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Responding to Parent/Carer Queries and Concerns
What are our aims?
Harrogate High School aims to establish and promote a close relationship with all parents/carers, in the interests of their children. We recognise that children will feel more secure when they receive consistent messages from both home and school. Parents’ views and queries are welcomed, including the expression of any concerns. At the same time, we undertake to inform parents/carers as soon as possible about any issues or concerns with their child, so that we can gain co-operation in resolving them.
What do we do to communicate effectively with parents/carers and avoid concerns arising?
At Harrogate High School we work closely with parents to keep them informed of all aspects of school life. We share the following with parents/carers:
- information on transition into and out of the school
- our home-school agreement
- information on their child’s progress at parents’ evenings
- updates on homework, praise, and behaviour via the ClassCharts platform
- termly progress reports for their child
- successes or concerns via telephone calls/emails
- praise postcards when their child has been awarded one by a staff member
- enrichment information
- catering information
- social media posts that share information or celebrate student successes
- our half-termly newsletter
- the opportunity to join the HHS Parents’ Forum - a parent focus group which meets five times per year
- a wide range of information via the school website (policies, uniform, enrichment activities, curriculum details, etc.)
- parent/carer information events (e.g.: literacy, parent coffee mornings, etc.)
Policies and procedures are available on the school website. Furthermore, we ensure that all members of staff joining the school, both teaching and associate, are aware of our policies and procedures.
How do we respond to a query/a concern raised by a parent/carer?
We aim to always offer a first-class service with the following response times:
- During term-time the school switchboard is staffed between 7.30am – 3.00pm and telephone calls should be returned within 24 hours (please be mindful that many staff are teaching or have other commitments timetabled during the day, so they will respond when they can within this timeframe). During school holidays you may leave an answerphone message, but the school is not regularly staffed, so a response will likely be delayed until school re-opens.
- Letters and e-mails should receive a response within 48 hours during term time. As school is not regularly staffed during the holidays, replies may be delayed until school re-opens.
- Visitors to school with an appointment should be attended to within 15 minutes of their appointment time.
- The school is currently not accepting visitors without an appointment due to COVID-19 restrictions/risk assessment.
- If you have a concern/complaint, please contact your child’s form tutor in the first instance via email@example.com. It is always best to make an appointment to speak to them, if possible, to ensure the teacher is available and sufficient time and attention can be given. You may alternatively wish to contact your child’s teacher or the relevant Head of Department regarding a subject-related concern. Experience has shown that most difficulties can be resolved satisfactorily at this stage.
- If this is not the case and you wish to make a formal complaint, please see the page of our website relating to this (Harrogate High School | Northern Star Academies Trust - Complaints).
- If making a formal complaint, please contact the Head of Academy's PA, putting your concern in writing or alternatively ask for an appointment with the Head of Academy to discuss the matter (Head’s PA: firstname.lastname@example.org). We should acknowledge your complaint within 3 school days.
- Once the Head of Academy is satisfied that they are clear what your complaint is, they will ensure an investigation into the matter is undertaken and the Complaints Policy followed.
We are committed to responding to any parental concern as quickly and sensitively as possible in order to resolve the issue promptly and before it develops into a serious complaint.
How can we continue to improve our practice?
We keep a record of complaints so that we are informed about:
- the nature of complaints
- the point at which the complaint was resolved
- the measures adopted to resolve the complaints.
The Head of Academy and senior leaders review this on a regular basis to enable consideration to be given to any underlying issues which need to be addressed by the school and the governors or trust.