EMAIL PROTOCOL POLICY
PROTOCOLS FOR THE USE OF EMAIL AS A COMMUNICATION TOOL
Assisting the Activation of our Compass Parent Portal
Holy Family Catholic Primary School is committed to open, honest & timely communication. We are also committed to communication being respectful, measured, sensitive and constructive. In adhering to these principles we aim to strengthen the goodwill and the positive partnership between parents and the school, to enhance the wellbeing and learning opportunities for our students.
We acknowledge the potential benefits of staff and parents communicating via email, but also understand its shortcomings. This policy is designed to establish clear expectations for both staff and parents in the use of email as a communication tool.
Email is an environmentally friendly way of communicating that can save time when used effectively. We acknowledge that email is convenient for parents. Our school values face to face and phone conversations and understands that these forms of communication are preferred in many situations.
Expectations of Both Staff and Parents
When communicating via email, staff and parents are expected to adhere to email etiquette including:
- Emails are at their best when they are brief and informative. Issues that require a level of detailed discussion should be dealt with in person or over the phone.
- Emails should always be respectful and constructive. If an email relates to a concern or problem, it ought to be focused on understanding the problem, and finding a solution.
- Email via the message thread. Use ‘Reply’ rather than ‘New Mail’ as this keeps the content together.
- Read and then re-read the draft email before you send it.
- Avoid sending negative or confrontational emails.
- Emails are not to be used to write about or seek personal information regarding third parties (staff, students or parents).
- The tone or intent of an email can easily be misunderstood, especially where humour or sarcasm is involved. Consider a phone call to discuss face to face if necessary.
- Staff and parents are not expected to respond to emails that are contentious. A face to face meeting should be arranged.
- Please identify yourself clearly in the email.
Expectations of Parents
- Please identify yourself in the subject line of your email message and if appropriate, the name of your child.
- Emails should be used for general information including class activities, curriculum, assignments, tests, deadlines & special events.
- Remember to respect staff personal time. Parents shouldn’t send emails outside of work hours and expect an immediate response.
- Please only send non-vital messages by email. (For example, do not use email to inform a teacher that your child is not to go home on the bus that afternoon, as the teacher may not see the message in time. Generally, our teachers will not read emails until lessons are over.)
- If you are seeking to discuss in detail your child’s academic progress, learning expectation, or behavioural issues, these are best addressed in person or over the phone.
- Email can be used to arrange for a meeting / telephone call regarding a student issue. Include a general description of the issue for the teacher.
- Emails intended for our office staff should be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
Expectations of Staff
- During the school day, staff should only check email when they are not teaching. Outside of the school teaching time, staff are free to check and read email.
- It is recommended that send / reply emails be within the hours of 7.30am and 6.00pm on school days.
- Email should not be used to discuss a sensitive issue which was not initiated by the parent or had not been previously discussed with the parent.
- When an email is received from a parent that requires some time to gather information and reply properly, the staff member should respond acknowledging that the email had been received and indicate when an informed response will be sent.
- Staff will aim to reply to parent emails within 2 working days.
- When on leave, staff should activate an auto-reply message detailing relevant leave dates.
- Staff are not required to respond to abusive emails and these should be forwarded to the Principal for follow up.
- Only the CEDB email facility should be used when communicating with parents.
- Staff are required to understand and follow the CEDB ‘Email & Internet Policy.’ (Available on Unity.)
Unacceptable Email Use
- Any discussion related to other students.
- Personal information about other students.
- Specifics about a sensitive student issue. Personal contact would be required.
- Any discussion related to other staff.
- This Policy was created in 2018.
- Last Policy review was 20.2.20.