COMMUNICATION REQUIRED FROM THE PARENT
We are very keen to keep our lines of communication open with each parent.
COMMUNICATION ABOUT A CHILD’S ABSENCE
Each pupil is expected to be at school during term dates. On occasions this is not possible parents are required to notify the school well in advance if possible.
If your child is ill and cannot attend school please phone the school office before 7.45am or send a note with another pupil. If a child is absent without the school receiving information we may assume the child is playing truant. Please submit two copies of a letter explaining your child’s absence on the first day he/she is back at school; one to the Form Teacher, the other to the teacher i/c the sport/club that was missed.
For all other situations, be they appointments or visits, short or long term, requests should be sent to the Headmaster in advance in writing. Wherever possible, these appointments, visits, or special occasions should be arranged on dates and times with the least disruption to the child’s school commitments (afternoons when there is no activity; weekends where there are no fixtures; holidays).
COMMUNICATION ABOUT A CHANGE IN CIRCUMSTANCES
It is extremely helpful for the school to know if a child is experiencing a change in circumstances, which might in some way affect their performance (such as family bereavement, moving house, parent changing job, change in family circumstance), in order that we may support the child, and be understanding in our treatment. This information should be given to the Form Teacher, Year Head or School Counsellor.
COMMUNICATION ABOUT DISSATISFACTION
There will no doubt be occasions, albeit never deliberately sought, when a parent is not happy about an incident or an issue that has developed at school. Parents are asked to follow the correct channels of communication, as outlined. Parents should remember that most conflicts arise from misunderstanding which itself may have arisen from poor communication (be it speaking or listening). Facts must be established first.
COMMUNICATION ABOUT RUMOURS
Every now and then rumours will inevitably surface and spread, usually based on little or no evidence. On hearing any rumour concerning Gateway High School, please contact the school and establish the facts first – once done, then please correct the people who passed it to you and require them to do the same.
Anonymous communications obviously cannot be answered so parents and pupils are required to put their name to whatever communication is offered if they want it to be treated seriously.
No-one will be disadvantaged by raising a matter; if someone does feel that they have been negatively treated as a result of passing on information then that person has the right to take it to that person’s Line Manager.
CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION FOR PARENTS
The basic principle (based on Christ’s words in Matthew 18) is that where there is a conflict (the same would apply to concerns or questions) the matter should be addressed, in the first instance, privately, respectfully, directly to the person concerned. It should not be discussed in the car park or at social gatherings or through the media.
If no satisfactory response is gained from this meeting, then the matter should be brought to that person’s line manager, as a witness.
Once again, if no satisfaction is gained through this means, then the matter should be brought to that person’s line manager and so on.
In a school context, it is important that one goes to the relevant person, (preferably by appointment) so that time and energy is not wasted, either on the school’s side or the parent’s. In this regard, the following routes are outlined for parents to take their concerns.
If it is an academic issue: contact the subject teacher in the first instance; then the form teacher; Head of Department; Head of Academics; Head;
- If it is a sport issue: teacher; teacher in charge that sport; Director of Sport; Deputy Head; Head;
- If it is a club issue: teacher; teacher in charge that club; Director of Sport; Deputy Head; Head;
- If it is a pastoral issue: form teacher; Head of Year; Divisional Head (boys) / Senior Lady (girls); Head.
- If it is a Counselling issue: school counsellors; Senior Lady; Head
- If it is a discipline issue: form teacher; Head of Year; Divisional Head (boys) / Senior Lady (girls); Head;
- If it is an examination (external) issue: Examination Officer; Senior Lady; Head
- If it is a financial issue: Bursar; Head; CEO; Chair of Board
- If it is a policy issue: Head; CEO; Chair of Board
- If it is a lost property issue: Sports dept.; Deputy Head; Head;
- If it is a uniform issue: Senior Lady; Deputy Head; Head
If in doubt, please ask the Front Office Secretary and she will try to direct you to the relevant person. Please do not direct your issues at her though. All communication from the school to parents will be in the form of a letter, telephone call, text message, email or