Communication with parents is an essential component of successful school. We aim to keep parents fully informed of any news and events via a number of different methods.
Following the Parent Survey we undertook in September 2017, a group of parents worked with the Headteacher to clarify the kinds of communication channel which were most suited to different kinds of message.
Focusing on the use of Twitter, ParentMail, this website and good old-fashioned letters, our Communications Strategy seeks to provide a cohesive use of each method of communication to ensure that the message is reached efficiently and effectively by the intended audience.
The School uses ParentMail regularly to support our communications with parents. Specifically, we are channeling as many of our communications through ParentMail as possible, both to ensure speedier and more efficient communication with parents, as well as to reduce the amount of paper we use as a school.
Therefore, it is vital that you let us know if you are not receiving ParentMail communications, or have changed your preferred e-mail address and want us to use that instead.
ParentMail’s useful Help overview may be accessed here.
The School uses its Twitter account on a daily basis. As an immediate way of contacting parents, it is invaluable and it also offer us the opportunity to provide a daily photograph and some text about work that individual classes are doing. If you have not already done so, please sign up to Twitter at https://twitter.com/?lang=en-gb.
If you have a Smart phone or a tablet, links to the relevant apps may be found here:
(Other platform information may be found here.)
Once you have signed up, you can access the School’s Twister feed by typing in “westwimbledonpr” in the search bar. Once you have reached the School’s feed, you can then choose to follow it, to ensure that you always receive the most up-to-date information.
The Twitter website, itself, offers a very comprehensive Help centre for new users, and aims to unpick much of the hype and the jargon. It can be found here.
The School regularly runs surveys to gather the views of parents, staff and the children, in order to help make improvements and gauge support for new initiatives and ideas.
This academic year, we have also run regular, short single-feature surveys, in addition to the comprehensive annual surveys we run each Spring term. The purpose of these shorter surveys is to capture a flavour of particular views to help us inform our practice, gauge views on a specific issue or signpost additional areas of focus.
Following the appalling tragedies in Westminster, Manchester, London Bridge and then Finsbury Park during the Summer term of 2017, we used a short survey to assess parents’ views about school trips, notably into Central London. The results of that survey, informed the School’s decisions about our trips policy and sharpened our procedures.
In advance of the annual, more detailed survey that the School undertakes each Spring, we decided that it would be useful to get a sense of areas on which we should focus at the start of this academic year.
The questions we decided to use were derived from those Ofsted use in their surveys to gather views of schools they are about to visit. Using that national data-set, then provided us with a basis to compare your responses with those derived from the large number of surveys they run across each year, and which they publish three times a year. Last year, Ofsted received and analysed over 325,000 separate responses, so we knew that it would be fascinating and illuminating to see where our responses might “sit” alongside that national picture.
The survey, closed on Wednesday, 27 September 2017, and its subsequent question-level analysis may be accessed here.
We were delighted that 98% of the 58 responses agreed with each of the statements, “My child is happy at School”, “My child is well taught at School” and “My child is well looked after at School.” Similarly, the responses also showed a better than either national, London or primary score for the statement, “This School makes sure its pupils are well-behaved”. The survey results compare very favourably with those received by Ofsted in the Parent View survey.
However, there were some areas for further reflection and, as a result, we decided to investigate the following areas in some more detail:
- A significant proportion of responses disagreed with the statement about the School’s provision of appropriate homework, and this is an area that we have sought to improve this year.
- Similarly, a number of respondents felt that the School does not always provide parents with the information they need about their child’s progress, and we have sought to improve how we communicate what we mean by progress and how parents can help their children make better progress.
- Finally, a number of comments queried the types and effectiveness of communication with parents and the Headteacher sought a group of volunteers to meet him in order to improve what we tell you and how we do that. The Communication Strategy was the result of that piece of work.
Thank you again for taking the time to respond and be assured that we will use that data to continue to improve what we do, how do it and how we then communicate with you.
Once a half-term, the Headteacher hosts a drop-in coffee morning where parents are welcome to pop in to have an informal chat with him, over a drink and some biscuits. The purpose is to allow parents to make suggestions, raise a particular issue or find out more about the workings of the School, as informally as possible.
Each session runs from drop-off at 08:45 until 09:30 and, obviously, no appointment is necessary.
Otherwise, he is always available at one of the two School gates, between o8:30 and 08:45, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
This year’s sessions run on a Wednesday morning, on the following dates:
- Wednesday 20th September 2017;
- Wednesday 22nd November 2017;
- Wednesday 24th January 2018;
- Wednesday 21st March 2018;
- Wednesday 15th May 2018;
- Wednesday 27th June 2018.
We look forward to seeing you.
We strive to provide a good education for all our children. To further that over-arching aim, the staff work very hard to build positive relationships with all parents. However, the School is obliged to have procedures in place, just in case there are complaints by parents or carers.
If any parent is unhappy with the education that their child is receiving, or has any concerns relating to the School, we encourage them to talk to the child’s class teacher immediately.
We deal with all complaints in accordance with procedures laid down by the Department of Education. The current advice for maintained schools may be viewed here.
Our aim is to be fair, open and honest when dealing with any complaint. We give careful consideration to all complaints, and deal with them as swiftly as possible. We aim to resolve any complaint through dialogue and mutual understanding. In all cases, we put the interests of the child above all else. We provide sufficient opportunity for any complaint to be fully discussed, and then resolved.
However, if the school itself cannot resolve a complaint, those concerned can refer the matter to the Secretary of State for Education.
The LA and the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) will accept complaints directly from young people and their parents or carers about:
- school transport services;
- special educational needs;
- school admissions;
- permanent exclusions from a school;
- children who are out of school.
The complaints process
It is normally appropriate to communicate directly with the member of staff concerned. This may be by letter, by telephone or in person by appointment, requested via the school office. Many concerns can be resolved by simple clarification or the provision of information and it is anticipated that most complaints will be resolved by this informal stage.
In the case of serious concerns it may be appropriate to address them directly to the Headteacher (or to the Chair of the governing body, if the complaint is about the Headteacher).
Parents who are uncertain about who to contact, should seek advice from the School office or the Clerk to the governing body.
If the concern or complaint is not resolved at the informal stage parents may choose to put the complaint in writing and pass it to the Headteacher, who will be responsible for ensuring that it is investigated appropriately. If the complaint is about the Headteacher, the complaint should be passed to the Clerk to the governing body, for the attention of the Chair of the governing body.
Any review of the process followed by the School will be conducted by a panel of three members of the governing body. This will usually take place within ten school days of the receipt of the request to review.
The review will normally be conducted through a consideration of written submissions, but reasonable requests to make oral representations will be considered sympathetically.
If parents are not satisfied with the response from the governing body, they can contact the Secretary of State for Education via the DFE Helpline on 0370 000 2288.
The School’s full complaints procedure may be viewed here.