Communication Policy 

Good communication is essential to the smooth running of an efficient school. In recognition of this fact, Swords Educate Together National School has in place a policy on communication between the various individuals, groups and organisations connected with the school. 
The teachers carry out informal meetings on a daily basis, before school, during school and after school. Written communication is also passed from class to class during the day. Regular staff meetings are held. The agenda is drawn up by the Principal in consultation with the teachers. Minutes are recorded. Circulars from the Department of Education and Science are available to all teachers to read and each teacher is asked to initial each Circular on the circular list to indicate having read it. 
Teachers and Children 
Teachers communicate with children on an ongoing basis while teaching. However, occasionally, it is necessary to make announcements. These can be written or verbal. Notices can take the form of a letter home, carried in the child’s school bag, written notes in homework notebooks or posted to notice boards. Friday is the designated day for sending written communication home. From time-to-time, however, it will be necessary to send written communication on other days. Please check your child’s schoolbag regularly. 
Children and Children 
Children communicate with each other formally and informally throughout the school day. It should be noted that communications between children regarding out of school activities i.e. celebration of festivals, birthday parties/outings/trips etc. should take place before or after school time. This would also include the exchange of cards and presents between children. 
Board of Management 
The Board of Management holds regular meetings. The agenda is set and notice of the meeting sent to each board member. Minutes are recorded. Communication to the Board is kept by the Secretary and dealt with at every meeting. The Secretary also keeps a list of Circulars. 
Parents’ Representatives on the Board of Management give representation to matters concerning the parent body. Should a parent(s) have a concern regarding their child, they should, in the first instance, speak with their child’s teacher and/or Principal. Occasionally, parents may wish to have a matter discussed at Board of Management level. For this to happen, the matter should be forwarded, in writing, to the Chairperson of the board at least 10 days before the next planned Board of Management meeting. Parents will be informed of upcoming Board Meetings. 
The Board members also receive copies of the School Newsletter. 
School Executive 
While the Board of Management and the School Executive are two distinct entities with unique work agendas, regular communications and collaborations on shared objectives and initiatives will take place. A Patron nominee on the Board of Management will also sit on the Executive and keep lines of communication open, clear and productive. 
Parent/School Communications 
There is regular contact with parents as individuals both informally and formally. 
A School Report on each child’s progress is sent to each parent once a year. 
parents/guardians who wish to meet with the Principal or Staff are asked to make an appointment so as to minimize disruption for everyone concerned, primarily the children. 
When a child is absent parents are requested to inform the school either in writing or by leaving a message on the school answering service. 
Regular and unbroken attendance has a direct bearing on a child’s progress in school. In view of this we actively discourage children taking extended holidays during the academic year. Should an extended absence be planned, parents/guardians are expected to inform the school in writing beforehand. It is school policy not to prepare work for children taking extended leave, except in exceptional circumstances i.e. hospitalization. 
Please note: In accordance with Department Rules for National Schools, a child who is absent for fifteen consecutive school days must be taken off the roll on the Saturday following the fifteenth day. This is a Department of Education and Science regulation and could result in a child losing his/her place in the school. 
Parents are actively encouraged to make contributions to the School Newsletter. The development of the newsletter is organic and participation in its compilation and publication is greatly encouraged. A copy of the newsletter is sent home with every child. 
The Collection of Children: The school should at all times know who is collecting your child. If, at any time, you alter the pick-up arrangements for your child, the school should be given written authorization by the parent/guardian. In an emergency situation, the parent/guardian must leave a message on the answering service or speak with the Principal/teacher. At no time, will a child be released to anyone unauthorized/unknown to us. 
Parents’ Association 
As the school grows parents will be invited to form a Parents’ Association. There will be regular contact, both formal and informal, between the school/Board of Management and the Parents’ Association. The Parent/Principal/Teacher relationship, fully recognizing the intense involvement of parents in their child’s education and the professional role of the Teacher, is a wonderful resource to the school. The Principal will receive feedback from the meetings of the Parents’ Association about issues concerning the parent body. The parent representatives on the Board of Management will report back to the Parents’ Association following Board meetings, subject to the restraints of confidentiality imposed by the Board. 
Department of Education and Science 
Generally speaking, communication to the school is addressed to the Chairperson of the Board or the Principal or both. Teachers read the circulars and a list is kept of circulars received. Relevant circulars may also be brought to the attention of the Parents’ Association. 
The Inspectorate 
The Principal or Chairperson communicates with the Inspectorate by phone call or in writing. 
Educate Together 
The Educate Together Newsletter is copied and sent to each member of the Board of Management. This can be read by any member of the school community, taken away and copied if people wish. 
Other Agencies 
There is regular two-way communication with other agencies such as the Health Board, Psychological Services, Social Services, Gardai, Community Employment Scheme and the County Council. 
Professional Development 
As a process of professional development, teachers communicate on a regular basis with sales representatives, Education Centres and Colleges of Education. As a growing and vibrant school, the professional development of teachers will be motivated by the emerging needs of the pupils and the school in general. In a world of accelerated change and everchanging modification to curriculum and teaching methodologies, the Board of Management places a premium on profession development. 
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