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Telford Junior School

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Questions & Answers

During the school year teaching and administrative staff will be asked questions or receive comments about working arrangements or different aspects of school life. It is often difficult to respond to these in detail at the time and it may be necessary to look into the matter further. We thought it would be useful to log some of these questions and provide a response to them, so that parents/carers can see that their thoughts have been considered and so that there is a reference point for future discussions (since some of the questions tend to be perennial ones).

Why is the school used as a polling station and could this not be changed?

 

The school contacted the Electoral Services Officer, regarding this issue. He explained that under Schedule 1, para 22 of the Representation of the People Act 1983, the returning officer does have the legal right to commandeer the use of the school for the purpose of running elections. In the case of Telford Junior School, there is nowhere else suitable for use as a Polling Station in the electoral ward.

 

It should be noted that the school uses election days that are planned (e.g. for Local Elections or Police Commissioner Elections) as one of its statutory teacher training days, so this does not affect the statutory 195 school days provision. Unplanned election days are different (e.g. the calling of a General Election or referendum). It is unlikely that the latter will be required in the immediate future.

 

Telford Junior School and Telford Infant School look to coincide training days wherever possible, to reduce the impact on families who have children in both schools.

Would it be possible for the school uniform track-suit trousers to have reinforced knees, since the children can wear a hole in them over time, through play?

 

It would be possible to source uniform trousers with reinforced knees, but this is likely to result in a significant cost increase for the item. Our feeling is that this would not be welcomed by most parents. Unfortunately, wear and tear to trouser knees is quite typical for children of primary school age. 

Is my child's reading book too 'easy' for him/her?

 

When making a judgement about the level of difficulty of a reading book and its suitability for a particular reader, teachers take account not only how easily they read the text (the fluency with which the child is able to read the text), but also the child's level of comprehension, taking into account their skills of deduction and inference. Sometimes a book which a child can read with reasonable fluency, is still challenging these other skills.

Why is there only one uniform supplier?

 

The overwhelming parent view would seem to be that there is a definite school uniform. When the school commissioned the current active uniform this was taken into account. Nearly all the children now wear the new uniform. The school is not that large a market and so to make it viable for a supplier to order in the volume of items that need to be kept in stock, it is not realistic to engage multiple suppliers. The economies of scale help the supplier to keep costs down. Our current supplier is local and has developed a good working relationship with the school. The supplier provides a good online delivery service, which seems to be appreciated by most parents.

Would it be possible to provide an more detailed overview of the school developments that have taken place following the July 2019 Ofsted inspection?

 

This question was raised at the Parents' Forum meeting, at which there was a presentation of the developments which have taken place. Those present at the meeting were able to ask more detailed questions. The document below is an overview, which was shared at the Local Authority Task Group meeting in February 2020. It provides details of the progress the school has made to address the actions set out in the Ofsted report, which should give parents/carers an understanding of the work that has been undertaken.

 

How does the school reach decisions about teaching arrangements for individual classes? In particular, how is it decided which classes are taught by a job share arrangement?

 

Decisions about teaching arrangements are made by school leaders, who take account of many factors, including the composition of classes and the school's staffing structure. School leaders are not at liberty to discuss the characteristics of individual classes or pupils and so it is not possible to give detailed explanations as to how decisions are made.

 

Where job share arrangements are in place, there is careful planning within the year groups, which helps with liaison, continuity and consistency. There is also evidence to suggest that children who experience more than one class teacher tend to be better prepared for later school life.

 

In Key Stage 2 shared teaching responsibilities should not present difficulties for the children, when there is shared planning and good liaison between the teachers involved. Indeed there are many Key Stage 1 children who will be taught by more than one teacher these days, since job share arrangements have become a common working pattern.

 

It is natural for parents/carers to argue for the teaching arrangement that they perceive to be most advantageous for their child, but please be mindful that as school leaders we have to take account of the broader picture.

 

Parents/carers can help make such arrangements a success, by presenting a positive view of the teaching arrangement to their child.

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