Last night we held a Parent Forum meeting at school. These meetings provide opportunity for parents to find out about recent school initiatives and ask questions of the senior management team and governors.
On the agenda were the outcomes of a recent moderation event, in which the borough sent a team into school twice to make judgements about the quality of our assessment of children. On both occasions, they gave us the top grade available, called ‘enhanced’ and confirmed all our judgements about children’s levels. We also spoke about changes to the national assessment system for pupils. Currently we use something called ‘levels’ for Years 1-6, as do all other schools. The new system, called, ‘Assessment without Levels’, enables schools to develop their own approach to assessment. We will be holding a meeting in September to give you much more detail.
We also discussed the outcomes of an external behaviour review we commissioned in April. This has led us to make some tweaks to our behaviour system, all launched last week, in a ‘Treat Week’. After discussing behaviour, we looked at the analysis of our recent parent survey.
The slides from the Parent Forum meeting are all on our website, here, as are the papers we circulated: a summary of our behaviour review and the parent survey.
In terms of outcomes, we have committed to the following:
I recognise that it is unacceptable for staff to be seen smoking by children. All staff who smoke have committed to making sure this stops. You will not see any of us smoking in front of children again. I would request that parents behave in a similar way when outside school. Please do not smoke in front of the school gates, especially at drop-off and pick-up time. Thank you.
Last December, I sent a letter home explaining that we were tightening up our approach to uniform. If your child is not wearing the correct uniform, parents will send them home with a standard letter, reminding you that uniform is compulsory at Drayton Park. We have a compulsory uniform because, several years ago, there was a consultation in which the vast majority of parents wanted one. The consensus in the Parent Forum meeting was that this was still the case. I know not all of you agree, but most strongly do. In last night’s meeting, there was a request for me to clarify what our uniform is. Here is the copy of the letter your child will get if they are not in uniform:
I have committed to putting in place email communication with parents. I would also like to set up a Drayton Park app, which you will be able to download onto your phones. We intend to get these things in place in September. We have been working to improve the quality and relevance of our website. Please do stick with it. The class pages are all currently up to date and worth looking at.
The governors’ email has not been working. As a result, John Gilbert, the chair of Governors has agreed to you using his personal email address if you would like to contact him. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org. This is now on the contacts page of our website.
Our parent survey was analysed by an external company. I apologise for the clerical error which led to many of you having your names on the forms. However, we simply handed the box you put them in to the company that analysed the forms for us, without looking at them first. The survey was anonymous.
We received the report on Sunday evening, so have not had a chance to fully discuss its contents. Once we have done so, I will write to you again explaining the changes we will make in response to your concerns.
Our Parent Forum meetings are an important opportunity for us to hear your views on whole school issues and make changes to improve the school. We were greatly encouraged by the increase in the number of parents who came to the meeting this time. Please do come to the next one if you can. We hold them termly.