tasks to subordinate Staff Members, to organise, direct and supervise their work, and to give them binding instructions for this purpose.
Compliance with Fundamental Values
The School strictly observes legislation in all areas of its operation and within the scope of all of its activities, both externally in relation to pupils, their legal guardians, and any other third parties and public authorities, and internally in relation to its Staff Members.
In all of their actions where they act in the name of the School, within the scope of the School’s activities, or in the School’s interest, Staff Members are obliged to comply with the relevant legislation and to conduct themselves in such a way that preserves the School’s good name and reputation, and does not cast any doubt on the School's activities. In the same way, in their private activities, Staff Members shall always strictly act in accordance with the principles and values of the School Code of Ethics, so that their actions do not harm the School, its good name and reputation.
The School strictly condemns and rejects any criminal acts or torts. The School and its Staff Members are obliged to refrain from any conduct or activity that could be considered a tort from the point of view of public law, particularly a criminal offence, an administrative offence, or could be considered a misdemeanour.
In case of any doubts of the parties in the application of legislation to their actions/activities, Staff Members are obliged to consult the matter with their Manager, the Compliance Department or the School management.
In order to ensure effective control of compliance with the School Code of Ethics, a system has been put in place allowing Staff Members, pupils and their legal guardians and third parties to submit complaints, even if the notifier decides to remain anonymous. The School will process complaints regardless of who the notifier is or the means by which the complaint is submitted. Submitting a complaint is not sanctioned by the School in any way. However, the School will not tolerate notifications that are submitted as complaints if they are intentionally untrue or harassing.
Notifications considered to be complaints can be submitted in any of the following ways:
- in person to an authorised Staff Member of the Compliance Department;
- by e-mail to the e-mail address for ethical matters: email@example.com;
- If a complaint directly concerns the Compliance Manager or a person close to the Compliance Manager, complaints can be sent to the contact address of the Managing Director of the School, which can be found on the School website.
If a Staff Member discovers or suspects that a violation of the School Code of Ethics that could damage the reputation of the School, or an act of tort or criminal liability on the part of the School or a Person Concerned has occurred, is occurring or could occur, they shall be obliged to report this fact by any of the above means. When fulfilling this obligation, the Staff Member should take care to avoid a breach of applicable legislation, in particular regulations relating to the protection of confidential, classified and similar information.
The procedure for internal settlement of notifications (complaints) is regulated by a separate internal regulation, which lays down detailed rules for such a procedure (“Rules for Settling Complaints According to the School Code of Ethics”). The Rules for Settling Complaints According to the School Code of Ethics present the means of implementing relevant rules for the School.
Basic Principles in Relationships Between the School and Third Parties
Relationships with third parties include, but are not limited to, relationships between the School and public authorities, business partners, suppliers, pupils and their legal guardians, the media and the public, i.e., any relationship involving the School or a Staff Member acting on behalf of the School, within the scope of the School’s activities or in the School’s interest, and which at the same time affect any third party.
The School will not tolerate and strictly rejects any manipulation of the results of its management for any purpose.
Relationships with Public Authorities
The School cooperates with public authorities in a proper and open manner. It respects the independence and impartiality of public authorities.
The School and its Staff Members never attempt to illegally influence decisions and procedures of public authorities under any circumstance. The School absolutely rejects and will not tolerate any potential efforts to illegally influence them.
The School and its Staff Members respect all final decisions and binding instructions of public authorities.
The School and its Staff Members are obliged to avoid any conduct or activity that could cast doubt on the nature of mutual relationships with persons acting on behalf of public authorities, especially where such officials decide on the award of contracts by a public authority.
The School and its Staff Members are obliged to provide public authorities with the cooperation required by applicable legislation and within the scope of such applicable legislation. As part of the cooperation specified in the previous sentence, the School and its Staff Members shall always provide precise, truthful and up-to-date information and documents required by public authorities.
Business Relationships and Activities of the School
The School complies with all legislation that has an impact on its activities.
When dealing with suppliers and business partners, the School and its Staff Members always strictly comply with the applicable legislation.
Within the scope of their business or marketing activities in relationships with suppliers and business partners, the School and its Staff Members only provide true and accurate information. In particular, Staff Members are obliged to provide truthful information about facts relevant to the decisions of a supplier or business partner of the School, and not to withhold information about any decisive circumstances. The provisions of Article 4.5 (Disclosure of Information) and Article 7.1 (Protection of Sensitive and Confidential Information) are not affected by this obligation.
