Dear Parents/ Carers,
The awful events in a Texas primary school recently have once again highlighted to all schools the importance of adhering to safeguarding procedures.
Our relationships with parents are very important to us, as we believe that schools and parents need to work together in the best interests of the children. You are always welcome to phone school to talk to us on 0121 675 1469, or email on email@example.com.. The Senior Leadership Team and members of the Office staff also stand outside school in the mornings. We are happy to take messages or hear your concerns as you drop your children off at school.
That being said, we cannot allow parents (or anyone else) into the school unaccompanied. Any visitor that comes into school has to officially sign-in. They need to provide us with their DBS number, which is a number they get when they have passed a police-check which states that they are safe to work with children. Office staff will then give them a lanyard to wear which tells the staff who they are and in what capacity they are in the school. For example, they may wear a lanyard that says "Governor" or "Volunteer". All staff at school then know that this person has been signed in correctly and has passed a police check enabling them to be in a school. Anyone that is walking around the school without a lanyard will be challenged by staff because they are not authorised to be there. If you have been invited in for a workshop, then staff will be expecting you, and you will be shown to the hall. You will not get a lanyard in this instance, but neither will you be walking around unsupervised near children.
If a member of staff challenges you, please do not be offended. We are doing our best to protect the children. We have to take our responsibility seriously and we have to have the same rule for everybody so that it is fair.
I would urge you to follow the advice below:
- Do not enter the school through any door unless you are with a member of staff. If you are with a staff member, then that is fine as you are supervised.
- Do not open the gates into the playgrounds at the end of the day. I know it's frustrating when we are late to open them. This is because we try to keep them closed until all of the children have got out onto the playgrounds. That means moving 240 children out of the building, making sure they all have their bags, bottles, sunhats, etc... If parents let themselves in before all the children are out, it is difficult to know that we haven't lost anyone on the way down to the play areas.
- Do enter the foyer to speak to the office- just don't go into the main building without a member of staff.
- Do speak to staff outside in the mornings, or after school, or phone/ email us.
Again- let me stress that we love talking to parents and inviting them into the building. Having an open dialogue is vitally important, particularly if you have concerns or worries about your child. We are always available to speak to, in real life or at the end of a phone/ email. We need to protect the children by asking you not to just walk into the school- particularly in the mornings or at home time. We cannot make exceptions because that would not be fair.
Thank you for your support.