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Staff Policy

Communications Policy

St. Colman’s NS is a co-educational, Catholic, primary school which strives to provide a well-ordered, caring, happy and secure atmosphere where the intellectual, spiritual, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are identified and nurtured.

 

Parents are recognised as the primary educators of their children. Teachers are recognised as professionals in education and work in partnership with parents.

 

At St. Colman’s NS regular, orderly parent-teacher communication is welcomed throughout the duration of the pupil’s education at the school and home-school links are actively encouraged.

Members of the B.O.M., teaching staff, classroom support staff, administrative and maintenance staff strive to create an open and welcoming atmosphere where good communications are fostered and developed.

 

Aims of Communication Policy

  • To build a school community which is supportive of pupils, staff and all members of the school community who serve the school
  • To establish procedures for the sharing of information in relation to pupil progress, needs and attainment
  • To enrich and optimise the educational opportunities provided for our pupils by accessing the skills and talents of all of the school community
  • To promote a culture of partnership in the education of our children

 

Types of Parent-teacher/ home school Communication at St.Colman’s NS  

  • Informal parent-teacher contact
  • Formal parent-teacher contact
  • Specially convened parent –teacher meetings
  • Junior Infant Information Meetings
  • Written Progress Reports
  • Newsletters
  • Notice Board
  • School website
  • Information meetings
  • Board of Management
  • Parents’ Association
  • Text –A – Parent
  • Facebook Page

 

Arranging to meet the class teacher

 

If a parent needs to meet his/her child’s class teacher s/he is most welcome to do so.

Parents can arrange an appointment by writing to the teacher or by mentioning it to the teacher when dropping off or collecting their child.

Parents should, in the first instance, arrange to meet their child’s class teacher to discuss concerns regarding their child. Teachers are happy to speak to parents and to help solve problems relating to pupils and their progress in school.

If a parent has further concerns s/he should arrange to speak to the principal or deputy principal who will endeavour to assist in resolving any school-related problems a pupil may have.

 

Should a parent still feel that the problem or complaint has not been resolved satisfactorily s/he may decide to take the matter further.

 

An agreed complaints procedure involving all the representatives in the education process (teacher unions, managerial bodies and DES) was devised in 1993 and the steps necessary to resolve school-related complaints are clearly laid out.

This policy may be accessed on the INTO website, www.into.ie, or through the school.

 

Parents are reminded that St. Colman’s NS is always prepared to listen and it is the policy of the school to resolve difficulties at an early stage in the interests of pupils.

 

Guidelines in relation to Parental Status and Access to School Communications are laid out in the CPSMA Newsletter, Issue 8: November 2010. St. Colman’s NS will adopt these guidelines and carry out all communications with parents/guardians in line with the following:

 

(A) Parents married to each other & living together Mother and Father have equal

guardianship and custody rights over the child unless a court order, specifying otherwise exists e.g. a care or supervision order. Where necessary the school should seek a letter from the parent’s solicitor confirming the content of the relevant section of any such court order to clarify its impact [if any] on the school.

Both parents are entitled to:

  • be consulted in regard to educational welfare
  • of child
  • notice of formal parent teacher meetings
  • copies of school reports
  • notice of meetings with NEPS, SENO etc,
  • notice of in-school/after school programmes,
  • notice of school closures
  • notice of preparation meetings for the various sacraments /other meetings.

One letter/communication to both parents will suffice

(B) Parents married to each other, separated & living apart In addition to (A) above, parents may have an ‘informal arrangement’ as to the

custody of and access to their child/ren. Where necessary, schools should request details of any such arrangement. ‘Living apart’ includes situations where couples who have separated continue to live under the same roof as well as situations where one or other has left the family home.

Both parents entitled to information as set out in

(A) above.

A separate letter/communication should be sent to each parent.

(C) Parents married to each other, living apart with a ‘Separation Agreement’ in place In addition to (A) above, the ‘Separation Agreement’ will detail any formal arrangement between the parents in relation to custody and access. Custody of the child normally rests with the parent

with whom the child primarily resides. Parents may also have joint custody. Both parents remain guardians of the child.

Where necessary the school should seek a letter from the parent’s solicitor confirming

the content of the relevant section of any such agreement to clarify custody and access arrangements in relation to how these may impact on the school.

Both parents entitled to information as set out in

(A) above.

A separate letter/communication should be sent to each parent.

(D) Parents married to each other, living apart & either one or both is in a new relationship In addition to (A) above, the fact that either parent is in a new relationship or has remarried has no impact on the guardianship or custody rights of the natural parents.

