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Communication with Parents and Carers Policy including Home-School Agreement

Communications with Parents and Carers Policy

Policy details

Date created - January 2023

Date reviewed - January 2023

Date approved - 23 March 2023

Next review date - Spring 2025.

Policy owner - Director of Communications (Lee Davies)

Introduction and aims

Roles and responsibilities




Behaviour that will not be tolerated

How we communicate with parents and carers


School messaging system

Academy calendar

Your child’s day-to-day progress

Parent Pay provides information on your child’s transactions in the dining hall.

Phone calls


Progress Evenings

Academy website and social media


How parents and carers can communicate with the school

Contacting the academy by phone, My Ed app or email



Monitoring and review

Appendix 1:
Academy contact list

Appendix 2:
Home-academy Agreement

Student acceptable use agreement & eSafety rules

Appendix 3:
Parental notification and consent form for the use of biometric data

Appendix 4:
Photography/Video Permissions

Introduction and aims

We believe that clear, open communication between the academy and parents/carers has a positive impact on students’ learning because it:

  • Gives parents/carers the information they need to support their child’s education
  • Helps the school improve, through feedback and consultation with parents/carers
  • Builds trust between home and school, which helps the school better support each child’s educational and pastoral needs

The aim of this policy is to promote clear and open communication by:

  • Explaining how the school communicates with parents/carers
  • Setting clear standards and expectations for responding to communication from parents/carers
  • Helping parents/carers reach the member of school staff who is best placed to address their specific query or concern, so they can get a response as quickly as possible

In the following sections, we will use ‘parents’ to refer to both parents and carers.

Roles and responsibilities


The Principal is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that communications with parents are effective, timely and appropriate
  • Monitoring the implementation of this policy
  • Regularly reviewing this policy


All staff are responsible for:

  • Responding to communication from parents in line with this policy and the school’s ICT and internet acceptable use policy
  • Working with other members of staff to make sure parents get timely information (if they cannot address a query or send the information themselves)

Staff will aim to respond to communications during core school hours (8am - 4pm), or their working hours (if they work part-time). In line with promoting staff wellbeing and helping our staff find a suitable work-life balance, staff may work around other responsibilities and commitments and respond outside of these hours, but they are not expected to do so.


Parents are responsible for:

  • Ensuring that communication with the school is respectful at all times
  • Making every reasonable effort to address communications to the appropriate member of staff in the first instance
  • Responding to communications from the school (such as requests for meetings) in a timely manner
  • Checking all communications from the school

Parents should not expect staff to respond to their communication outside of core school hours  (8am - 4pm), or during school holidays.

Behaviour that will not be tolerated  

  • Disrupting, or threatening to disrupt, school operations (including events on the academy grounds and sports team matches)
  • Swearing, or using offensive language
  • Displaying a temper, or shouting at members of staff, students or other parents
  • Threatening another member of the academy community
  • Sending abusive messages to another member of the school community, including via text, email or social media
  • Posting defamatory, offensive or derogatory comments about the school, its staff or any member of its community, on social media platforms
  • Use of physical punishment against your child while on school premises
  • Any aggressive behaviour (including verbally or in writing) towards another child or adult
  • Disciplining another person’s child – please bring any behaviour incidents to a member of staff’s attention
  • Smoking or drinking alcohol on the school premises (unless alcohol has been allowed at a specific event)
  • Possessing or taking drugs (including legal highs)
  • Bringing dogs onto the school premises (other than guide dogs)

If the academy suspects, or becomes aware, that a parent has displayed any of these behaviours, the academy will gather information from those involved and speak to the parent about the incident.

Depending on the nature of the incident, the academy may then:

  • Send a warning letter to the parent
  • Invite the parent into academy to meet with a senior member of staff or the Principal
  • Contact the appropriate authorities (in cases of criminal behaviour)
  • Seek advice from the trust’s legal team regarding further action (in cases of conduct that may be libellous or slanderous)
  • Ban the parent from the academy site

The school will always respond to an incident in a proportional way. The final decision for how to respond to breaches of the code of conduct rests with the Principal.

The Principal will consult the chair of governors before banning a parent from the school site.

How we communicate with parents and carers

The sections below explain how we keep parents up-to-date with their child’s education and what is happening in school.

Parents should monitor all of the following regularly to make sure they do not miss important communications or announcements that may affect their child.


For new families joining the academy in Year 7, we offer:

  • A welcome email/letter, sent soon after the National Offer Day, including key messages about the induction programme and inviting parents to complete our admissions form. The admissions form will ask parents for consent for photography and biometrics as well as asking parents to agree to our Home-Academy Agreement and Attendance Contract
  • A Parents Information Evening, where we share key information and offer a chance to meet the team
  • Induction Days for new students
  • A Uniform Collection Day

School messaging system

These messages are delivered as My Ed app messages (for those parents who have downloaded the app) or as SMS messages (for any parents who have not downloaded the app).

