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Parent Voice

You said

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Administrative communication could be improved eg. New parents could be unaware that school closed on Founders’ Day and so only receive notification 2 weeks prior when full details of arrangements are emailed out that children would not be in school. Perhaps should be on school calendar so it's visible with other holidays?

Would like to hear about upcoming events sooner eg parents’ evening and founders’ day so we can sort time off work in advance if possible.          

  • Founders’ Day date is now published in school term dates section on school website in addition to the school calendar. Made explicit that school is closed on that day.
  • Investment in new school website and school app (in academic year 2018-19) improved quality and accessibility of communication and information to parents. App system allows notifications to be sent with key reminders or ‘save the date’. App calendar automatically syncs with the website calendar.
  • Made explicit that school finishes at 12pm on last day of summer term as new parents were unsure – information added to term dates in addition to school calendar.
  • Key calendar items for next academic year added to school website calendar (and automatically transfers onto the app calendar) as soon as confirmed (eg. start and end of term, key events, trips etc) to allow parents to plan.
  • Principal’s beginning of school year newsletter sent to all parents in August includes a section with key dates including parents’ evenings and Founders’’ Day.

Parental social media activity – has caused distress to parents and pupils when parents have discussed pupils who are not their child in whatsapp groups for example.

  • Worked with parents, particularly through the PTA, to address this issue and full agreement reached that it is not appropriate to discuss children other than your own on social media and guidance should be provided.
  • Matter was highlighted in Principal’s newsletter to all parents and statement issued. Made clear that school considers this a safeguarding issue.
  • Home-School agreement updated with two new statements for parents to sign up to:
  • Show respect when communicating with, or about, any member of the school community, including on social media platforms.
  • Follow safeguarding principles in social media and electronic communications and not post photos, videos or comments that discuss, identify or name children other than my own on social media.

Traffic and inconsiderate parking around the school site, particularly on Queens Drive, and dangerous driving manoeuvres by parents can be a danger to pupil safety.

  • Support and publicise walk to school initiatives particularly in primary phase. College staff on duty at school entrances at start and end of school day.
  • Ongoing awareness raising among parents through newsletters – challenge inconsiderate and illegal parking and dangerous driving manoeuvres around school entrances.
  • Work closely with local authority traffic teams, police and local councillors to tackle inconsiderate parking and dangerous driving by a small number of parents.

Quality of reporting - the quality of information received by parents about their child’s progress has emerged from parent surveys, including the Ofsted Parent View in January 2019, as an area for improvement.

  • Mrs Lines (Assistant Principal) led a review of the reporting system in the secondary phase in 2018-19 and a number of changes will be introduced in 2019-20 – the main focus is to ensure the feedback received is effective and can have a positive impact on pupils’ outcomes and engagement in the broad curriculum we offer at Liverpool College, including the 7 strands of LC+:
  1. We will launch the SIMS Parent App. This will give parents a daily update on their child’s sanction and achievement points awarded.
  2. At the end of every term there will be a window for compulsory summative assessment for all year groups. This will be known as the "Final Michaelmas/Lent/Summer assessment report". This assessment will be a considered factor in evaluating where a pupil is currently working at. These reports will include Behaviour for Learning grade (B4L), CWA (currently working at) and TAG (aspirational target grade).
  3. All pupils will receive a progress report once a year. This will be at different times of the year for each year group and has been planned so that there is a significant gap between parents’ evenings and the report. The progress report will consist of B4L, CWA, TAG and "How to Improve" (selected from a drop down list) - there will be follow up from the class teacher and House Mentor to see that pupils have acted on advice. Report will also include summary of participation in each of the LC+ strands graded from 1 (unsatisfactory) to 5 (outstanding participation).

How can parents help pupils to improve? From information given by school, parents sometimes do not really understand enough about what the pupils are doing at the moment and what need to do to improve / eg. what do the qualities mean etc

  • More resources will be on the website in a “Parent Area” to help parents support pupil learning. These will be live in September 2019.

May be useful for pupils and parents to know, as part of the reporting process, a pupil’s relative position in the class for a particular assessment.

