CODE OF PRACTICE FOR THE APPROVAL AND CONDUCT OF EVENTS
LSME welcomes speakers from all over the world, for our annual conferences on educational research. We also invite internal speakers occasionally as part of our educational provision and career guidance programmes. LSME is committed to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge and ideas through dialogue and debates with diverse groups of academics. This can only be conducted effectively in an atmosphere of open enquiry, mutual tolerance, and intellectual freedom. The College has legal obligations to ensure the promotion, protection, and respect for these key freedoms. Academic freedom and freedom of speech and expression rights are however conditional – they are freedoms that operate within the law and are therefore bound by legal limits on their lawful implementation. For example, freedom of expression may not be exercised if in so doing it breaches the rights of others, such as if its expression is discriminatory or threatens other’s safety and fundamental human rights. This Code of Practice sets out the Colleges arrangements for the conduct of internal and external events. Membership of LSME and permission to invite an external speaker is based on individual acceptance of these principles. LSME does not condone any individual or group that is seeking to intimidate or prevent a College event that complies with this Code of Practice from taking place.
The Context of this Policy
The Education (No. 2) Act 1986 Section 43 (Appendix) places a duty on the governing body of the College to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable that freedom of speech within the law is secured for students and employees of the College, those associated with the College and for visiting speakers. To meet this requirement, the Board of Directors has issued this Code of Practice governing the organisation and running of events in and out of the College. The Code of Practice will operate within the requirements of Statute and Common Law about freedom of speech, lawful assembly, keeping the peace and the provisions of the Race Relations Act and other relevant equality legislation.
An event is any meeting, gathering, conference or related activity involving a group of people. This does not apply to routine teaching sessions or other academic or administrative operational meetings unless outside speakers and an audience are involved.
The College reserves the right to act against individuals or external groups who violate this policy. This includes the withdrawal of permission to give a lecture. This policy and its procedures should be read in conjunction with the College’s Equality and Diversity Policy.
The provisions of this Code of Practice apply to all members of staff, full and part-time, all registered students, all those associated with the College and, as far as it is relevant, to all those who have permission to enter the College premises including guests of staff and students, members of the public attending a function in the School and those attending conferences in and out of the College, short courses or any other events including social events and Convocations. The provisions of this Code apply to all the activities of the Students representatives. This Code sets out procedures to meet the needs of all events held by the College, the conduct required of all persons about those events; duty of care to speakers and the attendees of events so that all may be able to enter, deliver speeches, listen to speeches and/or participate in events safely without threat to public order. Any breach of these sanctioned procedures will make the students and employees responsible subject to disciplinary proceedings as prescribed under the College’s Disciplinary Procedures. In the event of actions involving breaches of the law arising under this Code, the College will take the appropriate legal action necessary to maintain good order and will assist the Police and Crown Prosecution Service in implementing the due processes of the law. The Executive Director is authorised to appoint a senior officer of the School to act as the “Responsible Officer” on its behalf to ensure that as far as is reasonably practicable that students and employees of the College and all other visitors comply with the provisions of this Code. The Responsible Officer shall make the necessary administrative arrangements to implement this Code.
Arrangements for Meetings
These provisions apply to any meetings or activities falling within the meaning of “event”.
a) It shall be the duty of every student and employee, who wishes to have an event on College premises or outside the premises, to be familiar with this Code of Practice and to comply with its provisions. This shall extend to all outside organisations wishing to use College premises.
b) Any organisation, group or member of staff proposing to organise an event on College premises shall ensure that a single person is appointed as the Principal Organiser of the event. c) The Principal Organiser is deemed by the College to be responsible for the event, for ensuring that the College property, furnishings, and equipment are treated with respect and for any liabilities or consequences arising out of the event.
d) The Principal Organiser shall give notice of the details of the proposed event in writing no later than four weeks before the proposed date whenever possible.
f) Where the Principal Organiser believes that the event may not meet the requirements of the duty of care to speakers and the attendees so that all can enter, deliver speeches, listen to speeches, and/or participate in events safely without the probability of a threat to public order then this must be referred to the Responsible Officer for consideration.
g) On receipt of the referral, the Responsible Officer (Executive Director) shall give a written statement (normally via email) within ten working days to the Principal Organiser. The statement shall either grant or withhold permission for the proposed event.
h) Permission to hold the event may be subject to conditions the Responsible Officer considers reasonably necessary to ensure the discharge of the College’s responsibilities in regards to mutual tolerance, intellectual freedom, and freedom of expression.
