Parent to parent conversations on the school playground and out of school.
The vast majority of parents at school are very considered in their responses to other adults when on school grounds, however I ask that a minority of parents re consider the manner in which they speak to each other and manage their own confrontations. Whilst I understand that adults are often impassioned in their responses to others, particularly if there is an element of disagreement, this does traumatise young children even if they do not show it and impacts on their wellbeing.
The impact on your child and others
All adults on school site have a civil responsibility to conduct themselves appropriately and to recognise that children (including their own) are affected by it.
Parent responses and actions too often cause children stress, trauma and anxieties– not to mention that children are likely to replicate the actions of the adult.
I do not find myself having to speak to the children at the school about behaviours often, but when I do there is commonly a correlation between their behaviour and how they have seen adults conduct themselves.
Role models and long-term impact
As adults we have a moral duty to model the behaviours expected of our children through our own actions. You would not accept me or my staff behaving in a confrontational manner, as you would legitimately have a concern as to the impact it would have on children. As parents, I ask that you apply this expectation to yourselves.
Section 547 Education Act 1996 – Power to remove permissive access licence
I have in the past been both praised and criticised for directly addressing questionable and challenging parental conduct on school grounds. Due consideration and thought are given to all and any intervention, but it is important to establish what is and what is not acceptable, enforcing it where necessary.
As headteacher I have the right, under law, given to me by the Education Act 1996, to remove access to school grounds to anyone (withdrawing the commonly accepted permissive right to access school grounds by those with parental responsibility) should I feel that doing so protects others or if it is in their best interest anyone in my care.
I am mindful that I have no legal power beyond my school gates; however, I will if necessary ban parents from school grounds if I am of the view that their conduct off site could / is likely to impact on the wellbeing of children when on site.