The College is active in consulting and communciation with parents and carers. We do this in a variety of ways:
The College Website
On the website parents can find information which we are required to publish by statute. This includes a number of key policies, information about the governing body, information about Special Educational Needs provision, details of how we utilise Pupil Premium and ways that parents can contact College staff. The website also has a calendar of events which is updated and also has back copies of 'The Griffin' our weekly newsletter.
On a weekly basis we publish 'The Griffin'. This is our College newsletter and contains information regarding events taking place in the College, important policy changes which affect pupils and parents and an update from the Headteacher. It also has a calendar of future events and information about performing arts and sports fixtures. Parents can opt to receive an electronic copy of the Griffin by email.
The College operates a Twitter feed @GriffinCardinal and individual departments also operate twitter feeds in which they post important information about their subject and support for pupils' learning. The College posts important notices on the twitter feed.
The College also operates a facebook page. The page has information about significant College events.
The College operates a text messaging service teachers2parents which we use to communicate important information. This is our main method of communication about inclement weather arrangements. We do therefore encourage parents to provide us with their mobile telephone number.
Parent Teacher Learning Partnership Meetings
Every year we offer all parents the opportunity to come and discuss with us the key issues for the year ahead. We do this through the Parent Teacher Learning Partnership Meetings. These meetings are focused on ways in which the College and parents can work in partnership to support pupils in their learning. This includes information about text books, homework, curriculum content and where further support materials are available. It is our expectation that parents attend.
Every year we offer parents the opportunity to attend at least one parents evening. This is an opportunity to meet with the subject teachers who teach your child and to discuss their progress and any pastoral concerns. The intention is that, while the meeting is predominently information sharing, that there is an opportunity for there to be a two way dialogue about how parents can best support their child and to address any worries or concerns.
Every year parents will receive a report from the College about their child's progress. These reports are intended to summarise what each child is studying and the progress which they are making towards their targeted outcomes. Reports also contain comments from the child's tutor and their Head of House which will give an indication of how they are progressing in terms of attendance, behaviour and their pastoral development. We encourage parents to contact us to discuss reports if they are concerned about any aspect of them, and often time reports such that they are distributed prior to a parents evening.
At key points during their time at the College we will ask pupils' parents to come in so that we can outline for them curriculum proposals for the next stage of their education. In recent years we have moved towards an approach where we have retained some flexibility in provision which allows us to respond to what parents and the children want. These evenings are very important as they allow the curriculum to be shaped around the specific needs of cohorts of pupils. We expect parents to attend as we provide detailed information about curriculum pathways on these evenings.
Through Raising Standards Leaders
Every year group in the College has a Raising Standards Leader. The role of the Raising Standards Leader is to champion the learning outcomes for every pupil. They do this by identifying barriers to learning which may exist and working with the child, their teachers and parents to overcome these barriers. Raising Standards Leaders do, therefore, play a key role in both communicating with and responding to parents.
Through the Head of House
Every pupil is allocated a head of house. The role of the Head of House is to oversee the attendance, behaviour and pastoral development of pupils. Heads of House are a key part of the communication channels in relation to any concerns about behaviour or pastoral issues. They liaise closely with Heads of Subject and Raising Standards Leaders to ensure that pastoral and learning issues are addressed, especially where pastoral issues have become a barrier to learning.
Throughout the year the College will make direct contact with parents over various issues. We also welcome parents making contact with the College and further information about how you can contact is available on the contact us links on the website. It is important that we direct any communication correctly to ensure it is dealt with effectively so it helps greatly if parents are able to make direct contact with the correct member of staff.
We welcome parents making appointments to see us about any issues they have. While many parents may feel that they want to see the Headteacher, we do initially encourage parents to see the member of staff with specific responsibility for the area in which they have a concern. This allows issues to be dealt with more expediently.
The Parent Teacher Association
The Parent Teacher Association plays an important role in involving parents in the life of the College. Present at College events throughout the year the Parent Teacher Association is a good way for parents to become involved in the life of the College and to have a say in how some of the financial resources of the College are managed.
The Governing Body
Our Governing Body has two parent Governors. Governors meet regularly and have a number of sub-committees. Parent Governors are a key voice from the parent body and are able to communicate directly with the strategic body which oversees the work of the College. We encourage all parents to raise strategic issues with parent governors so that these can be discussed at governing body meetings.
The College actively seeks the views of parents on key issues. A key part of this is through parental surveys. The surveys allow us to gauge whether there are any important issues which need to be addressed and also evaluate our effectiveness. All surveys include the opportunity for open comments which we encourage parents to use to provide feedback on issues not raised elsewhere.
From time to time the College consults parents on specific issues. We will make consultations available through the Griffin. At times we have used online surveys to gauge parental views, but we always encourage parents to make contact with us to get their views heard, even if they are unable to access an online survey. Key consultations in the past have included uniform and dress policy, changes to the College day and curriculum design.
How we deal with nuisance or abusive communication
The majority of our parents and carers communicate with the College in a professional and appropriate way. However, occasionally we do have to deal with in appropriate communication. In order to have a clear approach which is consistent and universally applied all communications with the College are subject to our Policy on Complaints which also has a section on Dealing with Abusive, Persistent or Vexatious Complaints and Complainants. Every effort will be made to work with parents on issues, however, in rare instances we may have to invoke the procedures contained in this section of the complaints policy. We do not accept physical or verbal abuse towards our staff or aggressive behaviour in any form.