Before concluding any contractual relationship, the relevant Staff Members are obliged to acquaint themselves with and to observe all relevant legislation. The relevant Staff Members must ensure, to the best of their knowledge and abilities, that suppliers or business partners are not involved in any illegal activity and that its resources and profits are legal. Before concluding a contractual relationship, the relevant Staff Members are also obliged, to the best of their abilities, to verify the stance of suppliers or business partners to compliance with the law and the set-up of their control mechanisms (whether they have a compliance system and if it is functional). For the purposes of such screening of business partners, Staff Members shall make all efforts that can be reasonably asked of them, and shall use all adequate means that they have at their disposal.
Staff Members only obtain information about competitors and customers from legal sources and in a manner that complies with the law. The School and its Staff Members never knowingly disclose false or misleading information about competing entities and their products, services or performances.
When entering into contractual relationships with suppliers and business partners, the School and its Staff Members shall always strive to ensure that each contractual arrangement includes a commitment to comply with valid and effective legislation, and a minimum standard of ethical and moral rules and principles of fair trade. For this purpose, the School uses model standardised contractual clauses to the maximum possible extent. Specimens of recommended standardised contractual clauses form an annex to the School Code of Ethics. The establishment of model standardised contractual clauses is desirable from the perspective of the School. If possible, contractual clauses with suppliers and business partners shall include appropriate sanctions (such as the obligation to pay compensation for damage or the possibility of terminating the contractual relationship with suppliers and business partners) in case of breaches of obligations under the recommended contractual clauses or other similar arrangements. Staff Members shall keep documentation relating to negotiations of contractual terms with the School’s suppliers and business partners.
Prevention of Corrupt Practices
The School absolutely rejects any offers and acceptance of unjustified advantages, unauthorised payments or payments without legal grounds, regardless of the form and manner in which such advantages or payments are provided (hereinafter referred to as “Bribes”). A Bribe shall mean any monetary or non-monetary performance (provided directly or indirectly) to which there is no legal claim and which aims to gain or maintain a contractual or similar relationship by means other than one’s own activities and economic performances, or to influence business or other decisions and/or to secure any other unjustified advantage.
Staff Members are obliged to familiarise themselves with the relevant rules of law, the School Code of Ethics, the internal regulations of (potential) suppliers or business partners, if available, and cultural information and social customs, if need be, before providing or accepting an invitation, gift or any other benefit (e.g. a payment for services).
A Bribe shall not mean a gift that is provided in accordance with market practice which is standard for presenting or promoting the good name of the School, and which is not an illegal or unethical act (i.e. no unjustified advantage or unauthorised payment is expected, such as flowers or boxes of chocolates for the end of the school year and similar occasions from pupils and their legal guardians) and which, at the same time, is a gift whose nature, value and frequency of provision is not disproportionate under the circumstances. However, the provision of a gift worth more than CZK 5,000 (or the equivalent amount in a foreign currency) to a third party must always be approved in writing in advance by the Manager of the relevant School Department, and the expenses related to such a gift or other performance, as well as the identity of the recipient and the reason for and purpose of the gift, must be recorded so that the record can be checked retrospectively at any time. Similarly, a Bribe shall not mean participation in a social, educational or sports event or other performance (e.g. a payment for services), if the prerequisites described above in this paragraph are met.
Staff Members are obliged to notify the relevant Manager of any attempt by a third party that is contrary to good morals or the principles of fair trade, and which aims to influence the Staff Member’s activities, stance or decisions within the School. In the same way, Staff Members are obliged to inform their Manager and the Compliance Department of the fact that inherently corrupt conduct has occurred or could occur.
Measures in the FIght Against Money Laundering
Money laundering is any activity which aims to conceal financial gains or funds from illegal activity by making it impossible to identify the source of such gains or funds and their beneficial owner or by altering the nature of those profits or funds to give the impression that they have been obtained legally.
The School and its Staff Members shall strictly avoid any conduct that could be considered concealing, transferring, possessing or using items that may have originated from criminal activity, or which could be considered concealing or making it difficult to ascertain their origin.
The School and its Staff Members shall strictly comply with all legislation relating to the fight against money laundering, financing of any illegal activities and the fight against terrorism or support of terrorism.
In commercial matters, the School solely cooperates with persons whose business plans, as far as the School and its Staff Members are aware, are financed from legal sources. As far as they are able, Staff Members are obliged to verify whether the activities of selected business partners are legal and whether their funds originate from legal sources. To this end, Staff Members collect and store documents and information regarding business partners and completed transactions.
In the School’s interest, in the event of any property transfer carried out by the School, the relevant Staff Member is obliged to properly indicate both the recipient and the purpose of the provided performance.
All property transfers carried out by the School within the scope of its activities are duly recorded in the appropriate documentation.
Disclosure of Information
In cases where the School is obliged to disclose certain information, it shall do so in a proper and timely manner, and in accordance with applicable legislation or contractual arrangements. When disclosing other information, the School maintains the principle of openness to an extent that it deems appropriate for the specific situation. The School takes care to ensure that any information that it discloses is always accurate, truthful and verified.
