Frequently Asked Questions
Parents/carers contact the school for various reasons and here we have attempted to answer some of the most common questions:
What happens if my child has incorrect uniform?
We try very hard to maintain high standards in uniform. We expect and appreciate the support of parents/carers in this matter. At times uniform can be an issue and contact from parents/carers is appreciated if you are experiencing any difficulties regarding uniform. If, for example, your child’s shoes split and wearing trainers is the only option for a couple of days, please send a brief note to your child’s tutor in the first instance. Your child will be issued with an orange slip and will not receive demerits. A student wearing incorrect uniform without the appropriate orange slip will receive demerits. Letters detailing inappropriate uniform will be issued to parents/carers.
What do I do if my child is unwell?
Please ensure that you ring the school attendance office first thing in the morning, every day of your child’s absence (01952 468400) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Children who become unwell in school should go initially to their respective Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 or 6th form office. If it is deemed necessary, parents will be contacted and asked to collect their child. Please keep contact numbers up to date at all times; if you have a change of number, please notify the school office by emailing email@example.com
Medical/Dental Appointments - please inform the school office by telephone or email of the date and time of the appointment. On the day of the appointment, your child should carry a note from you that clearly states the time you will collect your child for the appointment. This will excuse them from class and then must be handed into reception as your child signs out at reception.
What time can children come into school in the mornings?
Children need to be in school in time for their tutor period/registration which is at 8.50am. They can come into school from 8am and go to the Breakfast Club in the canteen.
What should my child do if she/he is late for school?
For reasons of health and safety all children arriving late after 9.05am to school should always sign in at the attendance office off the reception area. If registration is still in progress students should go to their form room and ensure that they are registered there. Lateness to class during the day without a valid reason will mean that your child receives demerits.
What should my child do if he/she forgets to bring dinner money?
We will always endeavour to help out. Initially parents/carers are contacted. If money cannot be brought in from home, children may borrow money from their friends but if this is not possible your child should go to the Finance Office and explain the situation them. Please remember, with the cashless catering system now in place, the need for a student to carry cash every day at school should be minimal.
Students attending Session 6 for sport or music etc. may catch the late bus which leaves school at 4.25 pm. For all students who request the use of this service there is charge of £1.50. Students who are in receipt of student premium wishing to use the late bus will be required to see their mentor.
A place on the late bus must be booked and paid for at the Finance Office during break or lunch time on the day that the student wishes to use the bus. There is no late bus on Fridays.
How do I book a locker at school for my child?
A company called ILS organises the booking of lockers at our school. You can book one for your child by visiting the ILS website: www.ilsschools.co.uk and clicking on the new booking link.
Can my child bring a mobile phone to school?
Mobile phones are not allowed to be used in school. Many students do carry mobile phones. They are kept in bags, pockets and lockers. With over 1300 students on roll, the school cannot take responsibility for mobile phones. Any mobile phone handed into reception during registration will be kept safely and can be collected at the end of school. Students using phones at any time on school premises will have their phone confiscated. The phone may need to be collected by a parent/carer.
Who can my child talk to in school?
Many students experience times during adolescence where they feel the need to chat in confidence to someone outside their immediate family circle. In addition to your child’s tutor and Head of Year, our school counsellors provide a confidential service for any of our students. The Key Stage offices are often an initial point of contact for troubled students and we have 'CHAT' (a confidential advisory service) and the school nurse as support for our student body too. Parents may speak in confidence to their child’s tutor; the Student Support Managers or the relevant Head of Year at a mutually convenient time.
Who do I need to speak to?
Tutor - in the first instance it is the tutor who will be your first point of contact. Please phone the main school office (01952 468400) and leave a message. You will usually receive a reply within 48 hours.
Student Support Office- deals with all major issues regarding the education and welfare of your child. The Student Support Managers may contact you about issues concerning your child. These may be referred to them by tutors/ teaching staff or Heads of Year. Heads of Year are also based in these offices and deal with more serious behavioural issues and academic progress referred to them by tutors and teaching staff.
Finance Office - deals with the collection of money for trips and school purchases. Please do not send money into school via the tutor. It should be taken to the Finance Office at an appropriate time in the school day. Alternatively you can pay using ParentPay.
The Support for Learning Unit is run by Assistant Headteacher, Ms C Cork and Mrs L Barrass. Their remit covers a wide variety of educational support of a specialised nature and emotional support for students identified as needing additional help. You will be referred to them if your child is deemed to be in need of this support.
What are merits and demerits?
This is our current system for rewarding and sanctioning our students.
Merits are issued to celebrate student successes such as good classwork or behaviour, excellent homework, effort, and supporting others. Merit points are accumulated across the whole academic year, and rewards are given out to students at the end of each term. These include letters home, vouchers for snacks from the canteen, Amazon gift cards and the choice of a special activity e.g., extra non-uniform day, a pass to skip the lunch queue etc. In addition, pin badges and certificates are given to students when they reach an accumulation of a set number of merit points.
Demerits are issued in sets of 5 or 10 points for elements of behaviour that we actively discourage, these include uniform issues, rudeness/answering back, eating/chewing or drinking in class, talking in class, lateness, lack of work or lack of equipment. The demerits currently worth 10 points are rudeness / answering back, inappropriate conduct, persistent talking and use of a mobile phone (which also results in the phone being confiscated). Detentions for the accumulation of 30+ demerit points are run on Friday evenings, and further sanctions are issued for accumulation of 4 or more demerit detentions during an academic year. There is no late bus on a Friday, and arrangements for collecting students are the responsibility of parents.
What happens if my child is selected to represent school in a sporting fixture?
In a school of this size, we have a variety of opportunities for students to be involved in sports fixtures. The principal method of communication regarding sporting fixtures will be via a system called ‘Squad in Touch’. This system will ensure parents/carers are sent specific notifications regarding their child’s sporting selections. It will also provide details of dates, times, venues and opponents. Parents/carers are asked to sign up to ‘Squad in Touch’ via the app. Further instructions will be given out once your child starts at Idsall School. If there are any issues, we ask the students to see the individual member of staff as soon as possible so alternative selection can be made. After fixtures we ask parents/carers to make arrangements for the prompt collection of their child from school.
What happens if the students haven’t returned by the time stated in the letter?
Occasionally traffic or other issues mean the students are late back to school after the designated time. Please ask at the school office as they may be able to contact the member of staff, if appropriate, or already have information on return times.