Letter 8/2/24 – reminder of school policies

Dear Parents / carers
As you will know, Danesgate prides itself on removing as many barriers as possible to enable learning amongst our students whilst also ensuring that all members of our community are operating in a safe and healthy environment. With that in mind, we would like to clarify a number of school policies so that all members of our Community are aware of expectations and responsibilities. In recent weeks a number of concerns have been raised by a very small minority of our student population. I would really appreciate the support of parents/carers on the following matters:

We are aware that some students have a considerable journey on public transport across the city and so there is an implicit understanding that they may well be late on occasion We hope that with your encouragement and support you will ensure your child arrives on time for school and their education.

Fizzy drinks
Fizzy drinks are not permitted in school, either for lunch or to drink within the day.

Mobile Phones in Danesgate Community
Whilst we recognise that mobile phones are an important part of everyday life for our pupils and parents, use of phones in school is a safeguarding issue, posing such challenges as;
● Risks to child protection
● Data protection issues
● Potential for lesson disruption
● Risk of theft, loss, or damage

In recent weeks, there has been a number of instances of pictures and video recordings taken in class, causing increased disruption to learning and safeguarding concerns. With this in mind, we would like to take this opportunity to remind parents / carers and students of Danesgate’s policy on phones in school.

  • Students are tolerated with bringing a mobile to school but should ensure that it is not seen or used whilst on school premises. This includes in lessons and at break times.
  • If mobile phones are seen or used, staff will ask the student to hand the device in or to put it away.
  • If the phone remains an issue, the student will be invited to continue their learning in an alternative and isolated space.
  • Refusal to comply with the above will ultimately result in a suspension.
  • School would then request a readmittance meeting between the student, parents / carers and a member of the Senior Leadership Team to restore a common understanding of Danesgate’s phone policy.

Vaping & Smoking
At Danesgate Community we have recently seen an increase in the number of young people who are vaping and bringing vapes on to the school site and consequently being suspended due to their actions. The purpose of this letter is to inform you of the issue, provide you with access to helpful resources, as well as to alert you to the potential consequences should your child/children be found to be in possession or use of electronic cigarettes/vapes on the school premises. Shops and other retailers cannot sell vaping items to people under the age of 18. This includes the sale of
vaping equipment, including liquids and devices. It is, therefore, clear that young people under the age of 18 should not be purchasing or be in possession of alternative nicotine products such as vapes. Whilst the sale of items as detailed above is illegal, pupils have reported to us that they are able to acquire devices online or from older siblings, friends and unfortunately in some instances even parents/carers.

I am sure that you will agree that the possession and use of vapes on the school premises is something that we simply cannot tolerate, anyone who is found to be in the possession of paraphernalia linked to smoking or vaping will face additional sanctions deemed appropriate by myself and Senior Leadership Team which could lead to a suspension.

Naturally, we will also continue our work in the school to educate pupils regarding the dangers of vaping and
the legality surrounding this.

Students at Danesgate Community are fortunate in that we enjoy a very strong and supportive connection with our parent / carer base and we are confident that parents and carers will want to work with us in our efforts to keep all our Community members safe and healthy. Please can you share this information with your child so they fully understand the potential consequences of ignoring our requests particularly around mobile phone usage and vaping/smoking. We look forward to your cooperation in managing some of these challenging issues. Should you have any further concerns, please do contact your child’s keyworker in the first instance. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for your on-going support with your child’s education at Danesgate and have a lovely, restful half term break.

Yours Sincerely

Chris Nichols

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