New partners have no statutory rights in relation to the child but may have a role with regard to collection from school etc. Communications from the school to new partners should be limited to that which is agreed between the parents or that which has been provided for by a court order.

Both parents are entitled to information as set out in (A) above.

A separate letter/communication should be sent to each parent.

No letter/communication should be issued to new partners, unless there is express agreement between the parties or unless such is provided for in a court order.

(E) Parents unmarried & living together or living apart The school should co-operate with the arrangements in place between the parties regarding the child unless a dispute arises.

The natural mother only has automatic right of guardianship. A natural father can apply to the court seeking an order granting him guardianship, custody and access rights. In circumstances where the natural father is asserting his rights, the school should seek a letter from the parent’s solicitor confirming the content of the relevant section of any such court order to clarify any such rights.

Alternatively, provided the father is named on the child’s birth certificate, the natural mother can agree by statutory declaration to grant the father such rights whereby he is appointed guardian. The school should seek a copy of the statutory declaration. Should the natural mother and father subsequently marry each other, both then have equal guardianship and custody rights as set out in (A) above.

The natural father does not have an automatic

entitlement to the information set out in (A)

above.

A letter/communication goes to the natural

mother and to the father if he is in possession of

either a court order or a statutory declaration

(F) Parents unmarried & in new relationships The natural parents’ rights are as set out at E above.

New partners have no statutory rights in relation to the child but may have a role with regard to collection from school etc. Communications from the school to new partners should be limited to that which is agreed between the natural parents or that which has been provided for by a court order.

The natural parents are entitled to the information as set out in (E) above.

A letter/communication goes to the natural

mother and to the father if he is in possession of

either a court order or a statutory declaration.

No letter/communication should be issued to

new partners unless there is express agreement

between the parties or unless such is provided for in a court order.

 

The following procedures will be implemented giving due regard to the information provided in the table above:

 

Informal parent-teacher contact occurs regularly as parents drop and collects children.

Regretfully, teachers are unable to enter into consultation with parents during formal teaching time, between 9.20 am and 3:00pm. If a parent wishes to pass on information to the child’s class teacher during these times he/she should write a short note to the teacher. Alternatively, a message may be passed on through the principal.

 

Formal Parent-Teacher Consultations are held annually in accordance with DES guidelines. Parents are given notice of these consultations. Should the appointed time prove inconvenient an alternative appointment will be arranged at a mutually convenient time.

St. Colman’s NS strongly encourages all parents to participate in these individual consultations. They provide a valuable opportunity for parents to learn about their child and to get advice about their child’s learning needs.

Follow-up meetings can be arranged if the need arises.

 

Meetings with Special Education teachers: Parents of pupils who are in receipt of extra learning support are required to meet with the Special Education teacher in order to discuss the learning needs of their child.

 

Parents are expected to participate as partners in the formulation of Individual Educational Profiles (Continuum of Support Profile) if their child is in receipt of support for low incidence learning disabilities.

 

Parents whose children are in receipt of special education for high incidence learning needs (e.g., reading support) are invited to attend meetings with the special education teacher and to assist in the formulation of Individual Pupil Learning Profiles (Continuum of Support Profile).

 

Annual Progress Reports detailing pupil progress during the academic year are issued in June. Teachers spend quite some time in collating these reports. Parents are advised to keep these reports in a safe place for reference as they may be required if the child changes school. They are also useful in building a profile of a pupil’s learning strengths and weaknesses.

 

Registration of new entrants: Parents of all new entrants are required to attend a registration meeting in order that the learning needs of the prospective pupil may be identified.

Annual registration is normally held in the month of February.

 

Open Afternoon: is held in June each year to advise prospective parents of the facilities available in the school.

 

Information leaflets/ forms from the HSE, DES or other bodies directly connected with education and welfare of pupils in the school will be distributed to pupils from time to time.  

Occasionally the CPSMA will authorize the distribution of information to parents and pupils.

 

Absences must be notified in writing to the school in accordance with N. E. W. B. requirements. A separate attendance policy is available in the school.

 

 

Board of Management: St. Colman’s NS has a properly constituted Board of Management comprised of nominees of the trustee, community, teachers and parents. The B.O.M. meets on a regular basis.

 

This policy has been devised in consultation with the staff of St. Colman’s NS, the Parents Association and the B. O. M. of St. Colman’s NS.

 

Review Date: March 2018 or before should Department guidelines or legislation require it.

 

Ratification and Implementation:

Ratified by the Board of Management on 13/09/16.

Signed:_______________, Chairperson, Board of Management.