When communicating with the school, please bear in mind that a great many staff are putting their heart and soul, and many, many hours into trying to help our students achieve well. We would never wish to discourage parents from communicating with staff, establishing a relationship and working together. Parental communication is essential, we do not always get it right and we need your feedback to help us to continue to improve.
On occasions staff face criticism over an activity which they may be doing entirely out of goodwill, be it running a trip, or a team, or a concert, or a play and an ill crafted email from an upset parent, even when the point is justified, can result in hurt being caused and a reluctance from staff to continue to go the extra mile – something that we so much appreciate of them.
Likewise, even when a communication is about a core school responsibility, our communications need to be respectful. Couching a point as being ‘direct’, ‘blunt’ or ‘honest’ does not make it any less destructive to a relationship that should be based on trust and mutual respect. This applies to all communication and as staff we need to be just as careful in that we show we value our pupils and parents. We do not always get it right but we constantly aim to do so and to improve when this is not the case.
Many of you will be facing the same challenges in your own workplace from an increasing expectation of anytime, anywhere communications. Some readers may be of the view that this is simply the way the world works now. However, the school has a duty of care to staff, as it does to students. This includes a responsibility to ensure that the staffs’ workload is manageable and does not unreasonably intrude in to their private life.
There are enough good teachers leaving the profession as a result of not feeling valued, and there is no need for us to add to this. Indeed the letters and emails of thanks and appreciation that we do receive are very much appreciated. We have an incredibly dedicated team of staff at Greenhill and we want to retain them and make them feel valued. It is therefore essential that we respect them and help them to maintain a sustainable workload.