Further Education - UCAS Guide for Parents

For Parents

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Welcome to the 'For Parents' section of our website.  George Stephenson High School is proud of its working relationships with parents and carers.  We are committed to working closely with parents so that we can help every student succeed in school and we are always striving to develop and improve our links with parents.

The 'For Parents' section contains useful information about the school and how we will support your child.  It also provides advice and guidance for you as a parent/carer to help you work with us in a successful family-school partnership.  Here you will find information on:

 - Admissions
 - General school information (including uniform, term dates, timing of the school day, school
   policies, our school prospectus and home school agreement)
 - Our dining experience
 - Parent and community learning (including learning opportunities for yourself and your child and
   the school's involvement in the Leading Parent Partnership Award)
 - Parents' forum
 - Copies of recent letters to parents
 - Examination information
 - Study support (how to help your child with exam preparation and revision)
 - Care, guidance and support (including the Parent Guide, the Year 7 Parent Planner,
   SEN provision and Child Protection information)
 - Our Sixth Form
 - Home learning (including the Year 7 and Year 8 Home Learning Timetables for 2012 - 2013)

We hope that you will find this information helpful both in answering queries and supporting your child's education.

If you have any suggestions about how we could make improvements to this section of the website, please contact us to let us know.

On this page, we have included some important information about the school which we hope you will find useful.

Attendance and Punctuality

Children's attainment and achievement is directly linked to high school attendance.  According to school data children who are persistently absent regularly miss their targets and miss out.

School starts at 8.40 a.m.  Students should be in their tutor rooms by this time.  Students are expected to attain a minimum of 95% attendance or above - this means no more than 10 days leave for any reason in any year.  All students compete for attendance awards each half-term term.
To find out more information about our Attendance Policy, please call the school and speak to Tracey Anderson, Deputy Headteacher or Steve Lister, our Education Welfare Officer (EWO).

Parents are advised not to book holidays in term time.  Such absence may be considered "un-authorised" and will be addressed by the EWO potentially resulting in a formal hearing with council officers and a possible fine. This fine is currently £60 per child per parent.

School Uniform

All students are expected to wear full school uniform at all times.  The uniform (including guidance on jewellery allowed in school) is described in the General School Information section, in the Guide for Parents and in the student planner.

Home School Agreement

Every school is required by law to have a Home School Agreement.  This is to ensure that families and schools are working together to support children's learning and development in the best possible way.  You will be asked to read and sign the agreement when your child starts at George Stephenson High School.

Complaints

If parents are dissatisfied in any way with the curriculum or school organisation we encourage them to take their concern to their child's Guidance Manager in the first instance, then to the Deputy and/or Headteacher.  If they are still not satisfied they can write to the Chair of Governors at the school address.

Schools must have a complaints procedure in place in order to meet requirements laid down in the Education Act 2002.    Any parent has the right to enter a formal complaint if he or she thinks that certain things are not being done properly.  Copies of the Local Authority's Complaints Policy and Procedure followed by the school are available on this website or on request from the school. 

Illnesses and Accidents

If your son/daughter feels unwell or has had an accident he or she must report it to a teacher straight away.  Normally they will be sent to the school office where a trained First Aider will take care of them.  If students are too ill to remain at school parents will be contacted in order for suitable arrangements to be made. 

The First Aid provision in school is managed by Mrs Emmerson - please do not hesitate to contact her if you have any queries or concerns.

 

Contact Telephone Numbers

Parents are responsible for providing the school with some point of contact for their child, for example, a telephone number at home and at work as well as the telephone number of a friend, relative or neighbour. 

It is very important that parents keep the school up to date regarding any change of contact details.

Medicines

Please note that the school is unable to issue paracetamol or any other such medicines to students.

Prior to staff administering any medication or student self-medication the school must have written consent from the parent/guardian.  In order to comply with Government legislation we also require written confirmation of instructions from a health practitioner.   There are three situations which may arise:

 - Staff to administer medication on an adhoc basis (usually short term treatment)
 - Staff to administer medication for more complex medical needs
 - Student to carry/administer their own medication

If your child has any of the above medical needs, please contact the main school office as soon as possible and they will arrange for the relevant form to be issued for you to complete.
 
Parents are kindly requested to keep inhalers updated as required.

The First Aid provision in school is managed by Mrs Emmerson - please do not hesitate to contact her if you have any queries or concerns.

Parents' Information and Newsletters

There are three sources of information for parents.

 - A leaflet display in the visitors reception area which provides information about the school,
   extended services and family learning and is updated regularly. 
 - A TV screen situated in the waiting area of the visitors reception which displays rolling
   school news and information and is also updated regularly. 
 - Our termly newsletter, the North Star. 

Our school administration team are always willing to give information you may need.  We keep a file of letters sent home to parents.

Achievement for All

At George Stephenson High School we follow the Achievement for All behaviour and rewards system to encourage positive behaviour within our school environment.  Rewards are made at class and on a whole school level.  High standards of behaviour are actively encouraged across the school.  We help students to resolve their differences and conflicts in positive and constructive ways so that they may learn the skills to do so independently.  We encourage students to report all incidents of name-calling, including racist names, violence or bullying.  These incidents are taken very seriously and are recorded and dealt with swiftly.

To find out more information about Achievement for All, please refer to the Parent Guide and your child's planner.


Care, Guidance and Support:  The Guidance System

The main school is organised into a strong guidance system, made up of five year groups, each with a Guidance Manager, Achievement Support Co-ordinator and a team of Form Tutors.  The work of our guidance system is based on raising achievement and supporting students in every possible way as they progress through the school.

Student Voice

We have a Year Committee for each year group and a School Committee which meets every term.  Two elected students represent each tutor group on each Year Committee and two elected students from each year group are on the School Committee. The committees set their own agenda and pace of meetings.  We value student voice and are committed to inviting the student's opinions and including their ideas in the management of the school and local issues.

Family Liaison Workers

We have two family Liaison Workers who work with individual pupils and their families to help to motivate and build their self esteem.  Donna Atkinson is based at the school and Lindsay Watson is based at the Farne Centre (Ivy Road).