Positive professional relationships between staff, and between staff and students, which facilitate learning, research and the exchange of ideas, are integral to the success of the School. However, due to the power relationships that can exist between staff, and between staff and students, personal relationships that go beyond a professional working relationship can result in a confluct of interest, impacting on constructive and transparent working relations or resulting in adverse effects on the student experience. More seriously, these can result in abuse of power or the potential for, or perception of, abuse of power.
The Personal Relationships Policy and Procedure sets out the expectations and responsibilities of staff, students and the remainder of the LSE community specifically in respect of personal relationships between staff, and between staff and students, but also in respect of any personal relationship that includes a power imbalance.
The policy sets out what constitutes a conflict of interest and the steps that must be taken where these exist to ensure that they are managed in an appropriate and timely manner to avoid any real or perceived conflicts of interest, or misuse of power and authority. It explains the steps that must be taken by members of the LSE community to ensure that any personal relationships at work are handled with integrity so that they do not impact on the working lives of staff or the student experience and/or give rise to unintended consequences. Where disclosures regarding personal relationships are made, these will be handled sensitively and confidentially.
The sections below detail the way(s) in which staff-student and staff-staff personal relationships should be declared. If you are currently in a personal relationship which may constitute a conflict of interest, you must declare this by the end of November 2021.
All relationships between staff and students should be declared. The responsibility for declaration lies with the staff member, but students are also expected to disclose.
If you are a member of staff, you should declare personal relationships using MyView, selecting the form in 'My Declarations' in the MyView menu. Alternatively, staff who are experiencing difficulties accessing MyView can complete the Declaration of a Personal Relationship Form, submitting it to email@example.com.
If you are a student, you should declare by completing the Declaration of a Personal Relationship Form and submitting it to your Head of Department or to the Deputy Head of Student Services (Advice & Policy).
All personal relationships between staff should be declared where there is a direct supervisory relationship. In the interests of transparency, staff may also choose to declare a personal relationship where there is no direct supervisory element. In deciding whether or not to declare a friendship with a colleague, staff should consider whether there are any situations in which this could give rise to a conflict of interest or the perception of a conflict of interest, particularly if you are in a senior position in the same department.
Staff should declare personal relationships using MyView, selecting the form in 'My Declarations' in the MyView menu. Alternatively, staff who are having difficulties accessing MyView can download and complete the Declaration of a Personal Relationship Form, submitting it to firstname.lastname@example.org
The right side of this page includes a link to frequently asked questions (FAQs). These have been prepared based on the discussions/comments during the consultation and are aimed at supporting individuals/managers with the types of scenarios that might arise.