Parents kept more closely informed

PARENTS are being kept even more closely informed about their children's movements - thanks to the extension of a revolutionary text and phone message system.

PARENTS are being kept even more closely informed about their children's movements - thanks to the extension of a revolutionary text and phone message system.

Orwell High School at Felixstowe has increased the use of its Truancy Call system, which informs parents automatically by a phone message or a text that their child is absent, by now using it to tell mums and dads about detentions and lateness.

There were problems with the system last autumn when some parents were told mistakenly their children were absent when they were actually in school.

Last week there was a similar incident when some parents of children on a school trip to Norfolk received messages saying their children were absent.


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One parent said: “I didn't take any notice of the message because I knew my child was on the trip to Norwich and thought, Oh, it's another mistake, as I have received several before.

“But I still think this system needs to work properly for us to have confidence in it.”

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But headteacher Peter Tomkins said there had been few problems and felt the system was now working very well.

“I have not had any adverse comments or problems with the system since the autumn and none about last week's trip to Norfolk. I think it is working extremely well,” he said.

“After the previous incident, the local education authority investigated the system and they are quite happy with how it is operating.

“We have now extended its use to inform parents about lateness and also detentions. For detentions, we still send a letter home, but using the call system enables the parents to know there is a detention and a letter on the way in case they do not receive that letter or it goes astray.

“It could also prove useful to keep parents informed of things such as snow closures to ensure they get accurate information. It is about better communication between school and parents, and we feel that is a great advantage.”

Attendance has improved since the system was introduced.

The school will soon bring in electronic registering via wireless laptops for each lesson, which will enable parents to be informed if a child is registered in school on arrival but later misses lessons.

What do you think of the automated system? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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