HOME – SCHOOL COMMUNICATIONS
Elmlea Schools’ Trust Newsletter Our weekly newsletter is our most immediate form of communication with our school community. We try really hard not to send emails during the week as our school families have told us that they don’t always see them. Consequently important information is shared in our newsletters so please read these when they are sent out.
Contacting the classteacher All our class teachers have their own email address and these will be shared with you on Seesaw as part of induction for the year. Please email the classteacher if there is something you wish them to know. We find it is better for your child if you contact us with any concerns early on so that we have a chance to deal with any issues as soon as possible. Sometimes parents wait and then the problem becomes even bigger than it would have been had you contacted school when you first had a concern.
E-Mail and SMS/Text Messaging Service
Emergency closures and last minute after school teacher-run club cancellations are communicated by SMS/text. All other correspondence is via the school newsletter or by e-mail via Arbor. Please make sure the school office has your up to date contact details.
Please check our website regularly for news, events, policies and useful curriculum links.
Parent – Teacher meetings
Parent/Pupil/Teacher Conference evenings are held during the Autumn and Spring Term. At the Junior School we encourage children to attend these meetings, so that they are fully included in discussing their progress. A school report is sent home in the Summer term to celebrate their achievements.
If you have any concerns regarding your child’s education or welfare, please make an appointment with your child’s teacher.
If you are unable to resolve your issue with the class teacher then please contact the Deputy Head at the school.
If still unresolved following these discussions, then please make an appointment with the Executive Headteacher and follow the complaints procedure as detailed in trust complaints policy – see below
ONLINE PAYMENTS, PERMISSIONS and COMMUNICATION
Elmlea Infant and Junior Schools both use ‘Arbor’, an online payment system. Currently parents will have a separate log in for each school. Parents use it to register for gift-aid, give trip and other permissions and make all payments (excluding Junior School dinner money).
Log in details for new parents will be sent home in the first week in September annually or within a week of a new pupil joining the school.
If you have a concern or complaint
We would like you to tell us about it. We welcome suggestions for improving our work in our schools. Be assured that no matter what you want to tell us, our support and respect for you and your child in school will not be affected in any way. Please tell us of your concern as soon as possible. It is difficult for us to investigate properly an incident or problem that happened some time ago.
What to do first
Most concerns and complaints can be sorted out quickly by speaking with your child’s class teacher.
If you have a complaint that you feel should be looked at by the Deputy Headteacher/Executive Headteacher in the first instance you can contact them straight away if you prefer. It is usually best to discuss the problem face to face. You may need an appointment to do this and can make one by ringing or calling into the school office. You can take a friend or relative to the appointment with you if you would like to.
All staff will make every effort to resolve your problem informally. They will make sure that they understand what you feel went wrong, and they will explain their own actions to you. They will ask what you would like the school to do to put things right. Of course, this does not mean that in every case they will come round to your point of view, but it will help both you and the school to understand both sides of the issue. It may also help to prevent a similar problem arising again.
What to do next
If you are not satisfied with the teacher’s initial response to your questions or concerns (or with the Deputy Headteacher or Executive Headteacher’s initial reaction if they have already been involved) you can make a formal complaint to the Executive Headteacher. This should be made in writing, using the form included in the Elmlea Schools’ Trust published Complaints procedure.
If your complaint is about an action of the Executive Headteacher personally, then you should refer it to the Chair of the Board of Trustees. You can contact the Chair via the Clerk to Trustees (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
You may also find it helpful at this stage to have a copy of the full statement of the Trusts’ Complaints Procedures as this explains in detail what procedures are followed.
Link to Elmlea Schools’ Trust Complaints Procedure:
The Executive Headteacher will ask to meet you to discuss the problem. Again, you may take a friend or someone else with you if you wish. The Executive Headteacher will conduct a full investigation of the complaint and may interview any members of staff or pupils involved. You will receive a written response to your complaint.
If you are still unhappy
The problem will normally be solved before it reaches this stage. However, if you are still not satisfied you may wish to contact the Chair of the Board of Trustees to ask for a referral of your complaint to a Board of Trustees Complaints Panel. It will then be heard by a group of three trustees who have no previous knowledge of the problem and so will be given a fresh assessment. You may be invited to attend and speak to the panel at a meeting that the Executive Headteacher will also attend. The Trust Complaints Procedures explains how these meetings operate.
Complaints about school problems are almost always settled within schools but in exceptional cases it may be possible to refer the problem to an outside body such as the Department for Education. Again, there are more details about this in the Trust Complaints Procedure.
Please contact the school if you require any further assistance.