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Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by boogie19, May 18, 2019.
Why would a TA text a parent "A"?
Perhaps it was an effort grade for the parent? Or for achievement?
No idea what the question is, but I'll hazard a guess what the answer is anyway. What does school's policy say about TAs texting parents?
Depends why and when, and whether they used a school or personal phone.
Are you the TA? Context please.
Are you not the TA? How do you know, and what do you need to know?
Clearly need to know more before answering - but, in general, a TA should only be messsaging or phoning a parent if specifically asked to by the class teacher or a member of SLT. And it should never be on their personal phone, always from the school number.
And if the OP's real name is their user name with the number missing, this TA may now know that a colleague is asking for advice about them on the Internet.
People on here have their opinions. My own would be that it depends entirely on the reason for the text. But, in the end, it is the school's policy which counts.
They could be friends outside of school....
Just logged back on ...I posted from my phone and it clearly didn't post my message! Thanks Piranha it was showing my user name rather than my public name. Doh !
I'll post the full message in a min.
Long story short ...
A TA who works with SEND children text a parent of a child in my class when he was off. She asked why he wasn't in with no instruction from anyone off her personal phone number.
When she told me we went through why she shouldn't do that (they are not friends out of school, they exchanged phone numbers apparently during a stay and play). She replied it is fine, she is allowed as she has a special rapport with parents etc and the head wouldn't mind. He wasn't in so will chat to him on Monday. I spoke to the 'lead teacher' and they didn't seem to see too much of a problem with it?!?
I am new to the team however I know in my previous school this would be a big NO WAY!
Exactly what I thought the instant I saw the thread title. I don't think there is any legal impediment to any member of staff communicating in this way but there are a lot of pitfalls to allowing them to do so.
Back to that question.
I can't see anything in the school handbook and I don't want a big fuss or to look like I am being an a***. I just think you shouldn't do it and it makes me feel uncomfortable.
I think it might be useful if, for example, the teacher has asked the TA to check up on something. This would save the teacher time and is a straightforward admin task, so not something the teacher ought to be asked to do. However, unasked and unrecorded? Not keen on this.
The school should have a policy about communications with parents which should be all inclusive. It should have things such as when and how and whether there needs to be authorisation and what information is given out.
A quick Google search produces plenty of examples. The schools I have been in which send texts about absences usually do so centrally.
We have a central texting system etc and the office nor,ally chases up absences. Thanks all. I'll wait to see if the lead teacher comes back to me on Monday.
At my school, this would be an absolute no. However, this has been explained to us in staff meetings and is very clearly stated in the relevant policy. If your school policy doesn't state this, then there's nothing you can do about it. Like you, I really wouldn't be happy about it though.
or even related.
Maybe start with the idea that it might be perfectly ok in this school.
So open the chat with the head with something like "Something happened on Friday that bothered me, but that could just be because I'm new to this school. It might not be anything wrong and the couple of people I've asked so far have reassured me I'm just being a bit daft. But because it is worrying me, possibly unnecessarily, can I ask you about it? Not to get anyone into trouble, but just to stop me getting in a state." and then get on with talking about what happened. the head might well have no problem with it at all, in which case you will have to let the TA risk what she wishes and feels is right.
She has an electronic copy of the message, so she's protected on those grounds. However most schools have a policy requiring all communications regarding AWOL students to go via an attendance officer/Heads of Year, etc. to track potential safeguarding issues/patterns in absence.
This is the kind of thing that's reported up the chain via e-mail, so you have evidence of your actions, and then wait for further advice.