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Code of Conduct

For Fellows, Team Leaders & Staff


Inspiring Teachers is committed to providing a high-impact, safe and unforgettable experience for all Team Leaders and Fellows. You will, no doubt, expect nothing less than absolute professionalism and commitment from all our teams both in-country and in the UK to ensure that the experience you have overseas is all of the above and more.

This Code of Conduct applies to Inspiring Teachers’ Fellows, Team Leaders, and Staff. Inspiring Teachers has certain expectations of its in-country teams. It’s important that Inspiring Teachers inform Fellows and Team Leaders of the actions and/or behaviours that are deemed unacceptable and could result in disciplinary action being taken. Please read this document in full before you leave for your Fellowship.

Any instances of misconduct by a Fellow and Team Leader will fall into the category of minor or major. Inspiring Teachers will judge any misconduct in the context of the situation and its severity and will decide as a team what disciplinary measures, if any, need to be taken.

When you agreed to our Terms and Conditions on applying for a Fellowship, you accepted that you may be exposed to risks to your person and possessions and that Inspiring Teachers may not be able to ensure your safety at all times. You accepted your responsibility to abide by applicable policies and instructions. Please read Section 10: “understanding and assumption of risk” for the full version.

In addition to these terms and conditions, you will also sign a waiver (see below) when you arrive on a Fellowship to take full responsibility for any additional trips or activities you join which are not part of the Fellowship itinerary.


“I understand that when I participate in activities that are not included in the Fellowship itinerary, I assume full responsibility for any risk associated with such a trip or any activity I participate in on such a trip. I release and hold harmless Inspiring Teachers from any and all liability for any loss, damage, injury, or expense, that I may suffer as a result of my participation in such a trip.”

This Code of Conduct covers:

0. Rule Zero

1. Conferences and Coaching

2. Gift Giving

3. Safeguarding

4. Staying in Contact

5. Transport

6. Alcohol

7. Smoking and Drugs

8. Respect and Culture

9. Legal

10. Dress Code

11. Sex and Relationships

12. Sexuality

13. Medical

14. Company Property

15. Confidentiality

16. Disciplinary Procedure

0. Rule Zero

The spirit of Inspiring Teachers is helping others by sharing knowledge and experience – supporting those who might benefit while developing and learning as teachers at the same time.

Rule Zero is: Always remember why you are here. No warnings of any kind will be allocated for breaking the spirit of this engagement but following this attitude will undoubtedly avoid negligence or conflict that leads to warnings. A few tips in the spirit of Rule Zero:

  1. Be patient. Bear in mind that the Fellowship is a challenging learning environment for all involved. Take time to yourself if you need it and try to avoid unnecessary stress.
  2. Get support. Ask for help. Talking helps. Be sure to lean on others and if necessary have an ‘outside line’ to your family and friends at home to talk about things that wouldn’t be helpful to discuss with others on the Fellowship. Remember the golden rule: ‘If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it to their friends’.
  3. Let it go. Bad things will happen, maybe even more often than usual during the Fellowship, so try to let it go. If things don’t go your way. Let it go. If you lose out, things get broken or lost and there’s nothing you can do to change the situation. Let it go. If you have disagreements with others, be the first to acknowledge their point of view, nod, and let it go.
  4. Don’t be that person. Always be respectful of your team, the local context, and the hard work that goes into education in that community.

1. Conferences & Coaching

We pride ourselves on providing a worthwhile professional development experience for all our Fellows, whilst ensuring the impact we have in the communities and schools is as beneficial as possible. Therefore it’s important you follow the guidelines set by Inspiring Teachers when you’re on your Fellowship and do not bring the name of Inspiring Teachers into disrepute.

  1. Fellows and Team Leaders must stay at their school/training venue until the end of the agreed program for the day.
  2. Fellows and Team Leaders must always dress in a culturally appropriate manner during their Fellowship.
  3. Fellows and Team Leaders must not be under the influence of and/or in possession of alcohol whilst taking part in training sessions and visiting schools.
  4. Fellows and Team Leaders must act as positive role models in front of the local teachers and other Inspiring Teachers fellows at all times.

