14th June 2021
In the last few years some teachers have allowed parents to contact them on their personal mobiles. This is a breach of our school community code of conduct. In the interests of maintaining a healthy work life balance to prevent teachers from being contacted by parents out of hours, as well as abiding by our code of conduct to ensure student safety, we are requesting parents to note the following in regards to contacting teachers:
- Please only use teacher CEWA emails to contact your child’s teacher, or leave a phone message at school for them to call you, or talk to them at school to make an appointment to see them. Your child’s teacher’s email is their email@example.com. If you are not sure of your child’s teacher’s email, please ring the front office on 9161 7200.
- If you wish to send a message to your child’s teacher on the weekend, or in the evenings between 6pm and 6am the next morning, please send your message to firstname.lastname@example.org, and the admin team will forward your email to the teacher in the morning.
Naturally in a small country town there are many overlapping relationships with staff often being friends or related to parents of students at school. Staff are aware of common sense protocols to use in these situations so please discuss with them if you are not sure if you should be using their personal mobile number.
This issue is also related to our School’s code of conduct. Every school in WA is required by the Education department to have a code of conduct and ours is the standard Catholic education school code. The Code of Conduct (found at this link ) applies to all members of our school community, including parents, and we ask that parents are aware of it. Again it is important to apply the Code of Conduct in a common sense approach in a small rural setting where there are many overlapping relationships with families in our community. All school staff are encouraged to self-report to me (and myself report to my regional manager) any ‘breaches’ in an effort to remain transparent in our relationships with our friends in the community. Staff are usually not punitively dealt with when they self-report unless with the advice of the CEWA Employee relations team they are suspected of grooming behaviour. By remaining transparent and self reporting any breaches of the code, it makes it difficult for anyone entering our school community to engage in grooming behaviour because it is not normalised behaviour.
Some specific points that apply to parents in our code of conduct, when they are at school, at school events, on excursions or volunteering at school are :
- Parents should not take photos of other people’s children, as they are not aware of photo permissions the school has obtained.
- Parents should not post photos of other people’s children on any social media platforms, again as they are not aware of permissions in this area.
- Parents should not initiate unnecessary physical contact with other people’s children or do things of a personal nature that a student can do for themselves, such as toileting or changing clothes
- Parents should not be alone with a student in circumstances where you are unseen or unlikely to be randomly interrupted
Again, many parents have close family friendships or are related to other families in our schools, so these provisions must always be interpreted with a common sense approach. If you are unsure of how the Code of Conduct applies to you please feel free to call me.