Outcome 5 - School Policies and Procedures
Every school and business must have policies and procedures in place. A school's policies and procedures are adopted from laws passed by the Government. These are in place to ensure the school is run correctly, and that staff, pupils, and any other individuals involved with the school are protected and meeting expectations and guidelines. There are usually a large number of policies in place within a school. These can include policies such as Child Protection, Health and Safety, Fire Safety, Confidentiality, Anti-Bullying, Teaching and Learning, Homework, and many more. These policies and procedures are relevant to staff, pupils and parents. These policies must be updated regularly, and some of the content revised, in order to keep them relevant. Some of the policies in place relating to staff could be a pay policy, performance management, or grievance policy. These should be in place to enable staff to feel protected in the workplace as well as remaining professional. If a member of staff is harassed, for example, they could refer to the school’s grievance policy. This would then enable them to take it further, and the may follow a whistle-blowing policy included in the grievance policy. The details of this policy, and others like it, would enable the member of staff to act according to guidelines, and in their best interests. A disclosure of information policy could also be used in the school, for a staff member to be able to discuss any issues and resolve them quickly. This could not be used if there was any evidence of malpractice, and the grievance policy would need to be referred to. There are also policies in place relating to pupil welfare. These can include a Safeguarding Children policy, Health and Safety, Behaviour Management, Anti-bullying and Drugs Awareness. These policies are in place to protect the school’s pupils. The Child Protection policy of a school is in place for the staff to be able to understand their role and responsibilities to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. It gives guidelines on what to do if you suspect a child is being harmed, different types of abuse, and the responsibilities of a member of staff at the school. A health and safety policy is in place not only to protect the welfare of the school’s pupils, but anyone who works or learns there. This document aims to assist in providing a safe, secure and pleasant working environment for everyone. The policy discusses how it teaches pupils about health and safety, covering topics such as the National Curriculum, school meals and school uniform. Other subjects covered can include child protection, school security, safety of the children, seat belts, and theft or other criminal acts. These subjects assist everyone involved with the school on a daily basis. The document can also include details of the school’s safety audit and means of monitoring and reviewing the health and safety matters. The head teacher implements the school health, safety and welfare
policy on a day-to-day basis, and ensures that all staff are aware of the details of the policy as it applies to them. The head then reports to the governors annually on health and safety issues, and the policy is reviewed at any time at the request of the governors, or at least once every two years. Another aspect of the school’s running which requires policies in place is the area of teaching and learning. Policies included in this area can include curriculum policies, early years policy, teaching and learning, planning and assessment, and marking. These are in place to assist the staff of the school in delivering their lessons and methods of managing their classroom activities. These policies are used to identify a school’s key learning and teaching aims, strategies and practices. They represent the aims and vision of the school and lead on what the practice should be. Although they are predominantly used and accessed by staff members, pupils should also be familiar with these policies. Equality, diversity and inclusion is an important area implemented in the running of the school, and uses various policies to aid its use. These can include an equal opportunities policy, race equality and cultural diversity, special educational needs or inclusion policy, gifted and talented policy, and disability and access. These policies are used to ensure the service provide by the school is fully inclusive in meeting the needs of all children. The policies help the school by providing guidelines and information that ensure there is equality of opportunity and valuation of diversity for all children and families. The policies can include the procedures used for admissions, employment, training, the curriculum, valuing diversity in families, food, and meetings. There should also be a legal framework included for reference. The last area covered in the running of a school is parental engagement. Policies included in this area include homework and attendance policies, and the home-school agreement. These are in place mainly for the benefit of parents. These policies are often used to strengthen the interest and commitment of the parents with the purpose of developing a partnership between the parents and the school. The parents are then equally valued as part of the school community, and a childs learning can be improved with parental support. There are several ways in which a school’s policies and procedures may be developed and communicated within a school. Schools need to ensure not only that policies are in place, but they are revised and updated on a regular basis. There are a number of “model” policies available to assist schools in drawing up their own policies, as this can be a time-consuming process. These can be accessed through the local education authority as well as the internet. The senior management team is usually responsible for developing the policies, and will ask other staff to check it before referring it to the governors for approval before implementation. Staff, parents and pupils can have access to the policies if they request it, although some of the policies, such as fire safety, may be on display within the school. All policies are kept on file on paper or computer. Communication of the school’s policies and procedures could be improved. Some suggestions for achieving this could include listening to the views of pupils, parents, staff, and the local and wider community. They could then provide feedback as to how effective the communication of the policies and procedures are, as well as providing their own ideas on methods of improvement. There could also be a school improvement plan in place which may include suggestions to improve the method of
communication of the policies and procedures. Use of technology such as the internet and the school’s “moodle” website could make viewing the policies and procedures more accessible. This would mean not only providing the staff and pupils with log-in details, but also parents and the community, if required.
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Burnham L + Baker B (2010) Supporting Teaching + Learning in Schools, Heinmann, Essex Pentre Primary School policies Class handouts