Behaviour by Parents/Carers & Visitors on School Premises Policy

 Revision History

Version Date Comments Review Date
6 Summer 2016 Amended (typographical only), approved and issued Summer 2017
5 Summer 2015 Amended, approved & issued Summer 2016
4 Summer 2014 Amended, approved & issued Summer 2015
3 Autumn 2013 Amended, approved & issued Autumn 2014
2 Summer 2013 Approved and Issued Summer 2013
1 Summer 2013 First draft
  1. Introduction

St John’s CE (A) Primary School values its positive relationships with our parents/carers and visitors and strives to make the school a place where we model good behaviours for the children and the Christian behaviour we teach and expect.  We promote respect for all and encourage close links with parents/carers and the community and celebrate difference in a positive manner.  We believe that children benefit when the relationship between home and school is a positive one and place a high importance on good positive communication, founded on mutual respect.  For these reasons we welcome and encourage parents/carers to participate in the life of the school.

The vast majority of parents/carers and others visiting the school are keen to work with the school and are very supportive. From time to time it is necessary for parents/carers and the school to deal with problems relating to pupils.  It is important that discussions between parents/carers and staff are conducted in a calm respectful manner.  In the vast majority of cases this is what happens, but on rare occasions, aggression and verbal and/or physical abuse is directed towards members of school staff or members of the wider community.

The Governing Board expects and requires its members of staff to behave professionally in these difficult situations and attempt to defuse the situation where possible, seeking the involvement as appropriate of other colleagues.  However, all members of staff have the right to work without fear of violence and abuse.  Being on the receiving end of any unacceptable behaviour or act of aggression (verbal or physical) will not be regarding by school staff as a ‘normal part of the job’.

St John’s expects parents/carers and other visitors to behave in a reasonable way towards all school staff.  This policy outlines the steps that will be taken where parents/carers behaviour is unacceptable.

  1. Behaviour

Following are types of behaviour that are considered unacceptable and will not be tolerated.  This is not an exhaustive list but seeks to provide illustrations of unacceptable behaviour:

  • Shouting at school staff, either in person or over the telephone
  • The use of foul language in pupil, staff or parents/carers presence
  • Physically intimidating a member of staff e.g. standing very close to him/her
  • The use of aggressive hand gestures e.g. two fingers raised
  • Threatening school staff
  • Shaking or holding a fist towards another person
  • Spreading malicious rumours/gossip
  • Writing abusive comments about a member of staff e.g. he/she is an idiot on social media sites so the person could be identified
  • Swearing at a member of school staff
  • Pushing –any physical violence
  • Spitting
  • Racist or sexist comments
  • Breaking the school’s security procedures

Unacceptable behaviour will result in the police being informed of the incident:

  • Damaging School Property
  • Approaching someone else’s child in order to discuss or chastise them because of the actions of this child towards their own child (such an approach to a child may be seen as an assault on the child and may have legal consequences).
  • Smoking and the consumption of alcohol or drugs on school property.
  • Dogs being bought into school premises.

This is not an exhaustive list but seeks to provide illustrations of such behaviour.  Whilst the use of such behaviour is unacceptable in all circumstances the school is particularly concerned to protect pupils from being exposed to parental/visitor, access to school premises.  Normally, parents/carers (and those with parental responsibility) plus visitors are granted what is known as “limited licence” to visit the grounds and buildings of a school.  Where there are serious concerns regarding the conduct of a parent/visitor and possible staff/pupil safety the Headteacher can:

  • Initiate a meeting/dialogue with the individual
  • Write to the visitor, describing the misconduct, explaining its impact on the school and stating its unacceptability
  • Vary the persons ‘licence’, through the addition of conditions
  • Warn of the possibility of a ban (i.e. the withdrawal of their licence) if the conduct is repeated
  • Impose a ban with a review after a fixed period
  • Impose a ban without a review
  • Where appropriate arrangements for pupil being delivered to and collected from the school gate will be clarified – this will also apply to those with a disabled blue badge
  1. Procedure

If a parent/carer/visitor or member of the public behaves in an unacceptable way towards a member of the school community, the Headteacher and/or appropriate staff member will seek to resolve the situation through discussion and mediation.  If necessary the school’s complaints procedure should be followed by the parent/carer.  Where all procedures have been exhausted, and aggression or intimidation continue, or where circumstances otherwise require it, a parent/carer may be banned by the Headteacher from the school premises for a period of time, subject to review.

Prior to being banned the following steps will be taken:

  1. The parent/carer will be written to, warning of the consequences of repeat behaviour and its seriousness.
  2. The parent will be warned, in writing, that s/he is banned from the premises, subject to review, and what will happen if the ban is breeched, e.g. that an injunction may follow.
  3. Where an assault has led to a ban, a statement indicating that the matter has been reported to Stoke on Trent City Council and the police will be included.
  4. Where appropriate, arrangements for pupils being delivered to, and collected from the school gate will be clarified.
  1. Conclusion

Pupils learn best when there is a positive partnership between home and the school.  Whilst every effort will always be made to work with parents, this will only be possible where all parents behave in an acceptable way.  Unfortunately, where a parent’s behaviour is either unacceptable it will not be possible to continue working with him/her and, as a final resort, legal action may be taken.  The school will take action where behaviour is unacceptable and breaches our home-school code of conduct or health and safety legislation.

We trust that parents/carers will assist our school with the implantation of this policy and we thank you for your continued support.

Appendix 1 – Inappropriate use of Social Networking Sites.

Social media websites are being used increasingly to fuel campaigns and complaints against schools, Headteachers, school staff, and in some cases other parents/carers and pupils. The Governors of St John’s considers the use of social media websites being used in this way as unacceptable and not in the best interest 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 Headteacher or the Chair of Governors, so they can be dealt with fairly, appropriately and effectively for all concerned.

In the event that any pupil or parent/carer of a child/ren being educated at St John’s 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/carer or pupil removes such comments immediately.

In serious cases the school will also consider 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/carer 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.

Behaviour by Visitors Policy – Version 5 – Summer 2016