Parental Behaviour Policy
At Westward School we are very fortunate to have a parent body which is supportive and friendly. We recognise that the success of the school is dependent on a strong partnership between all members of the school community: pupils, parents, staff and proprietors. This partnership must be based on a polite, positive and respectful relationship. For this reason, we continue to welcome and encourage parents/carers to participate fully in the life of our school. Any reference in this policy to a “parent”, includes any parent, guardian, carer or other individual with “parental responsibility” (as defined in the Children Act 1989) for a pupil of Westward School.
The purpose of this policy is to provide a reminder about the expected conduct from our parents and visitors. We ask that all members of the school community follow these principles:
- We all respect the caring ethos of our school.
- Both parents and staff need to work together for the benefit of the pupils.
- All members of the school community should be treated with respect and, therefore, we must all set a good example in our own speech and behaviour.
In this context, threatening, violent or abusive behaviour, against any members of our school community, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. All members of our community have a right to expect the school to be a safe place in which to work and learn. Where the behaviour of parents or visitors falls below expected standards, the school will take appropriate action.
Parents are asked to communicate with each other and with other children, as well as all members of staff in a respectful and courteous manner; a manner in which they themselves would wish to be addressed.
Normal permitted times on the premises are at drop-off in the morning (8:30 am to 8:45 am) and at pick up (3:15 pm to 3:30 pm). If a child is registered to attend after-school-care or an after school club, these timings will extend to reflect the normal drop-off or collection times associated with these activities. Access onto the school property at any other time is by appointment only.
In order to support a peaceful and safe school environment, the school cannot accept parents or visitors exhibiting the following:
- Conduct which undermines the safe and calm environment in school, either in the school office, classroom, around the school site, immediately outside the school or anywhere the school is being represented (sports and educational fixtures/St Andrew’s Hall/ Xcel/school journey/day trips etc.)
- Using loud or offensive language, such as swearing.
- Displaying an unacceptable amount of anger and aggression.
- Threatening physical violence to a member of the school community.
- Damaging school or personal property.
- Abusive telephone calls, emails, letters or other forms of written communication.
- Defamatory comments about school staff, proprietors or other parents on social media sites.
- Sexual abuse
- Racial abuse
- The use of physical aggression towards another adult or child. This includes physical punishment of one’s own child.
- Approaching someone else’s child in order to chastise them.
- Entering the school premises without authorisation.
Any example of such behaviour shall, for the purposes of this policy, constitute a “Behavioural Incident”. If any such incidents are reported by a parent to the school, but haven’t been witnessed by a member of staff, evidence will be required to substantiate these claims.
INAPPROPRIATE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA SITES
Social media websites are being used increasingly to fuel campaigns and complaints against schools, headteachers, school staff, proprietors and in some cases other parents/pupils.
The Senior Leadership Team & Proprietors of Westward School consider the use of social media websites being used in this way as unacceptable and not in the best interests of the children or the whole school community.
Any concerns you may have must be made through the appropriate channels by speaking to the class teacher, the Head or the Proprietors (or the Chief Operating Officer in their absence), so they can be dealt with fairly, appropriately and effectively for all concerned.
In the event that any pupil or parent is found to be posting libellous or defamatory comments on Facebook or other social network sites, they will be reported to the appropriate 'report abuse' section of the network site. All social network sites have clear rules about the content which can be posted on the site and they provide robust mechanisms to report contact or activity which breaches this. The school will also expect that any parent or pupil removes such comments immediately.
In serious cases the school will also consider its legal options to deal with any such misuse of social networking and other sites. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly is the issue of cyber bullying and the use by one child or a parent to publicly humiliate another by inappropriate social network entry. We will take and deal with this as a serious incident of school bullying. Thankfully such incidents are extremely rare.
The school has processes in place for dealing with Behavioural Incidents. Any Behavioural Incident will be reported to the Head, and the appropriate procedures will be followed. This may include verbal warnings, written warnings and/or exclusion from the school premises.
At any stage, the school may report serious incidents of abusive and threatening behaviour to the Police. The school has a responsibility to ensure that any act of actual or threatened violence is referred to the Police immediately.
Written 8th February 2018 by the Proprietors & School Leadership Team, with legal counsel.
Last Updated: October 2020