Approval of an Event
a) An event will not be approved to proceed if:
- There are reasonable grounds for believing that the speaker or other persons at the event will incite others to commit criminal acts, such as acts of violence and/or the incitement of racial or religious hatred;
- There are reasonable grounds for believing that opinions may be expressed in a way that is contrary to English law, or which infringe the human rights of others;
- The event appears to be in direct support of an organisation that is unlawful or prescribed (For Proscribed Terrorist Groups see: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/counter-terrorism/proscribed-terrorgroups/proscribed-groups)
- The event may cause a breach of the Terrorism Act 2006 including the encouragement or inducement to, or glorification of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism or disseminating terrorist publications;
- The event is likely to contravene health and safety legislation, or cause a breach of the peace, or cause a public order offence;
- The scale or nature of the event is demonstrably unsuitable for the College’s facilities or is likely to disrupt its other activities;
- Staff, students or other internal or external groups or individuals have misled the College about the nature of the event by falsifying or concealing information;
- Proper procedures have not been followed;
- Or if it is thought that the event may attract numbers more than the room/lecture theatre capacity.
b) If there are concerns, the Responsible Officer may either decide that the event cannot proceed or may permit it to proceed, but with special conditions which must be followed, such conditions will be conveyed to the Principal Organiser.
c) The Responsible Officer will arrange for the decision on whether the event may or may not proceed, and any conditions attaching to it, to be notified to the Principal Organiser within ten working days of the receipt of a satisfactory application for permission to hold an event.
d) The College reserves the right to withdraw an event if it receives further information at any time that leads it to believe that the law will be infringed or if it believes conditions for the event will not be met.
e) Appeals against the decision of the Responsible Officer to withdraw the event may be made to the Board of Directors whose decision will be final.
The Organisation and the Conduct of Meetings
The Principal Organiser and all persons concerned with the organisation of approved events shall comply with the conditions set out in this Code. They have to ensure that nothing in the preparations for or conduct of the event infringes the law, whether by conducts likely to cause a breach of the peace, incitement to illegal acts or in any other way. The Principal Organiser may wish to refer to the full Health & Safety Guidance for event safety: HSE The event safety guide (Second Edition) A guide to health, safety and welfare: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg195.pdf)
Further information in the form of an event management plan may be requested before final approval.
a) An event management plan would include:
- The issue and control of ID cards for meetings;
- An attendance list should be kept for all events, including registration to attend where possible, even when events are free of charge;
- The provision number, suitability, instruction and management of event clerks and stewards;
- Whether there are the presence and responsibilities of security staff;
- Compliance with the advice received from the Police if necessary;
- Advertisement and publicity arrangements, including the content of posters and information on the web;
- The presence of, and under what conditions, representatives of the media are proposed to be admitted;
- Arrangements to ensure speaker(s) and guests have free access and egress to and from the location of the event;
- A suitable and impartial Chair, for public/open meetings, to ensure the event is conducted in line with this Code;
- Provisions for ensuring that the event venue is left in a clean and tidy condition;
- A Risk Assessment may also be required to be completed,
b) The College reserves the rights to the film and /or audio record of any event that takes place.
c) The School reserves the right to refuse any request from the media and/or production companies to film at LSME premises or property.
If the Responsible Officer is not satisfied that adequate arrangements can be made to maintain order and that it is not reasonably practicable to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured, he/she shall refuse or withdraw permission for a meeting.
Appeals against the decisions of the Responsible Officer may be made to the Board of Directors whose decision shall be final.
Failure by LSME staff or students to comply with the provisions of this Code of Practice and/or the College’s statement on, Freedom of Expression, shall constitute a disciplinary offence for which the staff or student (as applicable) may face disciplinary procedure which may be implemented by the Board of Directors. Such action would follow the College’s Disciplinary Process.
The Responsible Officer shall report as necessary to the Board of Directors on the operation of this Code of Practice, including any appeals made against decisions taken under the authority of the Code and recommendations, if any, for amendments to this Code on an annual basis.
Next Review Date: October 2022