Role: The Parents' Forum is an opportunity for all parents of students at the Academy to hold the Academy and LST accountable. Parents can use the forum to tell us what we are doing right and to raise concerns. The Academy will use it to keep parents informed about developments.
The next Parents' Forum will be held in February 2014. Further information will be provided closer to the time.
Chair and Vice Chair
The Chair and Vice Chair of the Parents' forum organise the meetings and represent parents on the full Academy Council. They are elected for a two-year term.
The Chair and Vice Chair can be contacted via:
Robyn McLelland at firstname.lastname@example.org
Caroline Qutteneh at email@example.com
Twickenham Academy Parent´s Forum Minutes of the Parents´ Forum Date — 12th November 2013Agenda items for discussion :-· Introduction of new chair and vice chair — Robyn McLelland and Caroline QuttenehØ Nick Jones introduced the new chair of the Parents´ Forum, Robyn McLelland and Caroline Qutteneh, the vice chair. He explained that their roles were to be parents´ views at the Academy Council and that should parents have any issues, that Robyn and Caroline were their contacts.Ø Robyn introduced herself, her hopes for the forum and the goal to engage more parents in the forum and create a buzz around it.
· Update on the distribution of the Tablet devices
Ø The process steps for distributing the tablets were explained to the parents as well as the requirement to have insurance and all documents, including the Grand Illustration Project piece submitted before the device would be released to the student.
Ø The timelines for years 7 & 8 were shared — occurring within the next week.
Ø Feedback on the distribution process, both positive and room for improvement was shared. The latter was more focussed on the need for understanding what the insurance will and will not cover.
Ø The insurance can be rolled over past the three year period - in conversation the insurance company will be happy to do this.
Ø There was concern around the degree of personal responsibility for a new student, who may still be getting used to remembering everyday objects and whether a device of such value was maybe a step too far just now. Concern was relating to how this may or may not affect their inclusion within the Academy. Nick Jones reassured the forum that it would not be a means of exclusion and that wherever possible steps are taken to provide hardware and support to enable all students to participate, whether they have a device or not.
Ø Students do not need to take a tablet immediately, as enough tablets have been purchased to give parents and students time to consider. Uptake can continue throughout the academic year.
Ø Nick Jones also shared the news that Twickenham Academy is now a confirmed Microsoft Mentor School, one of only 80 in the world. It is also a Microsoft World Tour School, currently only 2 others in the UK. Both great achievements for the school, which puts it in a privileged position with Microsoft and gains several advantages including increased Microsoft support, as well as the opportunity for all those who take-up the tablet device offer in school, to download the latest Microsoft office package at home for free - to enhance use of Microsoft programmes at school and at home.
· E safety — roles and responsibilities of schools and parents
Ø Ms. Dooling gave an informative presentation on the role and responsibility of the Academy re e-safety and how it monitors and tracks events, both from a measurement perspective and also a personal interaction perspective.
Ø The forum was reassured that there are robust systems and processes in place to support the safety of the students and teachers.
Ø The forum discussed the key areas of content, contact and behaviours when it came to making informed decisions and choices, both in and out of school and how parents can support and intervene in a helpful and supportive way with their children.
· Update on catering changes, active from September 2012
Ø Nick Jones gave the forum an update on the progress being made having brought catering “in house"
Ø There are now options with regards to foods available at breaks and lunchtimes — hot meals, hot snacks, cold snacks
Ø There are still areas for improvement and student representatives have been invited to join a group to look at how what these are and workable solutions.
Ø A comment was shared that it is good to see teachers and students having lunch together, as it provides an opportunity for conversation.
Ø Concern was raised about the length of queues at lunchtime and also the cost of a bottle of water, currently 90p. Nick Jones explained that the Academy was due to bring in vending machines for drinks and sandwiches. This would take some of the pressure off the queues, as some students are currently in the main queue for drinks and sandwiches only.
Ø An additional concern was raised about how some students drink from the water fountain in an unhygienic way, resulting in other students not using the fountains.
· Update on examination results
Ø Nick Jones shared an overview of the exam results, comparisons versus 2012, improvements on 2012 results, how boys were faring compared to girls and also where there is room for improvement
· Building update
Ø Nick Jones gave a building update and mentioned several snagging issues, that were being closely followed up on. Noted that the solar panels have been effective.
Ø The current progress on the sports hall is that it is currently running 2 weeks behind schedule, with the builders reporting a completion date of May 8th 2014.
Ø The dome is due to come down in January and the sixth form building work is to take place between January and May 2014.
· Question and answer forum
Ø A question was raised to enquire into why the uniform shop in Whitton is not as efficient and speedy on resolving out of stock situations, as parents would like. Parents are waiting an unacceptable time for uniform to be back in stock. The situation shared was weeks for a jumper.
Ø Is there going to be a library facility at the Academy? Nick Jones informed the forum, that as and when the tablets were distributed and up and running, the expectation is that there will be less need for as many open IT suites and that the plan is to use one of them and to create a library.
· Actions taken
Ø Views were gathered from present parents and carers re topics of interest for discussion or information at future forums. Robyn to collate and then she and Caroline to meet with Nick to discuss a creative way forward.
Ø Ideas template to be added to Twickenham Talk and to include the chair and vice chairs´ email addresses.
Ø E- safety leaflet to be included in the Twickenham Talk to ensure more parents and students have access to the top tips etc...
Ø Staff to keep an eye on queuing times at lunch break to see whether this is a consistent issue that needs resolving.
Ø To progress the running of the installed vending machines to provide options to the students and maybe speed up the queues.
Ø Nick Jones agreed to contact the Whitton uniform office to discuss the slow restocking issue.
Ø Nick Jones agreed to contact the catering team to explore volume purchases of cheaper bottles of water.
Ø Nick Jones agreed to follow up on the routine cleaning of the water fountains and also encouraging students to use it as instructed.
Ø Robyn McLelland to explore how to contact all parents to ask them to recycle reading books for the Academy library.
Notes of previous meetings can be found here: