What policies does your child’s school have?
All schools are governed by policies and procedures that support the running of the school.
These policies are the rules that guide how a school will deal with certain situations.
You may be given a copy of some of the policies when your child starts at the school. These might include uniform policies, complaints procedures, behaviour policies and attendance policies.
School policies will generally be developed and agreed by one or more people who might include the headteacher and other senior teachers in the school, school governors, local authority officers and external advisors.
All policies should be reviewed regularly and updated, usually once a year.
It’s worth finding out what other policies and guidelines the school has, particularly if your child has a special need or disability as some policies may affect them. You may also be able to use them to help support decisions around the education and development of your child.
Useful policies and procedures could include:
- Accessibility plans – how children with SEND might access the school and learning.
- Children with health needs who cannot attend school
- Supporting pupils with medical conditions
- Behaviour support plans
If you have the time, energy and knowhow, it can also be worth finding out what policies your school should have – central government websites should help you with this.
When policies aren’t there
If the existing policies do not cover your child’s needs, it is worth having a polite word with the school. You should carefully explain what is missing or not working and ask how the school will amend the situation. If you are able to provide ideas or even examples of policies and guidance that work better elsewhere, it may be helpful.
Sometimes teachers are unaware of the school’s policies, after all, they have a lot of paperwork to deal with. Alternatively, they may not understand how the policies are relevant to your child. A friendly conversation, about how the teacher can put school policy into action may help them to better support your child. It may even help a teacher, for example, some policies may entitle them to extra support or resources!
Key learning points:
~Take time to look at the school’s policies and see how they are relevant to you.
~Do not be afraid to ask the head teacher why policy decisions have been made if you don’t understand or agree with them.
~When talking to teachers, refer to the policies. Use them to help support decisions around the education and development of your child.
~Are you aware of your school’s policies?
~Can parents get involved in the development of any policies?