Response to ‘Dear Mrs.Headmistress’

This post is a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ response to Paula’s ‘Dear Mrs. Headmistress’

Dear Mrs Battle,

Thank you for your letter received this morning. It was most generous of you to contact me during the holidays.

The contents of your letter were most interesting & I suspect you are not alone in these problems of unruly children at bedtime. My own piloting of Bedtime Club is proving quite successful. The children are settled well by 7pm & are rising very refreshed the next day.

You mention the possibility of rolling the programme out & certainly as a school we would support that. However, with the recent announcement of the General Election you will be aware, I am sure, of the ‘wash-up’ horse trading that has to happen before Parliament is dissolved. This is where agreement between all political parties is sought for those items of policy that will go through the statute books with little debate. Unfortunately, with respect to the Children, Schools & Families bill a number of parts have been removed including Home School agreements & other parental areas. However, I am sure whichever party is returned, they will be considering parents as stakeholders within school communities.

As you know we are a forward thinking school & I have spoken to the Chair of Governors about your suggestion. He has asked me to thank you & outline some areas for your consideration.

Firstly, you would need to undertake a full Health & Safety audit of your premises. Risk assessments will need to be carried out for all areas of the house that staff will be using. This will include the provision of hygiene equipment (plastic gloves, face masks, hand gel etc) for ‘before-sleep’ toileting.

An induction period of 3 months will need to be undertaken by staff providing this service, with monitoring checks by senior school staff. As host, you will be required to complete a daily log outlining the aims, objectives, learning outcomes expected & achieved. Of course, the staff member will also fill in an evaluation of their experience with you. A regular review meeting will be held with all parties together with a representative from the Governing Body.

I am sure you are aware that teaching staff are entitled to 10% non contact time each week. This is known as PPA (Planning Preparation & Assessment) time. You will need to provide cover for the member of staff at these times. We value our staff & their dedication so would expect you to provide a refreshment break time for them. This will obviously require a suitable area.

 I would like to thank you for your offer to assist in the establishment of this programme. With this in mind, I would be most grateful if you could provide me with an outline of the Vision. Aims, Strategies, Provision required & Success criteria of the project so that it can be included in the School Development Plan. It is an expectation of Ofsted that all collaborative ventures are fully documented as evidence of community cohesion. Luckily, my children have been able to amuse themselves for much of the holiday so I have been able to make great strides in writing the SDP.

I would like to thank you for your interest in promoting our school as a place of excellence & ‘out of the box’ thinking. However, should this project not suit your requirements could I suggest you contact Miss M Poppins,  Ms.Doubtfire or in the last instance Nana the Dog who may be able to assist you with your children. Alternately, perhaps an extension to one of your cupboards may provide useful for containment at extreme times

I look forward to seeing you all when we return to school shortly.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs. Headmistress

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