Dear Parent/Carer,

The internet has become a powerful and popular tool to connect and share ideas and opinions. In recent years, social networking sites such as Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp have grown in popularity and, with over a billion users worldwide, it is commonplace to use them to communicate with family, friends and other members of our networks and community.

Most adults who use social networking show the same respect and consideration in their online communication with others as they would when engaging with people face to face. In school, we value the importance of helping our children become considerate and confident digital citizens and we, as parents and adults, must also strive to be positive digital role models.

It is a matter of concern that a very small minority of parents and carers are using social media to make adverse comments about the school, our office, myself, members of my staff and other members of our Western family. As a school, we encourage parents to support us with the education and wellbeing of their children; our foremost concern is that your child is able to flourish in a supportive, caring and appropriate learning community.

If at any time you feel that you have any concerns at all regarding your child’s education, you should speak to your child’s class teacher in the first instance, or a Care Leader, Phase Leader or Deputy Head Teacher. If you feel your concern is not addressed, or if you have a wider concern or query, please make an appointment to discuss it with either myself or Sarah Dixon. We are always keen to welcome you in for a coffee and a chat and work hard to resolve any issues swiftly and effectively. We do appreciate that in a community of our size we can’t please everybody all of the time and it’s healthy to have a range of points of view on any topic. As a community, however, none of us should condone or support the use of social networking sites by parents to criticise and make unsubstantiated or fictitious comments and claims about the school or any members of our staff. When communicating with staff, we expect that discussions are managed with dignity, in a manner that is both respectful and courteous, as we will not tolerate any intimidating form of conduct.

The safety and wellbeing of all of the children and adults at Western Community Primary School are my priority and legal responsibility and, as Headteacher supported by the Chair of Governors and full Governing Body, I will take legal action and request police support where parents and family members have made untrue, damaging or threatening comments on social networking sites relating to the school, its staff and children. Such behaviours are offences under the 1988 Malicious Communication Act, 1997 Protection from Harassment Act and 2003 Communication Act.

Thank you for your continued support of our happy and thriving school. We are proud to serve this community and will always do everything in our power to ensure Western is a positive, warm and supportive school for our children, staff and families.

Yours sincerely,

Katherine Hill (Head Teacher), Alan Robson (Chair of Governors), The Full Governing Body