2. Gift Giving

Inspiring Teachers’ vision and mission is to ensure every child has a great teacher by improving the quality of education, providing teachers with practical training and skills. Our fellowship model is geared towards providing teachers with the skills they need to be better teachers. The giving of gifts (including sweets, stationery, clothes, sponsorships, and donations) has the potential to cause more harm than good, if not managed in the correct way. This is why we have a robust policy on the giving of gifts by fellows to schools or individuals.

  1. Fellows and Team Leaders are not permitted to sponsor individual students independently.
  2. Fellows and Team Leaders are not permitted to give money directly to schools or students for building or development Fellowships.
  3. Fellows and Team Leaders must obtain written approval from Inspiring Teachers and the Fellowship Partner before distributing gifts (such as stationery, sports equipment, clothes, sweets, etc.) to individuals and/or schools.

We understand that sometimes, fellows have fundraised or are keen to make donations, and via our partner charity Inspiring Teachers, we are able to support giving and ensure effective use of funds in supporting teacher development in contexts we work in.

3. Safeguarding

Accepting and following our Safeguarding Policy is a compulsory part of working, participating in, or visiting any Inspiring Teachers program. You will have received this policy as part of your pre-departure preparation through your E-learns or other training and reminded of the key points at the start of a Fellowship.

As teachers, you have a duty of care to your pupils and follow your school’s child protection policy. You must also approach any interactions with children or adults (especially at risk) in your Fellowship country in the same way and be held to the same high standards.

You must not:

  • Spend time with children alone. This includes, but is not limited to at a school, in the community, or visiting other children you may have a connection to.
  • Engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 18.
  • Sexually abuse or exploit children or adults, including at-risk adults.
  • Subject a child or any adult, including at-risk adults, to physical, emotional, or psychological abuse, or neglect.
  • Engage in any commercially exploitative activities with children or vulnerable persons including child labour or trafficking or commercial sex work.

You must:

  • Follow the procedures in the safeguarding policy to report any safeguarding incident or concern immediately to the designated safeguarding and your team leaders

4. Staying in Contact

  1. Team Leaders must be informed of Fellows moving location for the purposes of safety. This includes, for example, leaving any place early, including schools or places of accommodation. Fellows or Team Leaders must be in pairs at all times for basic safety, including during all activities such as running and sightseeing.
  2. For safety and team efficiency, Fellows’ and Team Leaders’ mobile phones must have credit at all times and be kept charged. Phones must be kept on and not be on silent unless during training activities such as conference sessions or observation. Every team member should be contactable by mobile whenever a signal is available.
  3. In line with any schools’ expectations of all its teachers, Fellows and Team Leaders must be available for all professional activities unless they are unwell. Team leaders must be informed of illness as soon as possible and any absence agreed with them. Similarly, Fellows need to be punctual to prevent avoidable delays in any activities.

5. Transport

  1. Only drivers authorised by Team Leaders are to drive vehicles containing Inspiring Teachers team members. These drivers are vetted and contracted by local partners or Inspiring Teachers Team Leaders. They must be qualified and licensed and Team Leaders have the authority to change vehicle plans if they judge them to be unsafe. Under no circumstance is any Fellow or volunteer to drive a vehicle during a Fellowship.
  2. No Fellow or Team Leader is to use a motorbike taxi or moped. Doing so will result in a written warning in the first instance and termination from the program in repeat instances. Inspiring Teachers is strongly against its use for safety reasons. Most insurance does not cover them. In instances of last resort, Team Leaders may use motorbike taxis or mopeds when an emergency arises and no other transport is available.
  3. Fellows will not walk around in the dark at night but will take taxis or other pre-arranged safe transport options. If the team is traveling out to a team meal then Inspiring Teachers will pay for the taxis and if Fellows are going out in the evening or returning separately then they will cover their transport and always return in groups, informing team leaders of their movements. The only exceptions are in an emergency situation where no other transport is available or if another agreement has been pre-agreed on the team risk assessment.

6. Alcohol

  1. No one representing Inspiring Teachers must be under the influence of alcohol during working hours. In practice, this means that Fellows and Team Leaders must be fit for duty during all professional activities, and manage their alcohol intake to prevent being hungover on working days. It is at the discretion of Team Leaders to require a Fellow to sit out of activities for a day if necessary, in which case a verbal warning would automatically follow.
  2. Any consumption of alcohol must be limited to a suitable context, where the group is away from the local community. The exact nature of this context is at the discretion of Team Leaders, but cannot allow drinking to compromise professional integrity in the eyes of local community members. On any occasion where Team Leaders choose to allow drinking in bars, Fellows and Team Leaders are not to display drunken behaviour in front of community members.
  3. Fellows and Team Leaders must not endanger themselves by combining alcohol with unsuitable activities. For example, they must not drink and swim. If a Fellow or Team Leader chooses to endanger themselves in this way, a verbal or written warning at a minimum will follow. If they directly ignore the instructions of a Team Leader in such a scenario, termination of placement may follow.
  4. Team Leaders can insist on no further consumption of alcohol by any individual or group, at their discretion. This authority exists to ensure safety and must be taken very seriously. Refusal to follow this instruction will result in a written warning in the first instance and termination in the second.
  5. Alcohol purchased by individuals must not be consumed in licensed premises unless they operate a bring-your-own-bottle policy. It’s disrespectful to the establishment. To ensure any drinks are safe and from a reliable source, Fellows cannot purchase their own alcohol unless authorized by Team Leaders for example on certain excursions.

7. Smoking & Drugs

  1. Only cigarette and e-cigarette smoking is permissible where it complies with in-country legal requirements. All laws, bye-laws, and regulations must be observed. Fellows and Team Leaders need to be culturally sensitive and avoid smoking in any context which compromises their professional integrity. Therefore smoking is not allowed in schools and at conferences or workshops. Team Leaders should always make it clear when smoking is not permitted in other contexts.
  2. No one must seek to produce, obtain, possess, or distribute or consume drugs while on an Inspiring Teachers Fellowship. The only exception is legal medicinal drugs and drugs for which the possessor has a valid prescription. The habitual taking of drugs other than those prescribed as medication can impair one’s attendance and ability to perform their duties and endanger the safety of others. Any breach of this rule can be considered serious misconduct and result in termination in the first instance as well as putting you at risk of being imprisoned.

8. Respect & Culture

  1. Sexuality. Homosexuality, sex before or outside of marriage, and reference to sex can be culturally unacceptable and in some cases against the law in countries Inspiring Teachers operates. For safety reasons, we request that all Team Leaders and Fellows refrain from disclosing their sexuality in-country and that all Fellows refrain from discussing sexuality in the company of local teachers.
  2. Nudity. Team Leaders and Fellows are required to wear appropriate clothing at all times to ensure they are being culturally respectful. Public nudity incidences will be treated seriously with a formal warning.
  3. Photography. Team Leaders and Fellows must follow the Inspiring Teachers media and photo guidelines as set out in the safeguarding policy. This includes only taking photos of children and at-risk people if you have permission from a parent or guardian.
  4. Public displays of affection. In many countries, people do not engage in public displays of affection. Fellows are asked to refrain from kissing and all other intimate behaviour in public.
  5. Bullying. No Team Leader or Fellow is to be involved in bullying or harassment, whether it be aggressive behaviour, verbal harassment, or physical harm to other volunteers, Inspiring Teachers staff, or people in the local community. This will be taken very seriously by Inspiring Teachers and met with disciplinary action.
  6. Communication. Team Leaders and Fellows must always demonstrate respect in the way that they communicate with each other, their in-country partners, teachers they work with, and other members of the community they interact with. This includes being polite in tone and respectful in the language used and an awareness of the local customs. This includes verbal communication or via messaging or social media.

