Education Development Trust's Anti-slavery statement: Ilse Howling, Chair of the Trustees, March 2023
At Education Development Trust, our values of excellence, integrity, accountability and collaboration underpin everything we do. As an organisation, we seek to improve outcomes for children and adults in a wide variety of contexts around the world. This includes a number of vulnerable and marginalised groups. It is therefore not only our legal responsibility but also our moral imperative to ensure – to the best of our knowledge and ability – that none of our work or programmes involve slavery, human trafficking or other exploitation of vulnerable individuals or communities. As such our Anti-Slavery Statement, below, explains the measures we take as an organisation to best ensure the safety and wellbeing of those we work with.
Education Development Trust is a UK charity and company limited by guarantee. We have subsidiary companies and branch offices in certain countries, and work with many organisations and governments. Our business model is mainly based on providing education and related services across the globe to raise standards, improve schools’ performance, develop teachers and open careers pathways. We have a large number of suppliers, subcontractors and partners, each of which has their own subcontractors, affiliates and associates. We are therefore connected to multiple entities through contractual relationships across many countries. Approaches to matters such as human rights and the treatment of local and immigrant workers may vary between these countries. It is possible that organisations we work with may use practices we are unaware of that would be contrary to the provisions and spirit of the Act. So we recognise there could be a risk that human trafficking, as defined by the Act, may occur within our extensive and complex supply chain without our knowledge. We are committed to mitigating that risk to the greatest extent possible in pursuit of our purpose to transform lives and futures.
We have an organisation-wide Anti-Slavery Policy, which is communicated to all branches and subsidiaries. The Policy is part of induction and initial training for all new staff: we require them to be familiar with and to follow the Policy. The Policy is updated annually in line with any new guidance on the Act and is communicated in a Company-wide notification to all employees. Where a risk is identified in a particular area we provide advice and, if necessary, training to the relevant team as necessary. We review all draft contracts and all proposed new opportunities in overseas countries and the UK, for any potential risk of human trafficking and slavery, and to comply with related legislation. We conduct due diligence on prospective partners and subcontractors to evaluate the possibility of human trafficking and slavery in their supply chains. The Policy requires us to keep records of all identified and potential risks of slavery or human trafficking across our operations and connected organisations.
We carry out a self-assessment process every year to identify any areas of weakness or vulnerability in our processes in order to demonstrate continuous improvement. Our 2023 review identified a need for further raising of awareness, training and strengthened due diligence processes. We are developing action plans to meet those challenges and will report on the progress in our next statement.
6th March 2023