We use the messaging system to keep parents informed about the following things:

  • Upcoming school events
  • Scheduled school closures (for example staff training days)
  • School surveys or consultations
  • Class activities or teacher requests
  • Short-notice changes to the school day
  • Emergency school closures (for instance due to bad weather)
  • Letters about trips and visits
  • Consent forms

Longer letters are also sent via the school messaging system. Parents receive these in the form of a link in their app or SMS message, directing them to read the letter on a webpage or as a PDF download. Generic letters are held at where parents can find copies of them if needed.

Academy calendar

Our website includes a list of term dates and other key dates for parents, such as Progress Evenings.

Where possible, we try to give parents at least 2 weeks’ notice of any events or special occasions (including non-uniform days, special assemblies or visitors, or requests for students to bring in special items or materials).

Your child’s day-to-day progress

Parents have access to data about their child.

  • The My Ed app and the Arbor Parent Portal app/website provides data, updated daily, on your child’s positive rewards, behaviour logs and attendance.

Parent Pay provides information on your child’s transactions in the dining hall.

Phone calls

The academy encourages staff to call parents to discuss students’ performance (both positive and negative).


Parents receive two progress reports over the year about their child’s learning.

  • For Key Stage 3, these include an Attitude to Learning Grade determined by teachers, indicating the effort a student is putting into their learning.
  • For Key Stage 4, these reports include a predicted grade and an indication of how much the student is working towards their potential.

Progress Evenings

Once per year, parents are invited to a Progress Evening where they can speak to their child’s teachers about the progress they are making in each subject.

Academy website and social media

Key information about the academy is posted on our website at including:

  • School times and term dates
  • Important events and announcements
  • Curriculum information
  • Important policies and procedures
  • Important contact information
  • Information about before and after-school provision

Parents should check the website before contacting the school.

In addition, social media will be used to reiterate key messages and to share extra stories of student success.


The academy welcomes feedback from all stakeholders, especially from parents. Parents are welcome to share their feedback at any time, and also during the following scheduled activities:

  • Parent Forum events - where parents are invited to sit down with a cup of tea/coffee and join the Principal or Senior Leaders for a discussion about what’s going well at the academy and how we can make things even better.
  • The annual survey - this online survey is sent to parents once a year.

How parents and carers can communicate with the school

Parents should use the list in appendix 1 to identify the most appropriate person to contact about a query or issue, including the school office number and email address.

Contacting the academy by phone, My Ed app or email

For non-urgent issues, parents can contact the reception team by phone (0161 795 3005), email ( or via the My Ed app.

The reception team will assist with the query, or pass the message on to the appropriate member of staff.

Each Year Group has a team consisting of two Heads of Year and a linked member of the Senior Leadership Team. In many cases, the Year Group Team will be best placed to help parents. We advise parents to contact reception, who will log parental queries on a tracking system for the Year Group Teams to see.

Staff are asked to respond to non-urgent queries within three working days. If a query or concern is urgent, it will be dealt with as soon as possible.

Urgent issues might include things like:

  • Family emergencies
  • Safeguarding or welfare issues


If parents would like to schedule a meeting with a member of staff, they should contact the school to book an appointment.

We try to schedule all meetings within three working days of the request.

Typically, members of the relevant Year Group Team will be best placed to meet parents to discuss the majority of queries.


The majority of our letters are sent to parents in HTML and can be used with a wide-variety of accessibility and translation tools.

It is important to us that everyone in our community can communicate easily with the school. The school messaging system allows us to communicate text messages in the languages below using automatic translation. To activate this feature, please contact reception and let us know which language you would like to use.












Haitian Creole



Hmong Daw


























Parents who have downloaded the My Ed app can write to us in these languages, and it will be automatically translated into English.

We can make additional arrangements if necessary. Please contact the school office to discuss these.

Monitoring and review

The Principal monitors the implementation of this policy and will review the policy every two years.

The policy will be approved by the governing board.


Appendix 1:
Academy contact list

Parents can use the school’s contact details - phone (0161 795 3005), email ( or via the My Ed app to address queries to anyone below.

I have a question about…

Who you need to talk to…

My child’s learning / class activities / lessons / homework

Your child has two Heads of Year and a link member of the Senior Leadership Team. This team is the best point of contact in the first instance, and will refer you to specific teachers if required.

My child’s wellbeing / pastoral support

Your child has two Heads of Year and a link member of the Senior Leadership Team. This team is the best point of contact in the first instance, and will refer you to specialist staff if required.

