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email communication with parents

Discussion in 'Primary' started by humss, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. Hi. Does anyone work in a school where the parents are able to directly email the teachers? If so did your school have to circulate rules for parents (and teachers?) in the proper use of email?
     
  2. Hi. Does anyone work in a school where the parents are able to directly email the teachers? If so did your school have to circulate rules for parents (and teachers?) in the proper use of email?
     
  3. I know this question is old but we too are thinking of going down this route. I would love to know if any (or many) of primary schools encourage parents to contact teachers directly by named email (not just via the office).
    If your school does, what kinds of rules do you have in place? Do you find it helpful or have you experienced problems? Do you get lots of emails about issues that would be better dealt with through face-to-face contact? Do you get lots of petty concerns from parents? Or alternatively, have you found that it really helps to improve communication with busy parents?
    We'd really like to know what we are letting ourselves in for...the good and bad.
    Thanks.
     
  4. karentee

    karentee New commenter

    I have worked in a school where we had this system, we had a pretty good relationship with parents and it was things like 'John had a late night and hasn't done his homework, can you give him an extra day' type thing, really the sort of things that would normally get in a hand written note. The only trouble we had was the expectation by parents that your emails would be checked during the day and if they emailed at 10am that someone else would be collecting their child at the end of the day there was a pretty big chance you wouldn't read that message until the day was over. It was also useful to be able to send messages to all parents without the worry of children 'misplacing' a letter between school and home
     
  5. Our school does this and we've found it's great. It also helped us get our most recent Outstanding Ofsted result.

    We have a whole school newsletter and class news sheet that both go home each Friday, and we email them where possible. It's a great way to save paper, office time photocopying and staff time handing them out to the little ones.

    It's a great way to get communication flowing and we've not had any problems.

    We treat emails like notes and stick them in the children's Communication Diaries in the lower end of the school (including our replies) and print off/save any other important messages.

    I don't see why there would be a need for specific 'rules'...it's a note...if you don't want something in writing then don't write it.

    Simple.
     
  6. Thank you for your replies. We do already send messages and newsletters home via email and by text from the office. We are a little worried that having individual teacher's emails will mean that some parents will expect an instant reply. Also we have an open door policy and would prefer to talk to parents about any issues face to face as email can be impersonal. I think the rules would be along the lines of how often we can check them and when parents can expect a reply, leaving a reasonable time period, etc.
    Perhaps we are worrying about nothing. I certainly wouldn't write anything that I wasn't prepared to be put onto paper and would much rather ask a parent to come and speak to me if they have a concern. However, I've heard of a couple of circumstances where messages have been misinterpreted. If you have positive experiences than that's great to know. Thanks.
    Is communicating between individual teachers and parents commonplace in primary schools? I've only heard of it in secondary schools until now (perhaps we're a still a bit in the dark ages).
     
  7. I think it work only there was an agreement that said emails from parents will be not be read between 8.30 and 4.00 and only accessed between 8.00 and 8.30 and 3.30 and 4.00 (or similiar) Otherwise we'd be checking at lunchtime to see who was picking up Fred.
    Can work but I wouldn't write a negative comment in email regarding behaviour. Always best to ring home.
     
  8. Could any of you forward the initial letter to parents requesting consent for using mail addresses and mobile phones as a way of communication?

    wim.chalmet@highland.gov.uk

    Thanks
     
  9. We do this but I work in a school where we hardly ever see the parents because the kids all leave by school bus. For the most part, I find it efficient and useful although I make it very clear that I might not read it during the day so don't use it for emergencies. I find it can communicate stuff you wouldn't want to write in the home/school book and I can get quick replies on behaviour problems etc. When the parents are well behaved it works well.....but grouped emails with everyone on them can be a nightmare and a real melting pot of bitching and moaning. I had one colleague who had been left on the email list as the parents tore shreds off his PE lessons etc etc.....
     
  10. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    I once had a class email address set up for exactly this, which forwarded to my personal email. It meant that the class email address could have an automatic reply set up which said something along the lines of the account only being checked once a day (no set time given) and so urgent messages should be telephoned through the usual channels.

    I found it was hardly ever used, but the few parents who used it found it useful - usually for the sorts of things mentioned: doctor's appointments, odd homework issues, etc.
     

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