Approved by the Governing Body: 23rd November 2022
Chelmsford County High School for Girls is committed to working in partnership with all its stakeholders, including students, staff, and parents. This protocol uses the term ‘parents’ to include: parents (natural or adoptive), an individual who has parental responsibility, or any person who cares for or has cared for the child, i.e. anyone else in whose home the child is living and who is involved in the full-time care of the child on a settled basis, e.g. step-father, grandparents, other relatives, co-habitees and foster parents.
Clear communication and open discussion between the School and parents is deemed an integral part of the CCHS partnership. The School is committed to providing clarity on all aspects of School life to support a parent’s understanding of the School, the education their daughter receives and to encourage parents to play an active part in their daughter’s education. The School welcomes dialogue with parents on all aspects of their daughter’s education, their personal and social development and their care and welfare.
The School communicates with parents in a variety of ways, including SchoolPost messages, letters, emails, telephone calls, and in-person meetings, depending on the situation behind the communication. Parents are encouraged to contact the School whenever necessary in order to seek further information or address questions. Such communication can be directly to a subject teacher, form tutor, Year Leader, a member of the Senior Leadership Team or Headteacher, as appropriate to the situation, or sent via the general School email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) from where it will be directed to the most suitable member of staff to address the issue. The School has systems for the formal recording of parent/teacher communication.
The School’s overall aim is to be as helpful as possible and offer the highest level of personal service. All communication between parents and staff is expected to be prompt, courteous and appropriate. Civility must distinguish all such communication. If a school colleague were to receive a communication which is not so, a request will made to reframe the communications to ensure that the question being asked, or matter being raised is done so appropriately in the spirit of constructive home-school partnership. Should the tone or content of any communication, either verbal or written, be deemed by the Headteacher to be inappropriate, the School reserves the right to cease communication on that particular issue.
The School recognises the right and expectation of the parent to receive timely and appropriate communication from the School and this sits alongside the School’s expectation to receive civil respectful communication from parents. By respecting one another, education professionals and parents will be in a strong position to work together for the benefit of the children whose interests we serve. The School has a separate policy for addressing formal School complaints which is available on the School website.
It should be noted that there are some specific situations, e.g. requests for a student’s examination results or personal student information, when statutory external regulations prohibit the School from disclosing such information, even to parents. The School is legally obliged to adhere to these regulations and cannot fulfil any such request. If such a request arises the School will inform the parent accordingly and further communication will cease.
It is the responsibility of the parents to inform the School when there is a change in family circumstances. The School needs to be kept up to date with contact details for communication purposes and in case of emergencies.
In the case of separated parents, all School communication relating to their child is sent to both parents, this entitlement cannot be restricted without a specific court order. In particular, the School does not have the power to act on the request of one parent to restrict another. The information provided to the School when the child was enrolled detailing whether parents have parental responsibility for the child will be presumed to be correct unless a court order or original birth certificate proving otherwise is provided to the School.
School updates, primarily received via the SchoolPost system, will contain information on all events within the School including productions, sports days, parent’s evenings, class trips, etc. In most circumstances we would expect separated parents to liaise and communicate directly with each other on matters such as the ordering of school photographs; tickets for performances and other similar instances.
A parent, as defined in Education law, has the right to receive progress reports and review pupil records of their children. If the parents are separated or divorced, progress reports will be sent to the parent at the address in the School’s records specifying where the child resides with the expectation that he/she will share the report with the other parent. If the child is subject to a joint Child Arrangements Order and the School’s records formally capture that the child resides at two addresses, then progress reports will be sent to both addresses. The School will send copies of progress reports to a parent with whom the child does not reside only if that parent submits a written request.