Modern slavery and human trafficking statement

Introduction

This statement sets out The Whitgift Foundation’s (known as John Whitgift Foundation, the “Foundation”) actions to understand all potential modern slavery risks related to its business and to put in place steps that are aimed at ensuring that there is no slavery or human trafficking in its own business and its supply chains.

This statement relates to actions and activities during the financial year 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2021.

This statement is designed to satisfy the requirements of Part 6 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, by informing our staff, students, residents and other stakeholders about the Foundation and its policy with respect to modern slavery and human trafficking in its supply chains.

Organisational structure 

Founded in 1596 by Archbishop John Whitgift, the Foundation has a charitable commitment to provide education for the young and care for the elderly in the Borough of Croydon and has approximately 3,000 students, 100 elderly residents and 1,000 staff.  It operates three outstanding independent schools which are supported by one of the largest bursary schemes in the country. The Foundation cares for elderly people in Croydon in its three care homes.  It also offers invaluable and impartial information, support, and training to an estimated 34,000 carers in Croydon through the Carers’ Information Service.

Identified risks

Direct employment of staff

The Foundation mitigates the risk of the occurrence of modern slavery in its teams of directly employed staff through strict adherence to its robust HR recruitment and selection policies, which are updated in accordance with legislative changes. Additionally, the Foundation has policies through which staff can raise concerns about the conduct of others or the way in which the Foundation is run. It also offers an employee assistance programme which provides staff with a secure way of seeking advice about any modern slavery or human trafficking issues personally affecting them or their families.

Employment of staff through recruitment agencies and other sources

Temporary staff and other staff are recruited through established and accredited sources who can provide assurance that they fully comply with the requirements of all legislation relating to the rights and welfare of their candidates and employees.

Pupils

Although the risk of pupils experiencing occurrences of modern slavery or human trafficking through direct contact with the Foundation is extremely low, it is appreciated that on very rare occasions they could be entrapped into adopting the lifestyle of a modern slave.  In order to mitigate these circumstances, the Foundation has in place easily accessible and well-known safeguarding channels through which pupils can obtain assistance, support, and advice on their wellbeing.

Elderly residents

It is recognised that residents could be at risk of deprivation of liberty due to the nature of living in a care home, when they may have restrictions placed on them such as deciding on their routine, preventing them from walking about at night or preventing them from leaving the premises.  The Foundation ensures that all members of its care staff are trained to make sure that the care our residents receive involves as little restriction as possible, taking into consideration individual circumstances.

Our supply chains

The Foundation’s supply chain network is largely service driven to benefit our students, elderly residents, and staff.  The services provided by our suppliers of goods and services include managed IT services, agency staff, building contractors, cleaning and catering providers, the suppliers of books/periodicals, the suppliers of stationery and office equipment and the suppliers of uniform.

Some procurement categories are, by their very nature, considered to be at higher risk of slavery or human trafficking (although the Foundation has not identified any evidenced reason to believe that slavery or human trafficking exists currently).  The risk may be present both in the UK and abroad and may relate to the pay and working conditions of staff employed to manufacture or produce the goods and services the Foundation purchases.

The Foundation is committed to better understanding its supply chains and working towards greater transparency and responsibility towards people working within them. The Foundation is also in the process of developing a procurement policy and procedure, to ensure that when procuring goods, works and services in the higher risk categories, its suppliers comply with all applicable antislavery and human trafficking laws, statutes, regulations and codes in force including the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Training of staff

All staff involved in the recruitment of staff and procurement of goods and services will be made aware of the potential risks and every effort is made to reduce the risk of engaging in any activity that is contrary to the antislavery and human trafficking laws and regulations.

Martin Corney
Chief Executive

December 2021