Monday, June 30, 2014

Proposed Industrial Action by members of the NUT, UNISON and GMB

Members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT), UNISON and the GMB have notified their employers that the school will be involved in industrial action on Thursday 10th July 2014. I am required to undertake a risk assessment relating to the potential impact of the action. Under current industrial legislation employees who continue to work cannot be required to undertake work beyond their normal duties. The risk assessment is made against the impact that the action will have on the health and safety of pupils, staff and visitors, whether the school is able to deliver a full or amended curriculum and ultimately whether the school should remain open or whether it should close.
I have informed the Director of Education and Chair of Governors that the school will be closed for pupils on that day. The reasons are that it is not possible to provide adequate staffing cover for all or some of the pupils; No first aid cover be available; There will be inadequate supervision of children at lunchtime and break times neither will there be sufficient support staff available in class to assist with children with special needs etc and the particular demands of nursery and Key Stage 1. Emergency hazards will not be dealt with appropriately, such as broken glass, spillages and hygiene issues such as cleaning of toilets and dealing with vomit and other bodily fluids.

Please will you make alternative arrangements for your children on this day as the school will not be open to receive any pupils. School will recommence for all pupils on Friday 11th July with Breakfast Club opening at 8.00 a.m.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Feedback from the West Midland Safari Park Trip.

On Friday after returning home from meeting the buses from West Midlands Safari Park I received this message from a parent. I'd like to share it with you.

"I had to let you know that today was organised superbly by very professional, kind, approachable staff that you should be proud of.
The pupils had a memorable and enjoyable experience, all thanks to the staff who organised it!
Pupils behaviour on board the coaches and in the park was fantastic."

I would like to add my thanks to those of this parent. I don't always have the opportunity to thank staff for the hard work and dedication they put in to providing our pupils with these experiences. The main reason that things go well on our excursions is the high expectations that the staff have of our pupils and the relationship they have with them. A day that started at 7 a.m. and continued without a break, ending after 8 p.m.without all but minor hitches should be applauded.

Thank you very much to everybody who contributed to a fantastic day.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

West Midlands Safari Trip

A letter outlining the arrangements for Friday's trip to West Midlands safari Park was distributed by pupil post.

A copy is attached below.

West Midlands Safari Park Arrangements

Here are the arrangements for our visit to West Midlands Safari Park on Friday 20th June.
The coach will leave Gelli Primary at 7 am Please arrive in school at least 5 minutes early.
We will leave the Safari Park at 5 pm with an estimated return time of 7.45 pm
We are hoping to arrive at the park prior to opening time to enable us to distribute the wristbands
Each bus will go through the safari park first. We will then be dropped off in the car park to enter the park.

We have 4 Ferris buses travelling to the Safari Park. You will be notified by Thursday as to which bus you have been allocated. Please do not change buses.

Other arrangements:-
1.       Food and drink
You are permitted to take food and drink on the bus but we ask that you are mindful of the other passengers and refrain from any overly strong smelling foods. We have found in the past that this is a benefactor in some people being ill on the bus. Alcohol is not permitted as refreshment. Please ensure your child has enough food to travel to the park and back.

2.       Adult Supervision and safety arrangements
We have an adult child ratio of 1:5 for the trip. If your child is attending alone they will be allocated a member of staff to look after them. We will insist that your child listens to the member of staff at all times, follows instructions and co-operates. Children will be supervised at ALL times. If YOU are accompanying your child on the trip, they will be your responsibility throughout the trip unless it is stated that they are under staff supervision. In this case, your child may not be on the same bus as you.

3.       Medication and travel sickness
If your child has difficulty travelling please will you ensure that she/he takes some travel tablets to avoid this? (I would appreciate if you could let us know if this is the case.)
Also if your child needs to take asthma pump with them that this is given to the teacher in charge of your child's group and inform us.

4.       Money
Your child will be responsible for their own money. They will be given time to purchase a photograph or a gift in the shop. They can also buy food if they do not want to carry their packed lunch around with them.

5.       Clothing
There is NO NEED to wear school uniform. Please provide spare clothing so your child can change if they get wet on the water rides. Please dress your child in suitable clothing and footwear and also weather appropriate.

If your child is not going on the school trip to West Midlands Safari Park it is expected that your child will be in school. If your child is not present the absence will be unauthorised unless we have a letter of explanation. There will be members of staff in school to supervise all pupils and the School Cook has requested that I notify her how many pupils will require a school lunch that day. Breakfast club will operate as normal.

Code of Conduct for the West Midlands Safari Trip
Running a trip of this magnitude requires a great deal of co-operation on your behalf. I hope you will read the following agreement and sign it and respect the Learner Traveller Code which is an important part of our behaviour policy. The staff have arranged the trip so that everything should go without a hitch. Here are a few things that we will insist upon for the smooth running of the trip. Please take time to read them and bring them with you on the coach.
1. Will parents please remember that you have been allocated places on a specific bus and under no circumstances will they be allowed to change these arrangements.
2. Please refrain from smoking in front of the children either on the bus or at services stops or in the park.
3. The consumption of alcohol is also strictly forbidden in front of the children. If parents are suspected of arriving on the bus under the influence of alcohol we are duty bound to inform the police under Safeguarding procedures. This also applies to any other form of anti-social behaviour.
4. Please will everyone be punctual and meet at the agreed time and place. The staff will undertake frequent “head counts” to establish that everyone in the party is present before moving on. The staff will be taking the school iPad so they can contact everyone through our text2parents service. You will also be given the school mobile number to contact a member of staff if needed or in the case of any emergency. Parents will receive a message when the staff have news of the arrangements for our arrival back at school.
5. Politeness and respect on the bus is vital. We will ask everyone to stay in your seat for the whole journey; please do not block the aisle with your bag or other belongings;
Always wear a seatbelt if one is provided; Please do not distract the driver when he or she is driving. Please will you refrain from eating or drinking on the bus.
6. There will be a senior member of staff available in school. A text message will be sent to all parents about a half hour before the coaches arrive at school.
7. Junior pupils will be limited to a maximum of £10 spending money. May I remind parents that staff are NOT responsible for pupils money and if they bring over the suggested amount it is done at their own risk. For pupils accompanied by adults you can set your own budget limit.
8. Please will Junior children NOT bring mobile telephones or any other portable electronic devices such as Nintendo DS, iPods or MP3 players. The school is not responsible for these if lost or broken.
9. Please can you make sure that your child’s name is put on items of clothing and bags. Again the school is not responsible for any clothing lost or left in West Midlands Safari or on the bus and you will be responsible for arranging for it to be retrieved from the Lost property facility at the park.

I am sure that if we follow these guidelines the trip will be a very enjoyable and successful experience for all.

I hope that we can count on your co-operation and have an even more successful trip than last year.