The School exclusively communicates with the media through a spokesperson or a Staff Member authorised by the spokesperson.
Staff Members are not authorised to independently provide any information about the School to the media, nor to publish such information via any communication tools, including social networks.
The relevant Staff Member is obliged to inform their Manager or the spokesperson about any contact between the Staff Member and the media, the essence of which is a request for information about the School or its activities and cooperation with business partners.
Basic Principles in Internal Relationships of the School
Internal relationships of the School shall particularly mean relationships between the School and its Staff Members, relationships between Staff Members and pupils and their legal guardians, and relationships between Staff Members themselves.
The School and its Staff Members comply with applicable legislation and internal regulations affecting internal relationships at the School and relationships between its Staff Members. The school does not allow any form of discrimination against its Staff Members, even as regards the allocation of work and its evaluation. All Managers must adhere to these principles in their approach to Staff Members.
The School respects the privacy of its Staff Members.
The School does not allow any form of harassment, intimidation or forced or illegal labour.
Managers are obliged to ensure proper initial training and vocational training of their subordinate Staff Members. Managers are obliged to ensure that their subordinate Staff Members are aware of the meaning and importance of the set compliance system. As far as they are able, Managers strengthen the confidence of their subordinates in the functioning of the School’s compliance system.
Staff Members shall be kind to respect the personality and privacy of their colleagues as much as possible, and avoid any conflicts. It is inadmissible to express oneself in an inappropriate, insulting or derogatory matter with regard to other Staff Members, or to harass, intimidate, humiliate or insult them in any way through verbal or physical expressions.
Staff Members shall strive to perform their tasks and responsibilities with maximum responsibility and efficiency.
It is inadmissible to place any kind of disadvantage on Staff Members who point out possible violations of labour-law, internal or other legal regulations, and who have submitted a complaint or any proposal to improve the activities and procedures of the School.
Commitments of Staff Members towards Pupils, Parents and the Public
The main commitments that Staff Members must adhere to include the following:
- Staff Members shall adhere to the ideals of democracy and shall especially conduct themselves in this spirit in the education of pupils.
- Teamwork is the foundation of the School’s activities. Through mutual cooperation, the School achieves collective success, which is dependent on the degree of responsibility and quality of work of all Staff Members.
- Staff Members support pupils’ rights to information and are prepared to provide information in a responsible, truthful, clear and timely manner.
- All Staff Members shall preserve the confidentiality of information about pupils, and shall maintain secrecy on facts which come to their knowledge in connection with the performance of their profession.
- Staff Members shall never discuss internal matters of the School in front of pupils.
- Staff Members shall respect approved decisions. They shall only express their reservations about problems in internal discussions.
- Staff Members, especially teaching staff, are morally upstanding and are aware of the fact that their actions are an example for students.
- Teaching staff approach their profession as a mission; they cooperate with colleagues and other professionals in the interest of educating pupils.
- Teaching staff develop the intellectual, physical, emotional, social and societal potential of pupils.
- Staff Members understand the role of their profession in the sense of a “helping profession”. They do not use their position for manipulation, nor for private personal gain.
- Teaching staff do not give preference to any pupils. They are fair and approach all pupils equally.
- Staff Members must not abuse their position towards pupils. They handle confidential information about pupils and their families with caution, and never use it to the detriment and disadvantage of a pupil, nor to strengthen their position.
- Staff Members respect pupils as independent personalities, together with any other specific features they may have. Teaching staff are obliged to familiarise themselves with information about the specific educational needs of pupils who they are teaching. They are entitled to ask for such information.
- Teaching staff continue to train and develop their skills. Self-education is in their own interest, as well as the interest of pupils and of the School. Teaching staff strive to apply their own knowledge in educational activities at the School.
- Staff Members are aware that unethical conduct is not only unacceptable from themselves, but also from their colleagues; they should not ignore or tolerate unethical conduct, and must promptly report such conduct to their Manager or the Compliance Department.
- Employees shall be prudent when disclosing information about their privacy and the privacy of their colleagues. As a matter of principle, they shall not share confidential information that is not related to the education process with pupils or parents.
- As part of the teaching process, teaching staff shall state the sources from which they obtain information for teaching.
- Staff Members have their own cultural values, but must not force them on pupils. When presenting their own thoughts, they must distinguish between facts and opinions. It should always be easy to recognise whether something is a verifiable fact or a personal comment.
- Teaching staff who contribute to the design process or implementation of students’ works and other copyrighted works must not take advantage of students’ ideas for their own benefit, nor provide designs or drafts to third parties or entities without the knowledge of the students who created them.
- Staff Members have the right to information about what is happening at the School, and the right to comment on all matters relating to the running of the School and, as the case may be, to propose changes.
