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Calder High

From Anya B

Friday, 14 February 2014

I am finding communicating my genuine concerns with Calder High difficult at the moment. I have received an e-mail suggesting I might want to take my children out of the school - because I raise negative points. This is ridiculous as my girls are quite happy there - I have the issues not them.

Some of the-mails I receive from a non-teaching member of staff are in my opinion composed in a "telling off way". I am starting to feel like I need to "stay positive or /and don't complain".

Anybody else had/having similiar issues?

From Paul D

Saturday, 15 February 2014

The suggestion to take your children out made by email sounds a bit odd. If this was a concern about their behaviour or non-attendance it would normally be raised face to face. Any school will have the odd parent who needs a bit of an honest talking to and given your feeling that this is well beyond that I'd raise it formally with the head, or the governing body via a parent governor. There was a bit of a witch hunt against the former head by a group of self appointed local whingers I hear, so just a polite but firm letter to make clear you have some genuine concerns may help. No need for any rudeness is there?

From Graham Barker

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Anya, you could try approaching the school management through PEACH (Parent Engagement at Calder High). Yours is exactly the kind of situation it was set up to remedy.

If you do try it, it would be good if you can report your impressions of PEACH back to this forum. Some of the CHS parents who helped set PEACH up in 2012 quickly became disillusioned, but things may have changed since then.

From Paul Clarke

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Oh no, is this kicking off again?

I had the impression the new regime was much more switched on and understood that parents are rightly very pro-active where their child's education is concerned.

Whatever the circumstances there is absolutely no grounds whatsoever to suggest a parent take their children elsewhere because they have the temerity to complain to a public service they pay for.

This suggests to me a failure by the school's management team which needs to be addressed very quickly before we end up in the mess we were in before.

From Anya B

Monday, 17 February 2014

Unfortunately peach forum I don't think would be a good idea as the person who is not happy with my communications sits on this group. I think a letter to the head maybe the best option cutting out the middlemen /women.

My kids are not in bother. The comment about me maybe taking them to a different school has been made I believe because I chose to ask questions and make comments, on a regular basis.

Paul you say oh no not this again. Can you say a little more?

Thanks for your comments

From Graham Barker

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Anya - you should perhaps copy your letter to the Chair of Governors if you have a serious problem with reaction to your comments. In the 'bad old days' - threads from the past couple of years on this forum cover them well - communication with parents was dreadful and its improvement was an Ofsted requirement. If you feel you can't approach PEACH, it's PEACH that needs to change. Ideally it should have been run independently by parents for parents, but this didn't happen. Perhaps you can help encourage CHS to go back to the drawing-board on that one.

From Anya B

Friday, 11 April 2014

PEACH meetings are they only for non working parents ? 9-11 on a Tuesday is the next one?

Us full time parents have a voice - we count - but cannot be heard via this forum.

Please can you add this item to your next agenda ie that the timings of meetings should be in the evenings so working parents can attend - thanks.

Also I think if meetings were held away from school and without school input there would be more interest generated. How can parents voice their points if they are conducted in the presence of school staff?

From Graham Barker

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Anya has put her finger on what is wrong with PEACH. The minutes and aims of PEACH on the CHS website now suggest it's all just window-dressing. Most of the parents, including me, who were supportive to begin with can only be disappointed at the way it has turned out.

An open and independent parent forum was meant to be a channel for parents to discuss and convey directly to the school any concerns or suggestions about its day-to-day operation and future direction. It was intended to help create a better, more efficient and - most important - happier school. The school however seems to see PEACH as no more than a tame and biddable resource to use for its own purposes.

This is not what many parents wanted in 2012, when the school was in crisis with a useless governing body and incompetent leadership. PEACH then seemed like a breath of fresh air but it has sadly not fulfilled its promise.

I think most parents would accept that CHS is now a happier and better-run school than it was pre-PEACH. But that's only relative. Unless the governing body is far more responsive to communications from parents than it used to be, meaningful parental engagement is still absent from the school, as Anya is discovering.