Code of Conduct - Parents

Parent Code of Conduct

 

 

Why Living School has a Code of Conduct

 

The Parent Code of Conduct outlines the positive community requirements for all parents and family members when visiting our school, participating in school activities and communicating with members of our school community (including students, school staff, other parents and visitors to our school). 

This code applies to all adults including parents, guardians, step-parents, grandparents, extended family, babysitters and any others while involved in activities or communication related to Living School.

For convenience, the term ‘parents’ will be used throughout the document.

Living School has at its heart a connected supportive community: we aim to provide an open, welcoming, inclusive and safe environment for all. We believe that parents are valuable contributors in the life of our school. 

Our values are outlined in the School Website, which has been developed with the school board, staff and members of the school community. 

In brief, these values are underpinned by the new 3Rs: 

  • Respect 
  • Responsibility 
  • (positive) Relationships 

 

We want our community to recognise and appreciate diversity, to value the contributions of others and to cooperate with and care for others. 

We want our community to promote partnerships between all members and to interact positively with the negotiated rights and responsibilities of the school. 

Schools are social ecosystems. Emotions are catalysts - and our children's interactions and behaviours can cause us to experience Amygdala Hijacks!

 

Know Thyself.

 

General underlying principles 

 

a) Communication – Parents will use courteous and acceptable written and spoken language in all communications including all forms of social media with students, staff and other parents and members of the school community. No profane, insulting, harassing, threatening, aggressive or otherwise offensive language may be used. 

 

b) Ethical Conduct – Parents will act in the best interests of students, their families and staff members. They will not engage in malicious or judgmental gossip, and should ensure that anything they say about others is fair and truthful. 

 

c) Respect – We value our diverse community and respect the rights, religious beliefs and practices of individuals and their families. We respect points of view that are different from our own and all members of our community must refrain from actions and behaviour that constitutes harassment, discrimination or vilification towards any member of the School community.

 

 

When Visiting Living School 

 

a) At Living School, we require all visitors to the school during school hours to sign in on a Visitors’ Register located at the Reception area, so that their presence in the school is recorded in the event of an emergency. 

b) Parents will comply with all safety and emergency procedures in place at our School and in the event of an emergency while they are on school grounds, an excursion and/or School camps they will follow the instructions given by a member of staff.

c) When attending any kind of school assembly or public meeting, parents will listen respectfully, in the same manner required of students and staff, and will refrain from creating noise or disturbances during performances or speeches by students, staff or visitors. Interruption/heckling will not be tolerated and a parent who interrupts/heckles may be asked to leave. 

d) Parents will treat all other visitors to our school with courtesy and respect. 

e) A parent may not interrupt or distract a teacher while classroom instruction or learning activities are underway. 

f) A parent may not discipline a child inside or outside of the School who is not theirs or speak to a child who is not theirs about their behaviour. This is the role of the School. Being approached by an adult they do not know can be distressing for our students. Parents should therefore raise any behavioural, bullying or peer group issues with a member of the teaching staff and it is the teacher’s responsibility to deal with these issues. (Common sense would apply in an emergency where a child is at risk of harm or where a parent is supervising a small group of students on an excursion.) 

g) When visiting a learning area, parents accept the professional authority of the teacher (or teachers) and that they attend on the teacher’s terms. Teachers value parental involvement and assistance, but they may ask a parent to leave the classroom or class activity for any reason, but not limited to: 

  1. Parental assistance not being required at the time; 
  2. Parental presence in the classroom (or in the activity) is disturbing or distracting to any student or teacher; 
  3. The parent is not in control of their emotions.

