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Parent and visitor conduct policy

Adopted: June 2016

Statement of principles

The governing body of Jane Austen College encourages close links with parents and the community. It believes that students benefit when the relationship between home and school is a positive one.

The vast majority of parents, carers and others visiting our school are keen to work with us and are supportive of the school. However, on the rare occasions when a negative attitude towards the school is expressed, this can result in aggression, verbal and/or physical abuse towards members of school staff or the wider school community.

The governing body expects and requires its members of staff to behave professionally in these difficult situations and attempt to defuse the situation where possible, seeking the involvement as appropriate of other colleagues. However, all members of staff have the right to work without fear of violence and abuse, and the right, in an extreme case, of appropriate self-defence.

We expect parents and other visitors to behave in a reasonable way towards members of school staff. This policy outlines the steps that will be taken where behaviour is unacceptable.

Types of behaviour that are considered serious and unacceptable and will not be tolerated:

  • Shouting at members of the school staff, either in person or over the telephone
  • Physically intimidating a member of staff, eg standing very close to her/him
  • The use of aggressive hand gestures
  • Threatening behaviour
  • Shaking or holding a fist towards another person
  • Swearing
  • Pushing
  • Hitting, eg slapping, punching and kicking
  • Spitting
  • Breaching the school’s security procedures

This is not an exhaustive list but seeks to provide illustrations of such behaviour. Unacceptable behaviour may result in the local authority and the police being informed of the incident.

Procedure to be followed

If a parent/carer behaves in an unacceptable way towards a member of the school community, the principal or appropriate senior staff will seek to resolve the situation through discussion and mediation. If necessary, the school’s complaints procedures should be followed. Where all procedures have been exhausted, and aggression or intimidation continue, or where there is an extreme act of violence, a parent or carer may be banned by the principal from the school premises for a period of time, subject to review.

In imposing a ban the following steps will be taken:

  • The parent/carer will be informed, in writing, that she/he is banned from the premises, subject to review, and what will happen if the ban is breached, e.g. that police involvement or an injunction application may follow.
  • Where an assault has led to a ban, a statement indicating that the matter has been reported to the local authority and trust and the police will be included.
  • The chair of governors will be informed of the ban.
  • Where appropriate, arrangements for students being delivered to, and collected from the school will be clarified.