The occupational safety and health of pupils and Staff Members is a priority for the School. The School and its Staff Members shall take care to comply with all legal and internal regulations in the field of occupational safety, and consistently prevent damage and injury caused by a violation of these regulations. Managers and Staff Members shall consistently eliminate potential risks associated with the performance of work activities.
The School takes appropriate preventive safety measures to protect the health of its pupils and Staff Members, regularly checks that these measures are working and, if necessary, updates these measures. To this end, the School provides its Staff Members with, among other things, appropriate training, coaching and examinations in the field of occupational safety.
The school receives proposals from Staff Members for improvements in the level of occupational safety and health protection, processes and evaluates such proposals and, if justified, takes appropriate measures in this field. All Staff Members are entitled to submit such proposals.
If a Staff Member suspects that a violation of occupational safety legislation has occurred or is imminent, they shall be obliged to report these facts to the relevant Manager and the Compliance Department.
Protectiong the Interests of the School, its Staff Members and Business Partners
The School shall take appropriate measures to protect all confidential internal information of the School and shall handle obtained information about Staff Members, pupils and their legal guardians, or third parties in strict accordance with legislation and international conventions and with the utmost care and responsibility, especially if any communication with third parties is involved.
The School shall maintain secrecy about sensitive and private information on its Staff Members, pupils, legal guardians of pupils, and business partners, which it obtains in connection with its activities.
The School takes appropriate measures to protect its intellectual property rights and respects copyright law.
Protection of Sensitive and Confidential Information
The School takes care to not only protect sensitive and confidential information about the School itself, but also to protect information about its Staff Members, pupils, legal guardians of pupils, suppliers and other business partners.
In the course of their activities (providing education and running the School) and when dealing with business transactions, Staff Members shall take care to ensure that they only communicate the absolutely necessary and relevant data to third parties. Staff Members shall take care to ensure that communication with a third party or contractual relationships include a third-party obligation to keep provided sensitive and confidential information secret. Employees shall take care to ensure that they do not interfere in any communication that is not intended for them.
If a Staff Member suspects that sensitive or confidential information has been leaked or abused, or that such a leak or abuse is imminent, they shall be obliged to report these facts to the relevant Manager and the Compliance Department.
Personal Data Protection
Personal data shall mean any personal data obtained by the School about its Staff Members and business partners, pupils and their legal guardians, or any other personal data subjects. The School and its Staff Members shall consistently adhere to all personal data protection regulations.
All Staff Members must carefully protect all personal data with which they come into contact in the course of their activities, and solely provide such data to persons who are authorised to receive it under the relevant legislation or with the written consent of the person concerned.
If a Staff Member suspects that personal data has been leaked or abused, or that such a leak or abuse is imminent, they shall be obliged to promptly report these facts to the relevant Manager and the Compliance Department.
Protection of Intellectual Property
The School and its Staff Members shall thoroughly protect intellectual property rights and adhere to all legislation and international conventions having an impact on this field.
All Staff Members are obliged to protect the School’s intellectual property rights.
They are also obliged to respect copyrights of other entities, and shall always make sure that they are entitled to use a particular work.
If a Staff Member suspects that a violation of copyright has occurred or is imminent, they shall be obliged to promptly report these facts to the relevant Manager and the Compliance Department.
Requirements of Staff Members: Conflicts of Interests
The School takes strict care to ensure that it only employs high-quality and trustworthy Staff Members.
Staff Members who deal with the HR agenda and other Staff Members who participate in the selection of new Staff Members as part of the HR selection process shall thoroughly and legally verify all important candidate requirements relating to the vacant position (such as education, qualifications, experience, absence of conflicts of interest).
A conflict of interest is a situation where a Staff Member’s interests are in conflict with their obligations (imposed by the School) or in conflict with the interests of the School.
Staff Members shall strictly avoid situations that could be construed as conflicts of interest. In the event that a conflict of interest is imminent or occurs, Staff Members shall be obliged to promptly report this fact to the relevant Manager and/or the Compliance Department.
If it is relevant with regard to a specific activity of the School, the School shall analyse the effects of the particular activity on the environment, and take appropriate measures to protect the environment. The School shall regularly update such measures.
The School strives to only use environmentally friendly procedures and technologies.
If a Staff Member notices an occurrence in the workplace that could have a negative impact on the environment, they shall be obliged to report this fact to the relevant Manager and/or the Compliance Department without unnecessary delay.
Staff Members undergo regular training to ensure their knowledge of the Corporate Compliance programme. Staff Members’ knowledge of the Corporate Compliance programme is regularly tested.
The School Code of Ethics is revised and updated in order to reflect current social requirements and the needs of the School and its Staff Members.
Recommended contractual clauses as specified in Article 4.2 of this Code of Ethics form an annex hereto.
This School Code of Ethics shall enter into force and effect on 1st May 2021.