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Spring Meadow

Primary School

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Parent and Carer Code of Conduct

Aims and Purpose 

Day to day access to a school is within the control of the Head Teacher. Parents, carers and visitors are granted ‘limited licence’ to visit the grounds and buildings of the school. This means that the Headteacher can choose to allow parents and other visitors on to the site for specific reasons, such as dropping off and picking up children, as long as school policies and procedures are followed.

 

The continued success of our school community is based on a commitment to ensuring the best possible outcomes for all our children. We recognise the importance of working in partnership with parents and carers in order to achieve this, and endeavour to foster positive relationships which are based on trust and mutual respect. 

 

The vast majority of the parents and carers are keen to work with us and are supportive of the school's work. If a parent or carer has concerns we will always listen and seek to address them via the appropriate channels.

 

At Spring Meadow Primary School and ‘School House’ Nursery we are committed to: 

  • Listening to parents carefully and respectfully, including allocating an appropriate length of time for pre-arranged meetings 
  • Responding appropriately to concerns raised 
  • Outlining any actions that may be required 
  • Updating parents and carers on progress and outcomes of the concern 
  • Listening and responding to updates from parents and carers 

 

At Spring Meadow Primary School and ‘School House’ Nursery we expect parents and carers to: 

  • Communicate their concern respectfully and accurately
  • Listen to and consider the responses from the school
  • Work in partnership with the school in order to reach a resolution, including supporting the Spring Meadow Primary School and ‘School House’ Nursery Behaviour Policy 
  • Allow time for the school to respond to concerns (3 – 5 working days for an initial response) 
  • Acknowledge past support and intervention made by the school

 

The governing body expects and requires its members of staff to behave professionally in these difficult situations and attempt to defuse the situation where possible, seeking the involvement as appropriate of other colleagues. However, all members of staff have the right to work without fear of violence and abuse, and the right, in an extreme case, of appropriate self-defence. We expect parents and other visitors to behave in a reasonable way towards members of school staff. This policy outlines the steps that will be taken where behaviour is unacceptable.

 

This policy supplements the rights and protections of individuals (Adult or Child) under current Law, and does not replace them.

 

Types of Unacceptable Behaviour

In order to support a peaceful and safe school environment the school cannot tolerate parents, carers and visitors exhibiting the following: 

  • Disruptive behaviour or disorderly conduct which interferes or threatens to interfere with the running of a meeting, classroom, office or any other area of the school grounds
  • Use of loud/or offensive language including shouting, swearing, using profane language, attempting to physically intimidate, use of aggressive hand gestures or displaying temper
  • Any kind of racist or discriminatory comment or action
  • Threatening to harm a member of school staff, visitor, fellow parent/carer or pupil regardless of whether or not the behaviour constitutes a criminal offence
  • Damaging or destroying school property
  • Sending abusive or threatening e-mails or text/voicemail/phone messages or other written communications
  • Defamation of the school or staff character on Facebook or other social networking sites (See also our Anti-Bullying and Use of Social Media Policies)
  • The use of physical aggression towards another adult or child. This includes physical punishment against your own child on school premises
  • Approaching someone else’s child in order to discuss or chastise them because of their actions towards your own children
  • Smoking and consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs on school premises 
  • Dogs being brought on to school premises with the exception of assistance or wellbeing dogs.

 

Unacceptable behaviour may result in the local authority and the police being informed of the incident

 

Aggressive and abusive behaviour on Social Media 

The way individuals communicate is changing. Parents and carers are entitled to hold opinions about schools, however, negative comments about school can cause significant distress to staff, who all work tirelessly to give your children the very best experience at school, as well as reputational damage to the school. 

 

The school takes a proactive approach to minimise these incidents by sharing our expectations about the use of social media and online behaviours and encourages all parents and carers to contact the school directly if you have a complaint or concern. In most instances these can be resolved immediately in a professional manner. As a school, we try hard to be as transparent as possible and make easy routes available to parents and carers who wish to raise concerns or put forward their opinion. This includes having Pastoral Leaders, Senior Leaders and / or the Headteacher at the school gate every day.  Teachers can be contacted via the class email system and the Headteacher via her email.  Governors can be contacted via the school office email, and the Complaints Policy and procedure is on our website.   Please ask us directly first before assuming that we do not care or are inefficient or incompetent, as we usually find that most voiced concerns arise from lack of information or simple misunderstandings.