  • Suggestion considered during reporting review process in Secondary Phase but no consensus on this – some pupils may find motivational but others not.
  • Considered more important for a pupil to reflect on own strengths and weaknesses rather than reflecting on position in the class. New report process in secondary phase from 2019-20 has been developed with the aim of promoting pupils’ articulation of their individual strengths and weaknesses across the whole LCA+ curriculum. Key is also to know how to improve as this is what is missing from the current reports – new reports will include guidance on these next steps for pupils (and parents).

Parental dialogue as part of the reporting process – following receipt of report and discussion with child, how can parents dialogue with/feedback to school and this also be recorded – help ensure parent, pupil and school are in the conversation.

  • After each progress report, pupil and parent will complete a form to say they have discussed the report and state what steps have been put in place at home to support the pupil.

Parents evening viewed as very useful in terms of getting to know who the teachers are (new Y7 meet the house mentor event considered very successful) but as such short conversation quality of information receiving in this format not that useful. Can there be more parents’ evenings?

Review timings of parents’ evening – not useful that some parents’ evenings do not take place until the summer term as too late to action any information/guidance provided at the meeting.

  •  Adding more parent evenings would become a workload issue for staff – school has to have a consideration about this (Nb. Some staff teach an entire year group.). Each year group has 1 parent evening a year (in Secondary) and 2 in Primary. Also as not every parent attends with every child there will still need to be some formal recording of progress.
  • New progress reports will ensure improved quality of information provided to parents to support pupil learning and progress.
  • As part of reporting review process, timings of parents’ evenings/reports was reviewed in secondary phase. Parents’ evenings do need to be spread out through the year due to staff workload but from 2019-20, parents’ evenings across the College have been planned so they all take place in the Michaelmas or Lent terms.

It would be useful for parents to know what GCSE and A Level syllabus each subject is following so they have information about the requirements of the courses and know what topics their children are studying.

  •  Weblinks to the syllabus for each subject will be added to the Curriculum Summary documents for Years 10-13. The Curriculum Summary documents also set out the topics/content that are covered in each subject in each year group. The Curriculum Summary documents are accessible from the Curriculum pages on the school website.

Important that improvements in reporting available to primary phase parents as well.

  • Consultation process in 2018-19 academic year focused on secondary phase, as primary phase review taken place previous year but will consider any improvements that could be made to primary reporting in light of conclusions reached with secondary review.
  • Primary reporting system will be reviewed in 2019-20 academic year.

Pre Prep outdoor provision in the new build – concern expressed that Reception pupils do not have as much access to outdoor provision than was expected.

  • Pupils have more access in new build to outdoor provision than in Godwyn House (each classroom backs onto a covered outdoor area). Initially additional fencing was not in place to allow Pre Prep pupils to play safely in larger site area – fencing is being moved over to the primary site.
  • Each Reception class has spent a term at LJMU’s Forest School – activities included den building, cooking and bug hunts!
  • College’s own Forest school has now been set up with the PTA providing funding for a member of staff to be trained to provide this provision on site. In 2018-19, the focus was on setting up the provision and a pilot programme was run with Prep pupils. From September 2019, all primary phase pupils will have access – outdoor learning programme with class groups and targeted intervention in small groups to support learning.

Opportunities for pupils to report concerns or ideas anonymously rather than having to speak to a member of staff.

  • There is an online system through the school network and also a suggestions box that is in the main school office.
  • Suggestion boxes have now also been placed in House offices in Secondary phase and in Pre Prep and Prep. These are checked regularly and suggestions reviewed by school leadership. Concerns will be passed on to the appropriate member of pastoral staff.

Use of “insider vocabulary” is difficult for new parents – eg. “MV Hall” – what/where is this? Not assume everyone knows the ‘short hand’.

  • A “LC Glossary” will be available to download from the College website which will identify and explain unique Liverpool College terminology, roles and facilities/places.
  • A new labelled campus map will be produced in the 2019-20 academic year.

In addition to parents being able to raise concerns or suggestions by contacting or speaking to staff, every term the Principal holds a Parent Information Evening. This is open to all parents. Information and updates are provided by school leadership on current issues and future plans and there is also an opportunity for parents to raise concerns or issues and questions on any area they wish to discuss. Dates of Parent Information Evenings are listed on the school website and app calendar and are advertised through the Principal’s Newsletter and app notifications. Some issues are also raised in surveys, such as Ofsted Parent View or those conducted by the school.