Swing Gate Infant School and Nursery

Parent Forum

Our Parent Forum offers all our parents and carers a voice

Parent Forum Meeting Minutes 2019-22

Parent Forum Meeting dates for 2022-23 are:

November 2022

September 2022

June 2022

May 2022

March 2022

January 2022

December 2021

October 2021

June 2021

April 2021

March 2021

January 2021

December 2020

October 2020

  • Friday 23rd September at 09:00
  • Friday 18th November at 09:00
  • Friday 13th January at 09:00
  • Friday 3rd March at 09:00
  • Friday 5th May at 09:00
  • Friday 16th June at 09:00. 


 

 

The Terms of Reference for the forum are detailed below.

  1. To maintain confidentiality.
  2. To act as a constructive tool with which the Headteacher and Governing Body may consult the parent body.
  3. To act as a conduit to feed information from the school to parents and from parents to the school. When asking for feedback from parents, forum members should:
    • should adopt a neutral stance and not offer or promote their personal view
    • should convey the feelings and thoughts of a group of parents
    • may need to provide names of parents giving feedback so that the school can, if appropriate, feedback to individuals or groups. No names will be published with the minutes.
  4. To have an informative and consultative role. The Headteacher remains the primary decision maker and the Governing Body provides strategic leadership.
  5. That any parent may nominate themselves to become a member of the forum. Usually each class will have two representatives, but some classes have three. Nominations for members are invited at the beginning of the school year and during the year when a vacancy arises. Elections will only be held in cases where nominations are received from more than three parents for an individual class.
  6. To meet as a group on a half termly basis. The time that meetings are held will be agreed at the start of each academic year.
  7. That the forum is attended by the Headteacher and chaired by a Governor.
  8. An agenda will be prepared and circulated one week prior to the meeting by a nominated member of the Forum, with class and school items highlighted.

The Forum members are all Class Representatives and as such may also have a key role in providing assistance to FoSG organising volunteers etc. The Forum is NOT a conduit for specific areas of concern around individual children, these should be directed in the first instance to the class teacher and then escalated to the Headteacher or Senior Leadership Team if necessary.

If you have any suggestions or questions that you would like to be discussed at the next Parent Forum meeting, please contact the appropriate Class Representative at least one week prior to the next Parent Forum meeting.

 

Guidelines for Class WhatsApp Groups, agreed at Parent Forum on Friday 17th June 2022

At the beginning of each academic year the Class Representatives set up a WhatsApp Group for each class. 

The main purpose of these groups is to share important information regarding class activities, reminders of events, deadlines, dates in the school calendar. quickly and efficiently.  The WhatsApp Groups are an extremely beneficial tool when used successfully. However, depending on the situation, it could also become negative on occasion.  Swing Gate School sets out below some polite rules and etiquette regarding the use of the Class WhatsApp Groups to avoid this.

Points to note: 

  • the group should be used to make our lives easier and not become a nuisance
  • it is a quick and easy network for Class Representatives to remind parents of school activities and Friends of Swing Gate events. We ask parents to reduce the amount of casual chat so important messages do not get “lost” making the group ineffective
  • parents should always refer to the official channels of communication from school, including classroom staff and Headteacher, in the first instance.  The class WhatsApp group should function mainly as a source for reminders and information
  • the group should be used keeping in mind mutual respect and cultural sensitivity between all its members
  • we ask parents to be considerate regarding the time they post messages.  

We encourage the use of the groups for: 

  • questions and reminders about deadlines, school activities and events including what date the home learning is due, reminders of non-uniform days and payment deadlines for trips
  • sharing important information already posted on the website to help reach more parents such as alerts about sickness, school policies
  • lost property notices
  • sharing information which can be useful to the other parents in the group such as where to buy costumes for dressing up days, ideas for projects
  • foster a sense of community to enable organising playdates or sharing the invitation for a birthday party (only if the whole class is invited), planning end of year gifts
  • sharing relevant community notices such as road closures or new traffic lights in the local area.

We discourage the use of the groups to: 

  • gossip
  • voice grievances
  • share personal problems
  • point out another child’s behaviour
  • discuss the work of teachers.  If a parent has a concern regarding the teacher, that parent should speak with them directly or speak to the Headteacher.
  • raise individual concerns or complaints.  If a parent has a particular concern or complaint regarding the school or any member of staff, that issue should be raised directly with school (the Headteacher or a member of the Senior Leadership Team)
  • share political posts or discussions. 

Feedback for discussion at Parent Forum meetings should be sent directly to the Class Representative or emailed to the school at admin@swinggate.herts.sch.uk.

The Parent Forum Chair, in consultation, with senior school leadership can add a moderator to Class WhatsApp Groups at any time it deems necessary.  The moderator will be a member of the school community, such as a school Governor.

Swing Gate Lane, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 2LJ

01442 863913

admin@swinggate.herts.sch.uk