 

 

When Communicating with School Staff

 

a) Living School acknowledges communication with teachers and staff is important. Living School also recognises the importance of managing communication to ensure teachers/staff do not feel overburdened. To this end, all communication with teachers by parents during the school day will be coordinated by the School Secretary. Any information will be noted and presented to staff via their personal pigeon hole. Living School does not permit direct emails to staff by parents during the school day – unless there is an emergency where the welfare of a student is under threat.

b) All school staff are entitled to a safe and happy work environment. This is in the best interests of our students as well as staff themselves. Parents should therefore ensure that their interactions with staff do not create unnecessary stress and anxiety. 

c) The priority for school staff is the welfare and education of all students in the school. All emails/phone calls will be forwarded to the intended staff member by the School Secretary. School staff are therefore not required to respond to emails and telephone calls instantaneously. Normal service standards suggest that an acceptable response time for emails is 2 working days. Responses are not expected outside normal working hours or during school holidays unless it is an emergency. 

d) The time available for parents to meet with staff is limited and must be scheduled at a time that does not disrupt the students’ learning. Living School does not permit emails to be sent directly to teachers during the school day. Parents should be mindful of the teacher’s time, communicate the reason for the meeting and allow the teacher time to prepare, unless there is a genuine emergency that needs to be discussed.



When Communicating with the School Board

 

a) School board members (Guardians of Purpose) welcome feedback from parents. However, Guardians of Purpose are volunteers and engaged in their own work and activities during business hours. When parents communicate with board members, they should therefore establish that it is a convenient time, or ask to speak at a convenient time. Calling someone when they are at work may be assumed to be an inconvenient time. 

b) Correspondence to the school board may be forwarded to the school’s email address. It will then be circulated to all the school board members through their meeting papers and the correspondence folder. It will be discussed at the next school council meeting and a response will be sent after the following school council meeting. 

c) Parents should allow Guardians of Purpose an opportunity to discuss their correspondence at a properly constituted meeting of the school board and therefore refrain from demanding an urgent response to their letter, sending the same letter multiple times on the same subject or otherwise harassing board members when they have not yet had an opportunity to discuss correspondence.



When Communicating with Other Parents

 

a) Parents will respect the privacy of other parents’ email addresses and will not send unsolicited emails or ‘spam’ or the use of any form of social media to school parents or forward unsolicited emails or spam they receive to other parents. Parents will not forward other parents’ email addresses without permission. Parents provide their email address to the school in order to receive communications from the school about school related matters and their child. The school will not give out the email address of parents to other parents without permission. Parents give their email addresses to parent class representatives in order to receive communications about class activities, social events, gatherings for their child’s class, and to establish rosters for classroom help, fundraising activities and so on. Parent class representatives will not pass on parent email addresses to other parents without permission. 

b) Parents who act as class representatives, organisers and so on, are valued volunteers who play a critical role in our community and commit a great deal of time for the benefit of all. Apart from the general principles that always apply, parents should be particularly sensitive about the manner in which they provide feedback and ask questions of hardworking volunteers.

 

When Making a Complaint

 

Parents have the right to raise issues and concerns related to the education of their child or school matters. Parents should ensure that they raise their issues and concerns with the right person and follow the correct communication channels.

When making a complaint parents should refer to The School’s Complaints Protocol

Parents must follow the procedures outlined.

It is a breach of this Parent Code of Conduct to make a complaint in a way that is not consistent with the School Complaints Policy. This is especially the case when the complaint is about a teacher or member of school staff.

Any parent, member of school staff or student may notify the Conductor of a possible breach of the Parent Code of Conduct. The Conductor or their delegate will investigate the complaint and if satisfied that a breach has occurred: 

a) Provide a first and final warning that a breach of the Code of Conduct has occurred and that a further breach will not be tolerated; 

b) Determine whether a breach may be rectified by the parent making a private or public apology, depending on the circumstance, to an individual or group of individuals;

c) Where the breach concerned is unacceptable behaviour on a visit to the school, issue a trespass warning to the parent, which, if the behaviour continues, may accelerate to a trespass notice requiring the parent to stay away from the school unless on the school grounds with the express permission of the Conductor. 

 

Correspondence that is in breach of this Code of Conduct, because of the language and expression used or the manner in which it is sent or delivered will not be responded to. 

 

Nothing in this Policy precludes any person from exercising their individual legal rights in respect of obtaining restraining and intervention orders; reporting assault; bringing action for defamation; exercising rights under vilification or discrimination, or in any other way.

 

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