Catering / meals including payments

To get started with Parent Pay, please contact reception for an activation code.

The Catering Manager is able to deal with questions about the food offer or transactions made in the dining hall.

School trips

If your child is invited on a trip, you will receive a letter with the details.

Please contact the person named on the letter.

Uniform / lost property

To purchase uniform contact reception who run our uniform shop.

Students who have lost items should ask at the Library. New lost property is handed in there and we keep records of what’s been lost and who’s looking for something, so that we can reunite owners with their items.

Attendance and absence requests

If you need to report your child’s absence, call: 0161 795 3005 before 8.30am.

If you want to request approval for term-time absence, contact the Attendance Team.

Bullying and behaviour

Your child has two Heads of Year and a link member of the Senior Leadership Team. This team is the best point of contact in the first instance.

School events / the school calendar

Please check the academy website

Special educational needs (SEN)


Before and after-school clubs

Please check the academy website

Hiring the school premises

The Lettings Officer, part of our Community Team, will be able to assist.


We do not currently have a Parent Teacher Association, but please contact the Community Team if you are interested in helping us set one up.

The academy does not plan on asking parents to support fundraising for the school, but would like to see more parents involved in academy life.

Governing board

The Chair of Governors

Making a complaint

Please see the Complaints Policy for all schools in the Co-op Academies Trust at 

Appendix 2:
Home-academy Agreement

The academy will:

  • care for each student’s wellbeing, safety, happiness and recognise achievement;
  • adopt a firm but fair and consistent approach to discipline;
  • provide high quality teaching in a high quality learning environment;
  • encourage and foster a sense of individual self-respect for each student
  • report students’ progress to parents/carers regularly in writing
  • contact parents/carers if there are concerns about attendance, punctuality, behaviour or progress;
  • respond sensitively and promptly to any concern or complaint raised by any student or parent/carer;
  • listen to, and value, parental and student contributions.

Parents/carers will:

  • support the academy values and behaviours;
  • ensure that their child attends the academy on time, with a minimum of 97% attendance;
  • inform the academy on the first day in the event of any absence;
  • support the academy policy of holidays not being taken in term time;
  • ensure that their child will complete all work set by the academy;
  • ensure their child adheres to all policies of the academy;
  • attend meetings concerning the education and wellbeing of their child;
  • inform the academy if they have any concerns regarding their child so that support for the student can be agreed.

It is your responsibility as a parent/carer to inform us by email or telephone, any changes of address or telephone numbers.  This would not only be for yourself but for any other names on your child’s contact list.

Students will:

  • work to the academy’s high expectations of our values and behaviours;
  • adopt an attitude of hard-work, self-discipline and organisation in every lesson;
  • be properly equipped for every lesson;
  • meet work deadlines set by your teacher;
  • attend regularly and on time and be punctual to all lessons;
  • follow the academy’s policy on uniform and appearance;
  • respect all property, keeping the academy free from litter, graffiti and chewing gum.

Student acceptable use agreement & eSafety rules

ICT including the Internet, Virtual Learning Environment, e-mail and mobile technologies have become an important part of learning in our Academy.   We expect all students to be safe and responsible when using any ICT.  

It is essential that students are aware of eSafety and know how to stay safe when using any ICT. Students are expected to read and discuss this agreement with their parent or carer and then sign and follow the terms of the agreement.  

Any concerns or explanation can be discussed with your child’s Learning Tutor. Please make sure that you and your child read the agreement and rules below.

  • I will only use ICT systems in the academy, including the internet, e-mail, digital video, mobile technologies, etc. for academy purposes.
  • I will not download or install software on academy technologies.
  • I will only log on to the academy network/Virtual Learning Environment with my own username and password.
  • I will follow the academy’s ICT security system and not reveal my passwords to anyone and change them regularly.
  • I will only use my academy email address.
  • I will make sure that all ICT communications with students, teachers or others are responsible and sensible.
  • I will be responsible for my behaviour when using the Internet.  This includes resources I access and the language I use.
  • I will not tell other people my login details.
  • I will be responsible for all activity that takes place under my login.
  • I will not deliberately browse, download, upload or forward material that could be considered offensive or illegal.   If I accidentally come across any such material I will report it immediately to my teacher.
  • I will not give out any personal information such as name, phone number or address. I will not arrange to meet someone unless this is part of an academy project approved by my teacher.
  • Images of students and/or staff will only be taken, stored and used for academy purposes in line with academy policy and not be distributed outside the academy network without the written permission of the Principal.
  • I will ensure that my online activity, both in academy and outside academy, will not cause the academy, the staff, students or others distress or bring the academy into disrepute.
  • I will respect the privacy and ownership of others’ work on-line at all times.
  • I will not attempt to bypass the internet filtering system.
  • I understand that all my use of the Internet, email and other related technologies can be monitored and logged and can be made available to my teachers.
  • I understand that these rules are designed to keep me safe and that if they are not followed, academy sanctions will be applied and my parent/carer may be contacted.

