You’ve had a tough day, students have been kicking off in class, it would be easier to just mark some books; but contact with parents can be a vital means of improving relationships between home and school and often helps to iron out behaviour management issues. Here’s some top tips for receiving and making phone calls:
- Let the parent / carer tell you what the problem is (if they are aware of it). Getting it off their chest often helps.
- Ensure you return phone calls as soon as you can, preferably the same day. Leave a message or log your call on your school’s system if there is no answer.
- If they still have a complaint, ask them to put it in writing so you both have a record.
- Don’t promise things for other staff members. Just promise to pass a message on and ensure you do. Email is best for passing on because you can trace it.
- Don’t be bullied by a parent. If they become aggressive tell them you are ending the call and why and that you will ask your Line Manager to call them. Then inform your Line Manager.
- Log every contact on your school’s system with any actions agreed.
These ideas should help to ensure that you’re looking after yourself whilst developing relationships with students and parents.
By Debi Cullen, former Pastoral Manager, Head of House and Head of Year.