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Modern Slavery Statement

Witherslack Group LTD Modern Slavery Statement - Year ended 31 August 2023

This statement is made in accordance with section 54(1) of the Act and sets out The Witherslack Group’s human trafficking and slavery statement for the Group financial year ending 31st August 2023.

The Witherslack Group is the leading provider of specialist education and related residential care for children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs, communication difficulties and complex needs.  We seek to conduct our business with the utmost integrity and highest ethical standards by keeping our operating procedures under constant review to prevent any practices related to human trafficking and slavery.

We are committed to implementing ethical policies and contracts, as well as building relationships, that aim to prevent this within our business and our commercial arrangements. In 2024 we will be further enhancing our procurement arrangements by; implementing a new policy, a new code of conduct for all suppliers and new terms and conditions for all suppliers, which will ensure that we continue to adhere to the highest standards.

We are committed to achieving and maintaining high standards of professional and ethical conduct amongst all colleagues.  Our expectations are made clear through policies including, but not limited to, the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy, the Bullying and Harassment Policy, the Equality and Diversity Policy and the Disciplinary Policy.

We have a clear and rigorous Whistleblowing (Protected Disclosure) policy, and all colleagues are encouraged to report and expose unethical or inappropriate procedures, practice, or behaviour. We aim to ensure that all members of our community feel safe in the knowledge that they can voice any concerns in confidence and that they will be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.

As a provider of services to children in a highly regulated sector, our pre-employment and recruitment checks are particularly rigorous.  These include comprehensive checks of an applicant’s right to work in the UK and suitability to work with children.  All supply agencies we choose to partner with are required to comply with the same statutory safeguarding checks.  We monitor and audit our recruitment processes and we continually develop all areas of our training as part of our overall continuous improvement efforts.

Our due diligence processes are constantly developing through our corporate governance which includes assessing actual and potential human rights impacts, integrating and acting upon the findings, tracking responses, and communicating how impacts are addressed.  Our actions will be proportionate to the level of risk we identify.

As an organisation that provides education and care to some of the most vulnerable members of society we understand and take seriously the importance of removing slavery and human trafficking from society and we are committed to this aim.

Signed on behalf of The Witherslack Group

Tracey Fletcher-Ray

Chief Executive Officer