Appendix 3:
Parental notification and consent form for the use of biometric data

Dear parent / carer

Co-op Academy Manchester wishes to use information about your child as part of an automated (i.e. electronically operated) recognition system. This is for the purposes of cashless catering. The information from your child that we wish to use is referred to as ‘biometric information’ (see next paragraph). Under the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (sections 26 to 28), we are required to notify each parent of a child and obtain the written consent of at least one parent before being able to use a child’s biometric information for an automated system.

Biometric information and how it will be used

Biometric information is information about a person that can be used to identify them, for example, information from their fingerprint. The academy would like to take and use information from your child’s fingerprint and use this information for the purpose of providing your child with cashless catering.

The information will be used as part of an automated biometric recognition system. This system will take measurements of your child’s fingerprint and convert these measurements into a template to be stored on the system. An image of your child’s fingerprint is not stored. The template (ie. measurements taken from your child’s fingerprint) is what will be used to permit your child to access services.

You should note that the law places specific requirements on schools when using personal information, such as biometric information, about pupils for the purposes of an automated biometric recognition system. For example:

  • The academy cannot use the information for any purpose other than those for which it was originally obtained and made known to the parents.
  • The academy must ensure that the information is stored securely.
  • The academy must tell you what it intends to do with the information.
  • Unless the law allows it, the academy cannot disclose personal information to another person/body.


Providing your consent / objecting to the use of biometric data

In order to be able to use your child’s biometric information, the written consent of at least one parent is required. However, consent given by one parent will be overridden if the other parent objects in writing to the use of their child’s biometric information. Similarly, if your child objects to this, the academy must not collect or use their biometric information for inclusion on the automated recognition system. You can also object to the proposed processing of your child’s biometric information at a later stage or withdraw any consent you have previously given. This means that, if you give consent but later change your mind, you can withdraw this consent.

Please note that any consent, withdrawal of consent or objection from a parent must be in writing. Even if you have consented, your child can object or refuse at any time to their biometric information being taken/used. Your child’s objection does not need to be in writing. We would appreciate it if you could discuss this with your child and explain to them that they can object to this if they wish. The academy is also happy to answer any questions you or your child may have. If you do not wish your child’s biometric information to be processed by the academy, or your child objects to such processing, the law says that we must provide reasonable alternative arrangements for children who are not going to use the automated system to access cashless catering.

If you give consent to the processing of your child’s biometric information, please sign, date and return the enclosed consent form to the academy. Please note that when your child leaves the academy, or if for some other reason they cease to use the biometric system, their biometric data will be securely deleted.

Kind regards,



Consent Form for the Use of Biometric Information (Pupil)

Please complete this form if you consent to the academy taking and using information from your child’s fingerprint by Co-op Academy Manchester as part of an automated biometric recognition system. This biometric information will be used by Co-op Academy Manchester for the purpose of [describe purpose(s) for which this data will be used, e.g. administration of academy library/canteen].

In signing this form, you are authorising the academy to use your child’s biometric information for this purpose until they either leave the academy or cease to use the system. If you wish to withdraw your consent at any time, this must be done so in writing and sent to the academy at the following address:

Co-op Academy Manchester
Plant Hill Road,

Higher Blackley,


M9 0WQ

Once your child ceases to use the biometric recognition system, his/her biometric information will be securely deleted by the academy.

Having read information provided to me by Co-op Academy Manchester, I give consent to information from the fingerprint of my child being taken and used by [name of academy] for use as part of an automated biometric recognition system for cashless catering. I understand that I can withdraw this consent at any time in writing.

Appendix 4:
Photography/Video Permissions

We love taking pictures and videos. We want to show off the great work our students do and keep you up-to-date with our awesome activities.

We have to take pictures and videos of your child for:


So we can quickly identify children

Training and quality purposes

Which may be shared with Ofsted, Department for Education and the local authority, as part of school inspection processes.

For assessment purposes

Which may be shared with you, Ofsted, Department for Education and the local authority, as part of school inspection processes.

For all other pictures and videos, we’ll need your consent:


Such as wall displays, posters.


Such as our Co-op Academies’ websites, newsletters, social media and publications like a prospectus.

Approved Partners

Such as charities, organisations and companies we regularly work with.

Co-op Group

Co-op’s educational publications, social media and website.