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Open Days

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by johnsav, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. johnsav

    johnsav New commenter

    Our school is (for the first time) running open days for prospective students. Do we have to accept that our classes will be visited by prospective parents or do we have some sort of say in who enters our classroom?

    SLT will of course say that they are trying to protect our jobs, and that if numbers fall there will be redundancies (which I suppose is true) but can they just wander through any class? Are we compelled to be involved in marketing activities, as I thought that we were employed to educate children?

    Cheers
     
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I'd expect the head to plan the day in consultation with staff so that you do get some say in it, but ultimately it's up too the head who comes into your classroom - you don't have a right of veto.

    Open days for prospective pupils are normal aren't they? They happen in every secondary school in my area, during the school day. I can't see anything objectionable in principle. The devil is in the detail though. How is it being organised to minimise disruption to teaching and learning? And surely parents aren't just going to be allowed to roam the school at will, going into any classroom they fancy? Your head must have heard of safeguarding! In Open Days at my school no parent is allowed to go anywhere in the school unsupervised. That get taken in small groups by SLT, meet HODs, that sort of thing mainly .
     
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Indeed. Having small groups taken round the school during the day has ben the norm in many schools for years. Parents cannot be allowed to wander round on their own - as Rott Weiler says, safeguarding precludes it, as well as common sense.
     
  4. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I see no issue with this… quite nice to show prospective parents what you can do!

    The primary issue with 'open days' or marketing events would be if they fell on a weekend when staff are not paid to work or attend, or in evenings when they cannot be directed to facilitate marketing activities, but many do volunteer.
     
  5. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    Some schools I had experience of would say, if you are doing something that can't be interrupted (Controlled Assessment? Test? Orals?) you close your door, otherwise leave your door open and expect groups of potential parents (supervised, of course) to visit.

    Personally I'd plan something appropriate for the affected lessons...
     
  6. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    Open Days are a nightmare to organise but can be hugely successful. My approach: first consider the tour routes that visitors would take (keep to ground floor as far as possible, consider protection from rain, think of bottlenecks...). Then move classes if that would help (perhaps putting a Controlled Assessment miles away from the visitors, perhaps bringing a zingy science experiment into the nearest lab to the visitors; listen to staff who knew that their planned lessons wouldn't be visitor-friendly and keep them off the route. Some classrooms have two doors so lend themselves to having visitors walk through them; in others the position of the door makes any visitor highly disruptive:another thing to think about. We tend to pull some pupils out of lessons so that they can showcase other aspects of the school (drama rehearsal, orchestra, sports team coaching) and that might mean that some lessons effectively disappeared from the timetable for that day as the pupils were elsewhere. Organising in fine detail with clear briefing to everyone well in advance is essential.
     

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