1. Introduction and aims 2
2. Roles and responsibilities 2
3. How we communicate with parents and carers 3
4. How parents and carers can communicate with the school 5
5. Inclusion 6
6. Monitoring and review 6
7. Links with other policies 6
Appendix 1: school contact list 7
1. Introduction and aims
Kaleidoscope Multi-Academy Trust and its schools believe that clear, open communication between the school and parents/carers has a positive impact on pupils’ learning because it:
- Gives parents/carers the information they need to support their child’s education
- Helps the school improve, through feedback and consultation with parents/carers
- Builds trust between home and school, which helps the school better support each child’s educational and pastoral needs
The aim of this policy is to promote clear and open communication by:
- Explaining how the school communicates with parents/carers
- Setting clear standards and expectations for responding to communication from parents/carers
- Helping parents/carers reach the member of school staff who is best placed to address their specific query or concern so they can get a response as quickly as possible
In the following sections, we will use ‘parents’ to refer to both parents and carers.
2. Roles and responsibilities
2.1 Headteacher/Executive Headteacher/Head of School
The Headteacher/Executive Headteacher/Head of School is responsible for:
- Ensuring that communications with parents are effective, timely and appropriate
- Monitoring the implementation of this policy
- Regularly reviewing this policy
All staff are responsible for:
- Responding to communication from parents in line with this policy and the school’s ICT and Internet Acceptable Use Policy
- Working with other members of staff to make sure parents get timely information (if they cannot address a query or send the information themselves)
Staff will aim to respond to communication during core school hours or their working hours (if they work part-time), but due to the nature of their roles, they might not be free to respond until after school. They will not respond after 5pm. The exception to this would be if there is an emergency.
Parents/Carers are responsible for:
- Ensuring that communication with the school is respectful at all times
- Making every reasonable effort to address communications to the appropriate member of staff in the first instance
- Respond to communications from the school (such as requests for meetings) in a timely manner
- Checking all communications from the school
Any communication that is considered disrespectful, abusive or threatening will be treated in line with our Adult Conduct Towards Staff And Pupils Policy.
Please be aware that staff are extremely busy and cover multiple roles – they will respond to communications as soon as they are able to within the timeframes further in this policy. Parents should not expect staff to respond to their communication outside of core school hours or during school holidays.
3. How we communicate with parents and carers
The sections below explain how we keep parents up-to-date with their child’s education and what is happening in school.
Parents should monitor all of the following regularly to make sure they do not miss important communications or announcements that may affect their child.
We use email to keep parents informed about the following things:
- Upcoming school events
- Scheduled school closures (for example, for staff training days)
- School surveys or consultations
- Class activities or teacher requests
3.2 School Communication App
We will message parents about:
- Reminders about events etc.
- Short-notice changes to the school day
- Emergency school closures (for instance, due to bad weather)
3.3 School calendar
School websites include a full school calendar for the year.
Where possible, we try to give parents at least 2 weeks’ notice of any events or special occasions (including non-uniform days, special assemblies or visitors, or requests for pupils to bring in special items or materials).
Any such event will be included in the school calendar.
3.4 Phone calls
Staff may contact you by telephone to check information, if a child does not have the correct equipment (e.g. packed lunch, PE kit, musical instruments), regarding payments, attendance, behaviour or if there are other concerns. Staff can contact you to make you aware of positive achievements and progress your child has made.
We send the following letters home regularly:
- Letters about events, trips and visits
- Important updates
- Consent forms
3.6 Homework books/school planners
Where schools uses planners or homework books, messages may be sent home in these.
Parents receive reports from the school about their child’s learning, including:
- An annual year report covering their achievement in each part of the curriculum, how well they are progressing, and their attendance
- A report on Key Stage (KS) 1 and KS2 SATs tests
We also arrange meetings where parents/carers can speak to their child’s teacher(s) about their achievement and progress (see the section below).
We hold two parents’ evening(s) per year. During these meetings, parents/carers can talk with teachers about their child’s achievement and progress, the curriculum or schemes of work, their child’s wellbeing, or any other area of concern.
The school may also contact parents/carers to arrange meetings between parents’ evenings if there are concerns about a child’s achievement, progress, or wellbeing.
Parents of pupils with special educational needs (SEN), or who have other additional needs, may also be asked to attend further meetings to address these additional needs.