 

We politely ask that you do not post malicious or offensive comments on any form of social media.  Action will be taken if it is brought to our attention that comments that anyone has posted comments that contain threats, are defamatory, name individuals or constitute harassment.  In extreme cases, where no resolution can be reached, parents have the right to register their children at an alternative school if they are unhappy with the service or care they receive. 

 

Procedure to be followed 

If a parent/carer behaves in an unacceptable way towards a member of the school community, the Headteacher or appropriate senior member of staff will seek to resolve the situation through discussion and mediation. If necessary, the school’s complaints procedures should be followed. Where all procedures have been exhausted, and aggression or intimidation continue, or where there is an extreme act of violence, a parent or carer may be banned by the head teacher from the school premises for a period of time, subject to review. In imposing a ban the following steps will be taken: 

 

Step 1: Verbal Warning 

The Headteacher (or member of SLT) will speak to the person or persons perpetrating such an incident, privately. It will be put to them that such behaviour is unacceptable and an assurance will be sought that such an incident will not be repeated. It will be stressed on this occasion that repetition of such an incident will result in further more serious action being taken. If the Headteacher has been subject to abuse this will be done by the Chair of Governors (or another appointed governor). If any such incident occurs near to or within school holidays, weekends or out of reasonable hours, the Headteacher, Chair of Governors (or another appointed governor) will write to the person or persons highlighting the incident and any relevant particulars. 

 

Step 2: Written Warning 

If a second incident occurs involving the same person or persons, the Headteacher will write to the adult(s) informing them once again that this conduct is unacceptable and warning of a potential ban from the premises. As with Step 1, if the Headteacher has been subject to abuse this will be done by the Chair of Governors or other appointed governor. NB: Any incidents of violent conduct would immediately proceed to step 3. At any stage, the school may report serious incidents of abusive and threatening behaviour to the Local Authority. The school has a statutory responsibility to report any racist or discriminatory incidents to the Local Authority (See Equality Policy). Any act of actual or threatened violence will be referred to the police immediately. See Step 2 example letter (Appendix 1)

 

Step 3: Exclusion from School Premises 

If such an incident recurs or if an initial incident is considered serious enough, the Chair of Governors (or other appointed governor) will enforce an exclusion from school premises. See Step 3 model letters 2 and 3 (Appendix 2).  The parent or carer will have the opportunity to respond in writing and have their point of view taken into consideration.  

 

Where appropriate, arrangements for pupils being delivered to and collected from the school gate will be clarified.

 

Step 4: Removal by Police 

If, following a decision to exclude a person from the school premises, that person persists in entering school premises, they may be removed by the police as a trespasser under Section 547 of the Education Act 1996 and charged with an offence under the Public Order Act 1986. All parents, even if excluded from school premises, are not excluded from the rights to access to school and have a right to seek an appointment to speak to school staff about their child’s educational progress.

 

The local authority itself may take action where behaviour is unacceptable or there are serious breaches of our Parent Code of Conduct, Anti-Discrimination Policy or Health and Safety legislation. 

 

In implementing this policy, the school will, as appropriate, seek advice from the Local Authority’s education, health and safety and legal departments, to ensure fairness and consistency.

 

Appendix 1

 

Step 2 Letter 

 

This is an example of a warning letter to be sent to a parent, carer or visitor who has caused a disturbance at the school. The actual wording may need to be varied according to the circumstances. It is advisable to discuss the matter with the LA before sending such a letter. 

 

Dear 

 

I have received a report from the Headteacher of Spring Meadow Primary School and School House Nursery about your unacceptable conduct on (date). (Provide a brief summary of the incident and its effect on staff and pupils) 

 

I note that you have had a private conversation about your unacceptable behaviour in the past and you reassured me (or Headteacher / member of the SLT) that such an incident would not be repeated. Therefore, this serves as your written warning. I must inform you that the Governors will not tolerate conduct of this nature and will act to defend school staff and pupils. 

 

(Optional) If you are unhappy about any aspect of your child's education then you can arrange to have a meeting with the Headteacher at an appropriate time and place. This letter serves as a final written warning, in accordance with our Parent, Carer and Visitor Code of Conduct and Behaviour on School Premises Policy.   I must inform you that any repetition of such behaviour will lead to an immediate withdrawal of permission for you to enter the school premises. 

