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 date of the next Parents' Forum will be held at 6.30pm on Tuesday, 21st May 2013 in the New Learning Space.
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 can be contacted on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twickenham Academy Parents' Forum account from meeting of 23rd October 2012
Meeting commenced at 6.40pm and ended at 8.35pm. 17 parents were in attendance, along with Nick Jones, Principal, Steve Hawley, Facilities Manager for LST, Clare and Shahrukh, two Sixth Form students, Suzy Hart, Upper College Team Leader and Head of Sixth Form, Sheena Swaffield, Wembley College Principal.
Steve Hawley gave a presentation on the catering plans for the future. The theme would be quality and healthy food at a reasonable price, which can be delivered by offering less choice. It will be in-house, giving control over what is provided and how it is done. The dining facilities will be more comfortable and relaxed and adjoining the food tech room for the Upper College which enables opportunities for linking with the cooking and eating with the curriculum. Each College will have its own servery and dining area. Unfortunately, at Twickenham Academy, the change may not happen until September, with the existing caterers operating in the new building for one term, after the move during Easter 2013. It would have been much better to change the catering with the move but the contract may prevent this, as it could be expensive to leave early.
The option of not charging had been considered but a decision was taken that it would not be affordable. What will be charged is not yet known and the comment was made that it needs to be seen as good value against less healthy options outside of the Academy. Another view expressed was on portion sizes, that the meal should be filling and value for money, which is not presently the case. Examples of the small portions were described. Steve said he would look into this and discuss it with the catering company.
Clare and Sharukh then demonstrated the Asus devices that they are using, how they are using them and their benefits. Questions were asked about security, personal and IT, content access restrictions, costs, keeping the device, timescale for issuing them, completion of full rollout, and if there would be any benefit for the current Year 9s.
There will be a maintenance charge of £24 per year for the device. Insurance will be the parents' responsibility. An estimate is around £30 per year. While at the Academy, there will be content access restrictions until 3.00pm. There will be no charge for the device after 3 years if wanting to keep it. A sliding scale of costs will apply if leaving the Academy in less than 3 years and wanting to keep the device. E.g. around £100 after two years. Every student should have been issued with a device by April 2013 and the present Year 9s will still have the benefit for two years and one term, or more than three years if staying on at Sixth Form.
Clare and Sharukh then talked about their early impressions of the new Sixth Form at Twickenham Academy and the A-levels they are studying for. Both spoke very positively of their experience and were happy that they had made the right choice. The class sizes were small, around 6 or 7, which they liked; they were given a degree of independence and separation from the Academy, while still feeling part of it and appreciating the continuity and familiar faces. In response to a question about the current roll and capacity, and future class sizes, there are presently 49 Sixth Formers, with a capacity for 150. However, the maximum class sizes are likely to be around 15.
The open session started with Trevor explaining that his term of 2 years had expired but he would be happy to continue for one more year if there was agreement for that. He asked if anyone wanted to put themselves forward for election as Chair. It was agreed for Trevor to continue but plan for a new parent to be elected by the summer or autumn term of 2013. A question was asked about attendance at the meetings and a summary was given of ideas previously discussed, and recent activities, such as a presence at the new Year 7 Open Evening for parents in July, and an email sent to all those from that event on the email list. Encouraging a higher participation and interest taken is an ongoing challenge.
The next meeting will be in February 2013, with a date to be confirmed.
Notes of previous meetings can be found here: