I’m quite familiar with the new teaching standards, partly because I’ve blogged about them. To be honest, they’re not bad. I have a couple of concerns, but with the exception of the rather fuzzy ‘fundamental British values’ idea these are fairly minor.
But when I got another copy in my pigeonhole, it occurred to me that there is no reason why teachers should be singled out as examples in the way that “Part Two: Personal and Professional Conduct” suggests.
And so for your interest and amusement, my suggestions for a new code of personal and professional conduct for our elected representatives.
A Member of Parliament is expected to demonstrate consistently high standards of personal and professional conduct. The following statements define the behaviour and attitudes which set the required standard for conduct throughout an MP’s career.
MPs uphold public trust in the government and maintain high standards of ethics and behaviour, within and outside the Houses of Parliament, by:
- treating citizens with dignity, building relationships rooted in mutual respect, and at all times observing proper boundaries appropriate to an MP’s professional position
- having regard for the need to safeguard citizens’ (physical, emotional and financial) well-being, in accordance with statutory provisions
- showing tolerance of and respect for the rights of others
- not undermining fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs (including no religious belief)
- ensuring that personal beliefs are not expressed in ways which exploit Special Advisers’ vulnerability or might lead them to break the law.
MPs must have proper and professional regard for the ethos, policies and practices of the country in which they were elected, and maintain high standards in their own attendance and punctuality.
MPs must have an understanding of, and always act within, the legal frameworks which set out their professional duties and responsibilities.
Now that you’ve read it, perhaps you might find yourself considering Andrew Mitchell’s recent plebian problems; Michael Gove’s refusal to let Ofqual and Ofsted do their job; Liam Fox and Jeremy Hunt’s use (abuse?) of special advisers, both official and non; Nadine Dorries, who thinks that her religious beliefs mean we should amend the law for everyone… Perhaps you can make more suggestions in the comments? After all, they can hardly object to us holding them to the same standards they ask of us…