The core mission of education is cultivating values and nurturing people. Teachers are role models for students. Their words and deeds, conduct and values have a profound impact on students. The pursuit of professionalism and commitment to upholding high moral standards of teachers should be well integrated such that students can be nurtured with correct moral values.
The Education Bureau (EDB) formulated the Guidelines on Teachers’ Professional Conduct (“the Guidelines”) to clearly stipulate the professional conduct and norms of behaviour required of teachers, and encourage teachers to have self-awareness and self-discipline to abide by the Guidelines, so as to protect students’ well-being and safeguard the education profession, national security and social order.
When formulating the Guidelines, the EDB has not only carefully taken into account the actual situation of the Hong Kong education system and the existing legislation, but also made reference to documents related to teachers’ professional development and the standards for teachers’ professionalism in different countries and regions. Eight codes of professional conduct required of teachers are compiled, namely "Uphold professional belief", "Honour the rule of law", "Be a role model", "Uphold probity and integrity", "Be committed and responsible", "Care for students", "Respect privacy" and "Safeguard professionalism". Examples of the “dos and don’ts” of behaviour for each code are provided respectively. In addition, the Guidelines set out the mechanism for handling suspected professional misconduct of teachers and provide some case examples.
Teachers should study the Guidelines to familiarise themselves with the requirements for their professional and personal behaviour. At the school level, school sponsoring bodies may make reference to the Guidelines and give directives to the school governance authorities under their sponsorship. School governance authorities may make reference to the Guidelines when devising measures on management of staff behaviour and professional development plans, and commending teachers with excellent performance. For cases of teachers’ professional misconduct or unlawful acts, schools can make reference to the Guidelines to follow up with the cases. The EDB will also make reference to the Guidelines to review the registration of teachers. It will organise professional development and training activities for teachers and recognise teachers with distinguished virtues and excellent performance in the teaching profession so as to build a teaching force with virtues and talents. The EDB will update the Guidelines on a need basis as appropriate and in a timely manner .