3.9 School website
Key information about the school is posted on our website, including:
- School times and term dates
- Important events and announcements
- Curriculum information
- Important policies and procedures
- Important contact information
- Information about before and after-school provision
- Copies of Newsletter
- Copies of specific letters
Parents should check the website before contacting the school.
4.0 Social Media
We also use social media to contact parents/carers to celebrate some of the events and achievements/successes our children are part of.
4. How parents and carers can communicate with the school
Parents should use the list in appendix 1 to identify the most appropriate person to contact about a query or issue, including the school office number and email address.
Staff do their best to be supportive and address any issues as soon as they can. We understand that sometimes parents/carers can be upset about issues, but we expect discussions to take place in a calm and non-threatening way. Trustees will not tolerate aggressive behaviour towards KMAT Staff and our Adult Conduct Towards Staff and Pupils outlines our expectations and response if this occurs.
Parents should always email the school, or the appropriate member of staff, about non-urgent issues in the first instance.
We aim to acknowledge all emails within 1 working day, and to respond in full (or arrange a meeting or phone call if appropriate) within 5 working days.
If a query or concern is urgent, and parents need a response sooner than this, they should call the school.
4.2 The School App
Parents should refrain from using the App for messages and use the other forms of communication listed.
4.3 Phone calls
If parents need to speak to a specific member of staff about a non-urgent matter, they should email the school office and the relevant member of staff will acknowledge their communication within 1 working day.
If this is not possible (due to teaching or other commitments), someone will respond to schedule a phone call at a convenient time. We aim to make sure parents have spoken to the appropriate member of staff within 5 working days of your request.
If the issue is urgent, parents should call the school office.
Urgent issues might include things like:
- Family emergencies
- Safeguarding or welfare issues
For more general enquiries, please call the school office.
The first point of contact with an enquiry related to the classroom should be the class teacher.
If parents would like to schedule a meeting with a member of staff, they should email the appropriate email address (see appendix 1), or call the school to book an appointment.
We try to schedule all meetings within 5 working days of the request.
While teachers are available at the beginning or end of the school day if parents need to speak to them urgently, we recommend they book appointments to discuss:
- Any concerns they have about their child’s learning
- Updates related to pastoral support, their child’s home environment, or their wellbeing
- Please note that conversations at the gate or on the playground in the morning/afternoon should not be used to discuss confidential issues as they could be overheard by other adults or children. In these cases a meeting should be arranged via the school office.
It is important to us that everyone in our community can communicate easily with the school.
We currently make whole-school announcements and communications (such as email alerts and newsletters) available in the English:
Parents who need help communicating with the school can request the following support:
- School announcements and communications translated into additional languages
- Interpreters for meetings or phone calls
We can make additional arrangements if necessary. Please contact the school office to discuss these.
6. Monitoring and review
The Headteacher/Executive Headteacher/Head of School monitors the implementation of this policy and the policy will review the policy every 3 years.
The policy will be approved by the Kaleidoscope Trust Board.
7. Links with other policies
The policy should be read alongside our policies on:
Appendix 1: school contact list
Who should I contact?
If you need to contact the school, or would like to speak to a member of staff:
- Email or call the schools office using the details below.
- Put the subject and the name of the relevant member of staff (from the list below) in the subject line (for emails)
- We will forward your request on to the relevant member of staff
Remember: check our website first, much of the information you need is posted there.
- We try to respond to all emails within 5 working days.
If you have questions about any of the topics in the table below, or would like to speak to a member of staff:
I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT…
WHO YOU NEED TO TALK TO
My child’s learning/class activities/lessons/homework
Your child’s class teacher
My child’s wellbeing/pastoral support
The Family Support Worker/Learning Mentor
Class teacher in the first instance.
Uniform/lost and found
Attendance and absence requests
If you need to report your child’s absence, call your school’s absence line.
If you want to request approval for term-time absence, contact the school office for an absence request form.
Bullying and behaviour
Your child’s class teacher in the first instance.
School events/the school calendar
Special educational needs (SEN)
Class teacher in the first instance.
SENDCo if further meeting is required.
Before and after-school clubs
Hiring the school premises
Chair of PTA
Chair of Governors
If you would like to file a formal complaint, please follow the procedure set out in our complaints policy.
Kaleidoscope MAT Complaints Policy.