Parents to sign code of conduct as schools ban derogatory social media posts and pyjamas in the playground
Parents are being asked to sign a new code of conduct as schools ban derogatory social media posts and pyjamas in the playground.
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A new behaviour “code of conduct” is set to see thousands of parents being banned from posting slurs about teachers on social media or turning up to school gates in a bikini. The code, said to be the first of its kind, is part of a ‘crackdown’ by Bishop Wilkinson Catholic Education trust, one of England’s biggest academy trusts.
According to The Times, the code will be sent to parents with children at all the trust’s 48 schools across England including Co Durham, Newcastle and Northumberland. The move was made after teachers reportedly have become “increasingly concerned” by the behaviour of some parents who they believe are setting a bad example for pupils.
The trust said parents have been reported smoking, drinking and vaping in playgrounds and wearing clothing such as bikinis or pyjamas at the school gates, along with t-shirts with offensive language or imagery, such as the French Connection logo ‘FCUK’.
Other ‘serious’ instances include teachers having had abusive messages about them posted on social media, including one that falsely accused them of being a paedophile. The parent involved was sent a legal letter by the school asking them to remove the slur. Another parent launched an online petition against a named group of teachers, which has since been taken down.
Nick Hurn, chief executive of the trust, said: “Recently in one of our primary schools, there was a fight between two children and both were sanctioned. One parent did not think it appropriate her child was punished so the parent came in effing and blinding - she was going to knock the teacher’s lights out. She was removed from the site by police.
“Parents and children’s behaviour is much worse since the pandemic. There is a breakdown in civil behaviour, courtesy, and good manners. Some of the primary heads are getting upset by people turning in pyjamas - sometimes leaving little to the imagination.
“A minority of parents do not follow the rules of acceptable behaviour. I thought, ‘Why do we not try to create a code of conduct that outlines what our expectations are for our parents? “We have always had issues with confrontational parents over the years, and we used to deal with it by appeasing them or getting them in to calm them down.
“Teachers and pupils are being subjected to abuse on social media, at the school gates, and there is never any consequence. One teacher was branded a paedophile on social media. I thought, ‘This has to stop’.”
The new school of code, which he says the government should emulate across England, will be sent to parents this week. Parents with children starting in September will be required to sign the contract in the first week of term.
If found guilty of the offences, parents risk being banned from entering school grounds or prosecution.
Code of conduct for parents
The code of conduct includes the following rules parents are being asked to adhere to:
- Defamatory, offensive or derogatory comments about the trust’s schools, pupils, parents or employees must not be aired on social media.
- Threatening or abusive emails, texts, voicemails, phone calls and other forms of written communication will not be tolerated.
- Concerns must be made through the appropriate channels by speaking to the class teacher, headteacher or chair of governors, so they can be dealt with fairly, appropriately and effectively for all concerned.
- Parents should not swear, display temper or carry out actual bodily harm.
- Avoid [wearing] clothing that may be viewed as offensive, revealing or sexually provocative on school grounds including pyjamas or clothes with contentious slogans.