  1. Fellows and Team Leaders must acquire an appropriate visa if required and it is their responsibility to check the requirements and arrange the correct visa.
  2. Fellows and Team Leaders must have all mandatory vaccinations and take anti-malarial or other medication they have been advised to by their doctor before entering the country of Fellowship.
  3. Fellows and Team Leaders must have proof of valid travel insurance which provides full cover for undertaking the Fellowships and excursions, in accordance with the Terms and Conditions.
  4. Any act by a Fellow or Team Leader that infringes national law will most likely lead to their having their placement terminated.
  5. Fellows and Team Leaders shall not carry offensive weapons such as firearms, explosive materials, poisonous, corrosive chemicals, knives, sharp objects, etc. at any time. This extends to either purchasing or carrying any object prohibited or restricted by country of Fellowship and Fellows’ and Team Leaders’ country of origin and includes live or dead flora and fauna and their derivatives as covered by the Convention for the International Trade in Endangered Species such as blood ivory, caviar, and timber.

10. Dress Code

  1. Group members must wear appropriate clothing in schools and in public to ensure they are being culturally respectful. This will involve covering up as appropriate, and as directed by Team Leaders and partners.
  2. No Fellow or Team Leader is to expose themselves inappropriately in public, even when away from the local community (for example, when swimming). The reason for this is to prevent behaviours which could damage our ability to work in that community.

11. Sex & Relationships

  1. Context is important: Fellows must avoid public displays of affection in the local community in the same way that a teacher would avoid such behaviour within their school or its immediate surroundings in their home country.
  2. Relationships between Inspiring Teachers team members and local residents, including those from partner organisations, must not become romantic or physical in nature. It is important that no behaviour undermines the Fellowship goals or damages our reputation in the local community. Should a romance blossom, it is better left to pursue after the program.
  3. Should Fellows develop a romantic relationship, they must show consideration for their team and the local context. All team members must respect the rules of their accommodation and the personal space of others. Team Leaders have the authority to speak with Fellows about inappropriate actions and, if necessary, issue warnings should such behaviour make a negative impact on the rest of the Fellowship and wider Fellowship team.

12. Sexuality

  1. Inspiring Teachers confirms its commitment to equality of opportunity in all areas of its work. All individuals will be treated in a fair and equal manner and in accordance with the law regardless of gender, marital status, race, religion, colour, age, disability, or sexual orientation. However, views in other countries regarding sexuality and sexual practice do not always reflect our own. It is not something we are here to address. For this reason, we request that:
  2. Group members refrain from disclosing their sexuality or discussing their sexuality in the company of non-group members.
  3. All group members are sensitive to the fact that same-sex relationships are a controversial issue in some countries and refrain from engaging in discussions or debates about sexuality. While Inspiring Teachers doesn’t support this view, it is education that we are addressing and we believe this to be the positive route to lasting changes in the areas we operate.
  4. For reasons of health, safety, and Inspiring Teachers’ reputation within local communities, no team member may exchange money, employment, goods, services, support or assistance for sexual activity.

13. Medical

  1. Fellows must take any prescribed medication, including anti-malarial medication.
  2. Where mosquito nets are available they must be used.
  3. Fellows must carry their required medication on their person or where this is not possible, a suitable location that is known to the designated members.
  4. Fellows who are unwell must inform a team leader as soon as possible.
  5. Fellows must agree to see a doctor in any scenario where a Team Leader believes it to be necessary.
  6. Fellowship Leaders have the discretion to terminate a Fellow’s placement for medical reasons, should they feel that either a Fellow is unfit to complete the Fellowship or that continued involvement would endanger either themselves or the group. This termination will be at 24 hours’ notice, and with the agreement of at least one Inspiring Teachers Trustee. Should a Fellow refuse to comply with termination under these circumstances, it will result in immediate termination of placement on disciplinary grounds (see the final section of this document), as such action would endanger the safety of the Fellow in question.
  7. Should a Fellowship be terminated for medical reasons, Inspiring Teachers will aim to support with accommodation and arranging transport to the airport, as appropriate. The Fellow will need to make sure they have emergency funds and adequate travel insurance so they can cover any unexpected costs.

