Make sure that your procedure is set out clearly in the home-school agreement and that fines or after school club charges are transparent. You may wish to have clauses relating to calling or make arrangements prior to the end of school resulting in the charges being forfeit.
Having something that the parents have read and signed gives you the documentation to back up any challenging conversation about timely collection of pupils.
Dig a little deeper
Sometimes there are genuine reasons as to why a child can’t be collected on time – they may have siblings at different schools or a parent with a demanding job which often overruns. In such situations, having a meeting and coming up with a solution with the parent is always the best way to solidify a relationship and ease a child’s concerns. If these issues are long-term and the school is unable to support, then enlist the guidance of other children’s charities or families services.
Can we charge/fine for late collection?
We asked an education welfare officer at Haringey Council who explained:
That schools are not able to issue fixed penalty notices for late collection in the same way that they can fine parents for unauthorised absences.
He said that, if a child is repeatedly collected late, schools may wish to levy a charge to cover the costs of staffing or a place in an after-school club. However, he stressed that there is no guarantee that the parents will pay it.
What do you think? What do you do if children aren’t collected on time? Leave a comment on our groups.
Popular topics this week (Thanks to our group members!)
You should praise the achievement or piece of work, rather than praising the pupil as an individual. By praising the pupil as an individual, they may doubt themselves when they are not experiencing success. For example, by telling a pupil they are clever after succeeding at a task, they may assume they are not clever when they are not experiencing success. This affects their confidence and resilience.
By praising the piece of work, you enable the pupil to reflect on what went well objectively. Focus your praise on how the pupil achieved success, so they can replicate the approach in future.
You should refer to the fact the pupil has tried hard and/or consistently over time. This shows the pupil that by putting in effort in future, they can achieve success again.
Make sure your praise is specific about what exactly the pupil did well. You could link praise to targets relating to learning, or to school values for good behaviour, to make the praise specific. You can then support pupils to understand what targets to aim for next.
You should link the praise to your rewards system as set out in your behaviour policy, so that pupils get recognition for their achievements.
Demonstrate the behaviour you’d like to see
Staff around school should demonstrate the behaviour they’d like to see from pupils. For example, if staff hold doors open for pupils carrying heavy books, then pupils can emulate this behaviour.
The headteacher could also model this level of courtesy towards pupils, so that pupils can see your position in school doesn’t affect how you behave towards others.
When you praise pupils for adopting this behaviour, you reinforce pupils learning by copying an example of good behaviour, rather than having to be explicitly told.
Members of The Key for School Leaders have full access to a range of resources on managing pupil behaviour, as well as a wealth of other subjects on www.thekeysupport.com/SL.
Provide appropriate and regularly updated staff training
Knowing what to look for is vital to early identification of peer-on-peer abuse and preventing it from escalating. Provide staff with regularly updated and appropriate safeguarding training that enables them to understand:
How to identify the indicators of abuse
What to do if they have a concern about a child
How to respond to a report of abuse
How to offer support to children
Where to go if they need support
Challenge inappropriate behaviours
You’re required to have a behaviour policy and measures in place to prevent all forms of bullying, and your child protection policy should also include the procedures you have in place to minimise the risk of peer-on-peer abuse.
As part of enforcing these policies and measures, ensure staff challenge inappropriate behaviours by, for example:
Making clear that sexual violence and sexual harassment is not accepted, will never be tolerated and is not an inevitable part of growing up
Not tolerating or dismissing sexual violence or sexual harassment as ‘banter’, ‘part of growing up’, ‘just having a laugh’ or ‘boys being boys’
Dismissing inappropriate behaviours risks normalising them. You should have clear sanctions in place to respond effectively to incidents.
Provide a preventative curriculum programme
Your curriculum should ensure that children are taught about safeguarding, including how to stay safe online. However, make sure your curriculum also tackles issues such as:
Healthy and respectful relationships
What respectful behaviour looks like
Gender roles, stereotyping and equality
Body confidence and self-esteem
Sexual violence and sexual harassment
These issues should be addressed in an age-appropriate and inclusive way, and could be explored through your computing, relationships and sex education (RSE), and personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) provision.
Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Command has developed resources to help you support young people with developing confident, healthy approaches to relationships and the internet. These include videos, toolkits and activities that can be used in lessons, assemblies, or shared with parents.
As you would have expected vulnerable groups are most likely to get excluded. 78% of all PE being administered to those who have SEN or classified as pupil premium children.
Rewarding schools which are doing well and holding to account those which aren’t
The report states:
We expect school leaders to make sure all children are getting a good education, but we must equip them with the skills and capacity to do so. We need to reward schools which are doing this well and hold to account those who are not. Most importantly there must be safeguards in place for when things go wrong so that we can keep children on the path towards the successful future they all deserve.
The consultation said that one of its goals is to ensure that schools are accountable for the exclusions that they make. This will include having funding available for alternative provision. It also made some very promising statements:
Teachers do not take the decision to exclude lightly. Neither the review or the Government propose limiting the number of exclusions, with intervention aimed at supporting schools to use them effectively, while encouraging early intervention in support. The Government has confirmed that it will re-write guidance on managing behaviour and the circumstances when exclusions should be used. This will extend to the use of isolation units and support for those with SEND, to make sure they are used constructively, as outlined in Edward Timpson’s recommendations.
Limit the number of staff who have access to the page. The person responsible for the page should probably be the headteacher, a member of the senior leadership team, or the school business manager.
How often should we post?
Start small, and increase if you have the time and resource. Create a posting schedule to start with (for instance, one post every Tuesday and Thursday) to build consistency. You can re-evaluate the schedule after a month or so.
Settings that will make your life easier
Use the following settings to help manage your page:
In the ‘visitor posts’ section: disable posts by other people (anyone who doesn’t help you manage the page), or review posts before they’re published
In the ‘messages’ section: don’t allow people to message you privately. Stick to your official communication channels
In the ‘tagging ability’ section: turn off this function. You don’t want other people to be able to tag your posts or photos with other people’s names or profiles
Turn on the ‘profanity filter’ to strong. This blocks words and phrases commonly reported as inappropriate
You can set these in the ‘general’ section of the settings tab.
Adjust the notifications you receive so it doesn’t get overwhelming. Do this in the ‘notifications’ section of the settings tab.
You can either:
Limit notification to 1 every 12-24 hours (that notification will summarise all of the activity on your page during that time)
Turn off notifications for specific types of activity (for instance, when someone ‘likes’ or shares one of your posts)
It may be a good idea to get notifications when someone comments on your posts, but you don’t necessarily need an alert each time someone ‘likes’ something.
Use ‘insights’ to help improve your page and posts
The ‘insights’ tab helps you keep track of things like:
How many people ‘like’ your page
How many people saw a post
How many times people recommended your page to others
What people click on on your page
You can use this information to help you decide (for example):
What to post (certain types of posts may get more ‘likes’ or views)
When to post (comparing how many people saw something you posted at 8:00am vs 4:30pm may help you decide when its best to post to reach the most parents
Keep your log-in details secure
Don’t let your internet browser keep you logged in, or store login details.
Log out after every use.
How to build an audience
Encourage people to ‘like’ your page. This means your posts will show up in their newsfeeds, and they’ll get notifications on their mobiles and tablets when you’ve posted something new
Link to your page on your school website
Ask your audience to share certain posts to reach a wider audience – particularly posts about fundraising or events you’re running
Like posts from other local businesses, community groups, and schools. Facebook recommends pages to its users based on things like location, category, and what other users have liked, so connecting with other organisations could lead to more people becoming aware of your page
Members of The Key for School Leaders can access further resources on making their school social media presence a success, including some valuable dos and don’ts of what to post on your Facebook page and how to handle negative comments.