CHS South recognises the importance of clear and effective communication that is open and accessible. It is very important to us that we work closely in partnership with parents/carers, and communication between home and school is key. We recognise, however, that it can often be difficult to communicate with teachers because of timetable pressures; and we recognise that parents/carers also have very busy lives.
In creating the CHS South Communication Charter we aim to develop the effectiveness, the consistency, and the efficiency of communication, enabling us to forge strong home-school links, whilst also clarifying expectations to ensure that we are mindful of staff workload and wellbeing.
Contacting the School
We request that the communication between all parties is respectful.
Teachers want to respond to parental queries at the earliest opportunity and will do their best to do so, however, the majority of teachers’ time is taken up teaching and preparing for lessons. Teachers’ responsibilities extend beyond the classroom, and they may be unable to respond to you on the day a query is made. We have also agreed with staff that there is no expectation to respond to queries outside of their working hours.
The day-to-day care, welfare and safety of your child is managed by the person who is placed closest to them. In the first instance, please approach the following members of staff who are responsible for your child in the following order:
- Classroom Teacher or Curriculum Leader (if query is relevant to a specific subject).
- Form Tutor or Pastoral Leader (if query is of a more general nature).
Communication by letter brought in by the child
Letters to teachers can be an easy way to get a message to a teacher promptly and can be used as everyday communication. The student is responsible for showing the letter to the correct teacher.
- Please use the main reception number to leave a message for a teacher to contact you. Reception staff will relay messages to teachers as soon as possible; lessons can never be interrupted for teachers to take calls.
- Teachers will try to respond to you within three working days, if not the same day.
- If a call is urgent, please inform the receptionist who will contact your child’s Pastoral Leader or a senior member of staff to speak to you as soon as possible.
Emails can be a useful way of communicating quickly between parents/carers and school, however as well as having many advantages, this ease of access has also increased the demands made of staff. As a school, our first priority is to deliver high quality teaching and learning. Staff cannot and are not expected to monitor and manage their inbox during lessons or at other times in the day, when they should be planning and preparing for lessons, assessing student work or carrying out school duties. To help manage the expectations of all, the following points are provided as guidance:
- We aim to respond to you as soon as possible and within three working days.
- Part-time staff may take longer to reply.
- Meetings should always be pre-arranged with members of staff.
- If you urgently need to see someone, for instance if there is a serious family emergency or a child protection issue, please phone ahead and the reception staff will do their best to find a senior member of staff to see you.
- For non-urgent meetings, we will aim to meet with you within five working days. The school will determine the level of urgency at its discretion, to enable it to manage multiple demands.
We recognise the importance of keeping you informed about your child’s experience at CHS South and how they are progressing. We, therefore, have timely information sent out to all parents/carer on a regular basis. This includes:
- Tutor reports.
- Parent/Carer evenings.
- Students’ progress and effort data.
- School Magazine – Spotlight on South.
- School Newsletter – The South Insight
- Social Media – Twitter and Instagram.
Our preferred method of contacting you is via Arbor. This allows us to communicate with parents/carers quickly and cost effectively via email, text and Smart Phone app. We are able to send app messages and you can send messages back for free. Parents/Carers can also use the system to pay for school meals and trips, view their child's timetable and access their child's reports.
Telephone calls will be made by school to parents/carers where immediate contact with a family member is required, i.e. when a student injury of significance has occurred. A staff member will call the first named emergency contact as listed. Where no contact is made, a call will then be made to the second named contact. In the event that no contact can be made, the member of staff will either leave an answerphone message or ensure that repeat calls continue to be made to the contact numbers, where possible.
Other useful places to find out important information
- The School website holds a wealth of information about the school. On the website, parents/carers can find forthcoming dates, curriculum information, assessment information and other details about school life. Any emergency information will be announced on the homepage of the website.
- Microsoft Teams is our digital learning platform, where staff will place home learning assignments and signpost study resources to prepare students for exams or any distance learning. This gives parents/carer an overview of their child’s homework in one secure online platform. It can also be used to safely communicate with other users and can provide a platform for live online learning.
We use our social media channels to share what has been happening in school. Through these channels you can find information and celebrations in respect of student achievements, subject information and generic educational information. You can find these by searching @chssouthmcr on Twitter and Instagram.
If you have not received a response from the school within three working days, please contact the school by emailing [email protected] and we will chase up your enquiry. If you are unsatisfied with a response, please highlight the email FAO The Senior Leadership Team. Communication with parents/carers is important to us, and we will continue to work with parents/carers to monitor this and our approach to improve the process further.