14. Company Property

  1. Inspiring Teachers property, including hired or rented property, is only to be used as directed by a Team Leader.
  2. By the end of the last day of the Fellowship, Fellows should return all properties provided to them to a Team Leader.

15. Confidentiality

  1. Fellows must not talk about sensitive working matters to the general public. This includes both in-person and through messaging and using social media.
  2. Matters of confidentiality must be kept within the confines of the team. This includes complying with Inspiring Teachers data protection rules and privacy policy and not sharing any personal data without permission.
  3. Inspiring Teachers encourages social media use by all Fellowships, and all teams are expected to contribute to a team blog. However, Fellows should only accept social media friend requests from in-country teachers after the Fellowship has ended. This is to prevent complicating professional relationships while in-country.
  4. All Inspiring Teachers materials shared with Fellows (for example, copies of the Inspiring Teachers course and teacher packs) remain the intellectual property of Inspiring Teachers and are not to be distributed beyond Inspiring Teachers team members.
  5. Inspiring Teachers has an open-door policy for feedback and suggests that you share any questions, concerns, or suggestions with your manager first. If you are uncomfortable with this or you are not satisfied with the response then you can contact simon.graffy@inspiringteachers.org. Reports of violations or suspected violations will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.

16. Disciplinary Procedure

  1. Inspiring Teachers has the utmost respect and confidence in its Team Leaders and Fellows. However, for the purpose of securing the effective delivery of the Fellowship, a warning procedure is in place. This should be used only when a clear breach of the code of conduct has occurred and no reasonable measures were taken by the person at fault to prevent it.
  2. Inspiring Teachers has the right to notify employees in your home country where breaking the code of conduct becomes a safeguarding concern.

Verbal warnings

Warnings are not always the best motivation and, when issued, should be done in a manner that makes it as clear and reasonable to the person involved. Some steps that could be taken are:

  1. Question and actively listen to the person involved. Why did it happen? How do they feel about it?
  2. Explain why the disciplinary measure has to be carried out and check that they understand and accept the reasons.
  3. Finally, discuss what can be done here to improve the situation. If, for example, there was a problem before, assess whether it was a misunderstanding, lack of motivation, or an emotional reaction.

A verbal warning will be given if a Trustee, Program Leader or Team Leader believes that minor misconduct has taken place involving a Fellow or another Team Leader.

Written warnings

A written warning will be given if the Team Leaders believe that repeated minor misconduct or a single case of major misconduct has taken place involving the person in question.

Termination of placement

An Inspiring Teachers placement will be terminated if the Team Leaders believe that repeated minor or major misconduct has taken place. In most cases, this would follow a verbal and a written warning. However, in extreme cases, Team Leaders have the discretion to terminate an Inspiring Teachers placement at 24 hours’ notice with the agreement of at least one Inspiring Teachers Trustee. This will only occur when the gravity of the offence means that other disciplinary options are not appropriate.

In the event that placement is terminated for disciplinary reasons, Inspiring Teachers will either provide or pay for transport back to the main airport of entry city as appropriate. The Fellow must then reimburse Inspiring Teachers any costs, expenses, or losses it may incur as a result of the Fellow’s breach of the Code of Conduct.

If a Fellow chooses to leave an Inspiring Teachers Fellowship for personal, family, or emergency reasons, Inspiring Teachers will try to support the Fellow in traveling to the main airport of entry city as a goodwill gesture. The Fellow will need to make sure they have emergency funds and adequate travel insurance so they can cover any unexpected costs and later claim from their insurance. In each of the cases outlined above and in any other that may arise, the program and membership fee paid is non-refundable.

Last Updated: April 2022