Parent Teacher Communication

At St. Matthias’ School, we recognise parents as the primary educators of their children. We welcome and encourage the involvement of parents in their children’s education. Regular communication between school and parents is essential for the development of a good learning environment. Parents are encouraged to communicate with their child’s teacher by placing a note in the child’s homework journal, where this is considered suitable but if a parent wishes to meet with their child’s teacher, this will be facilitated. However, parents will readily accept that this can not be allowed to interrupt the school day. If parents/guardians have any concerns they are always welcome to contact the school so that arrangements can be made to meet with their child’s teacher at a mutually suitable time. The school day is short and every minute is valuable. Telephone calls cause least disruption at break times or before 9.30 a.m. or after 3.00 p.m. Parent / Teacher meetings are held in February and School Reports are sent to parents at the end of the school year.

Parent/Teacher Communication

 Introductory statement

This policy was developed by the staff of St. Matthias N.S. in consultation with the Board of Management and the parent’s council. Its purpose is to provide information and guidelines to parents and teachers on parent/teacher meetings and parent/teacher communication in St. Matthias N.S. The family and home are central to the development of the child and the nurturing of Christian values. The school and the family strive to be mutually supportive and respectful of each other so that the child’s education can be effective.

Parents are encouraged to:

  •  Develop close links with the school
  • Collaborate with the school in developing the full potential of their children
  • Share the responsibility of seeing that the school remains true to its ethos values and distinctive character
  • Become actively involved in the school/parent association
  • Participate in policy and decision-making processes affecting them

Structures in place to facilitate open communication & consultation with Parents

  • Meeting for parents of new Junior Infants – mid June
  • Parent/teacher meetings one-to-one in January
  • Parents receive school report of each pupil at the end of each school year
  • Meetings with parents whose children have special needs
  • Consultation throughout the year
  • Written communication
  • Through the parents’ council, parents are invited to discuss and contribute to the drafting and review of all school policies. Decisions taken to change current policies and procedures or to introduce new ones will be made known to all parents in written format via the school newsletter
  • Regular newsletters keep parents up-to-date with school events, holidays and school concerns
  • Home work diary 2nd – 6th class, used to relay messages which are signed between parents and teachers. Parents requested to sign diary each night to certify that homework has been completed
  • Parents are invited to family masses and school concerts
  • Involvement of parents in the ‘Religion Follow Me Programme’ section for parents.
  • Participating in selected school activities

It is vital that the school is immediately informed if family events/situations occur that cause anxiety to your child and therefore may adversely affect his/her education

In all matters pertaining to the wellbeing and education of pupils, only the parents/legal guardians named on the enrolment form will be consulted by the teachers.

 Parent/teacher meetings

The aim of Parent/Teacher meetings is:

  • To let parents know how their children are progressing in school
  • To inform teachers on how children are coping outside school
  • To establish an ongoing relationship and communication with parents
  • To help teachers/parents get to know the children better as individuals
  • To help children realise that home and school are working together

 Informal Parent/Teacher Meetings

  • Communication between parents and teachers is to be encouraged
  • Arranging parent/teacher meetings within the school day while children are in school is difficult. However, parents are welcome to speak to the Principal or teacher(s) at an appointed time
  • Meetings with the class teacher at the class door to discuss a child’s concern/progress is discouraged on a number of grounds
  1. A teacher cannot adequately supervise his/her class while at the same time speaking to a parent
  2. It is difficult to be discrete when so many children are standing close by
  3. It can be embarrassing for a child when his/her parent is talking to the teacher at a classroom door

Occasions occur where a parent needs to speak to a teacher urgently. Sometimes these meetings need to take place without prior notice. The Principal will facilitate such meetings making every effort to ensure that the children in the class do not lose out on any of the teaching/learning time.

If parents wish to drop in lunch boxes, sports gear etc, this can be done through the secretary’s office or hung on their hooks as it is important to keep class interruptions to a minimum.

Parents are strongly discouraged from taking pupils out of school during term time in order to facilitate family holidays.

 Formal Meetings

Formal timetabled parent/teacher meetings take place in January/February. However, if a parent wishes to arrange a meeting at any stage during the year to discuss their child, they may do so by prior appointment.

  • All communication sent from the school will be sent to the child’s home address as given on the enrolment form, unless otherwise requested by parents
  • In the case of separated parents, requests can be made by both parents to meet their child’s teacher(s) individually for parent/teacher meetings.

Complaints Procedure

The following is the agreed complaints procedure to be followed in primary schools

Stage 1

  1. A parent/guardian who wishes to make a complaint should, firstly schedule an appointment with the class teacher with a view to resolving the complaint
  2. Where the parent/guardian is unable to resolve the complaint with the class teacher he/she should make an appointment with the Principal teacher with a view to resolving it
  3. If the complaint is still unresolved, the parent/guardian should raise the matter with the Chairperson of the Board of Management with a view to resolving it.

Stage 2

  1. If the complaint is still unresolved and the parent/guardian wishes to pursue the matter further, he/she should lodge the complaint in writing with the Chairperson of the Board of Management
  2. The Chairperson will bring the precise nature of the written complaint to the notice of the teacher and seek to resolve the matter between the parties within 5 days of receipt of the written complaint.

Stage 3

  1. If the complaint is not resolved informally, the Chairperson should, subject to the                   authorization of the Board:
  2. supply the teacher with a copy of the written complaint and
  3. arrange a meeting with the teacher, and where applicable, the Principal with a view to resolving the complaint. Such a meeting should take place within 10 days of receipt of the written complaint.

Stage 4

  1. If the complaint is still not resolved, the Chairperson should make a formal report to the board within 10 days of the meeting
  2. If the Board considers that the complaint is not substantiated, the teacher and the complainant should be so informed within 3 days of the Board meeting
  3. If the Board considers that the complaint is substantiated or that it warrants further investigation, the following steps should be followed:


    1. The teacher should be supplied with copies of any written evidence in support of the complaint
    2. He/she should be requested to supply a written response to the complaint to the Board and should be afforded an opportunity to make a presentation to the Board and to be accompanied by another person to that meeting
    3. The Board may arrange a meeting with the complainant, who may be accompanied by another person to this meeting.

Stage 5

  1. Following the Board’s investigations, the Chairperson shall convey the decision of the Board in writing to the teacher and the complainant within 5 days of the meeting of the Board. The decision of the Board shall be final.