 

Should you wish to discuss the content of this letter, please make an appointment to see me via the school office. 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Appendix 2

 

Step 3 Letter 1 

 

This is an example of an initial ban letter to be sent to a parent, carer or visitor who has caused a disturbance at the school. The actual wording may need to be varied according to the circumstances. The matter must be discussed with the LA before sending such a letter. At this stage, the ban takes effect immediately, but as the letter indicates, the parent must be enabled to make representations. A period of a week is recommended to allow for this, at the end of which the Chair of Governors should consider any representations made, then make a decision to either confirm the ban or discontinue it. 

 

Dear 

 

I have received a report from the Headteacher of Spring Meadow Primary School and School House Nursery about your unacceptable conduct on (date). (Provide a brief summary of the incident and its effect on staff and pupils) 

 

I note that you have had a private conversation and a written warning about your conduct in the past. I must inform you that the Governors will not tolerate conduct of this nature and will act to defend school staff and pupils. On the advice of the Headteacher, I am therefore instructing you that until I have reviewed this incident, you are not to enter the school premises. If you do not comply with this instruction, I shall arrange for you to be removed from the premises. If you cause a nuisance or disturbance on the premises you may be prosecuted under section 547 of the Education Act 1996; if convicted under this section, you are currently liable to a fine of £500. 

 

Special arrangements can be made for you to meet with the Headteacher, if necessary, but this may only be with the written permission of the Governors. The withdrawal of permission for you to enter the school premises takes effect immediately and will be in place for (insert days) school days in the first instance. If you wish to appeal this decision, you have the opportunity to write to me with any comments or observations of your own in relation to the report that I have received from the Headteacher. These comments may be to challenge or explain the facts of the incident, to express regret and give assurances about your future good conduct. 

 

If you do wish to appeal, please send me any written comments you wish to make by (date 10 school days from date of letter) so that I can take a further look into this case and make a decision on any appeal. If, on receipt of your comments, I consider that my decision should be confirmed, you will be supplied with details of how to pursue a review of your case. 

 

Yours sincerely 

 

cc: Headteacher and LA 

 

Step 3 Letter 2 

 

This is an example of a letter to state that a ban is being upheld. The actual wording may need to be varied according to the circumstances. 

 

Dear 

 

On (date) I wrote to inform you that on the advice of the Headteacher I had withdrawn permission for you to come onto the premises of Spring Meadow Primary School and School House Nursery. 

 

To enable me to determine whether to confirm this decision for a longer period, I gave you the opportunity to give your written comments on the incident concerned by (date). I have not received a written response from you/I have received a letter from you dated (date), the contents of which I have carefully considered. In the circumstances, and after further consideration of the Headteacher’s report, I have determined that the decision to withdraw permission for you to come onto school premises should be confirmed. I am therefore instructing that, until further notice, you are not to come onto the premises of the school without the prior knowledge and approval of the Headteacher. 

 

If you do not comply with this instruction, I shall arrange for you to be removed from the premises of the school. If you cause a nuisance or disturbance on the premises, you may be prosecuted under Section 547 of the Education Act 1996; if convicted under this section, you are liable to a fine of up to £500. 

 

Even though we have taken this decision, the Headteacher and staff at Spring Meadow Primary School and School House Nursery remain committed to the education of your child(ren), who must continue to attend school as normal (insert for primary age children) under the arrangements set out in my previous letter. This decision will be reviewed again (insert review date which should be a reasonable period and no longer than 6 months). 

 

When deciding whether it will be necessary to extend the withdrawal of permission to come onto the school premises, consideration will be given to the extent of your compliance with the decision, any appropriate expressions of regret and assurance of future good conduct received from you; and any evidence of your cooperation with the school in other respects. 

 

If you wish to pursue the matter further you have a right to complain to a panel of school governors who have not been involved previously and who will consider the circumstances of the decision to withdraw permission for you to come on to the school site. You can make your complaint by writing to the Clerk to the Governors, c/o Spring Meadow Primary School and School House Nursery. 

 

(Where the incident has arisen in the context of a parental complaint against the school, the following may be inserted) Finally, I would advise you that I have asked the Headteacher to ensure that your complaint that (insert details) is considered under the appropriate stage of the school’s parental complaints procedure. The school will contact you about this in due course. 

 

Yours sincerely 

cc: Headteacher and LA

 

Reviewed: Summer 2021

Next Review: Summer 2023

You can download our Parent and Carer Code of Conduct here

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