General Information

Admissions
After the initial admission to the school it is the responsibility of the adult concerned to inform the school of any changes concerning parental responsibility arrangements for the child.

Attendance
Children come to school to learn. If they do not attend they will not learn. If your child must be away from school please let the Tutor know.

In the event of long-term absence staff will set work to be done at home.

Parents are reminded that a note must be sent to school explaining all absences. Failure to do so will result in your child being recorded as having unauthorised absence.

School Lunches
We expect all students to remain on site at lunchtime, unless written permission is sought by parents at the start of the year. Students should only leave the site at lunchtime to go home for lunch.

We can take no responsibility for students who leave the premises at lunch-times.

Leaving School for Medical Reasons
Students are allowed to leave school during the day for medical reasons, provided:-

  • They have written proof of their need to be absent in the form of a letter from parents, medical card, appointment card, etc.
  • They ‘sign out’ with Reception and ‘sign in’ at Reception on their return.

School and Personal Property
Books are loaned to students and must be treated with care. Equipment lost or damaged must be paid for.

Although all reasonable care is taken, no responsibility can be accepted for the loss or damage of personal property belonging to students. All articles must be clearly and indelibly marked with the owner’s name.

No articles of value which are not required for school use should be brought into school. Money (which should be kept to a minimum), must be in a named purse kept safely on the owner’s person. Any large sums should be deposited for safe-keeping, either with a member of staff or with the Finance staff. Money or articles of value must not be left, under any circumstances, in the classrooms, changing rooms or bags.

Unfortunately, we have only sufficient lockers to cater for students in the first three years. Older students must, therefore, look after all necessary equipment at all times.

Mobile Phones
We do not encourage the bringing into school and/or use of mobile phones. However, if students are in possession of them they should be switched off upon arrival and not used during lesson time. At break and lunchtime they may be used for appropriate ‘leisure’ activities but will be confiscated if this privilege is abused.

Holidays
When a child is accompanying parents on a family holiday, permission to be absent must be requested from the Head Teacher. Should such leave of absence be granted, for exceptional circumstances only, it is expected that the child will make up the work on his or her return to school; this is particularly important should the absence concern students in Years 10 or 11.

Discipline
In order to encourage an ethos of good discipline, the Commonweal Code of Conduct is published and displayed in all classrooms.

Breaks of discipline in the classroom are dealt with, initially, by the class teacher. In more serious or persistent cases the Head of Faculty or Head of House becomes involved. Students may be placed in detention by a member of staff by arrangement with the Head of Faculty or Head of House.  At least 24 hours notice of any detention will be given to parents, either by eMail or in writing (where the parent has not signed up for emails).  Where a Detention Letter is given it is the responsibility of the student to give that letter to their parents.

Charging for School Activities
As a result of the Education Reform Act (1988) schools no longer make specific charges for activities that take place wholly or mainly in school time. However, if such activities are deemed valuable learning experiences then parents may be asked to make a contribution so that the cost of the trip can be covered. Should insufficient funds be raised in this manner then it may be necessary to cancel the visit and contributions will be returned to parents.  Copies of the School’s Charges and Remissions Policy are available by contacting the Headteacher’s Secretary.

Activities which take place wholly outside school hours can be organised and charged for.

How to make a Complaint
If you have a concern over any matter relating to school, please contact us to discuss it.  The initial point of contact will normally be either the subject teacher or tutor. Should the need arise, Heads of Faculty and Heads of House can also be contacted. Thereafter, where appropriate, members of the Senior Management Team, the Headteacher or Chair of Governors are available to help resolve any problems.

Arrangements for withdrawing your child from Religious Education/Collective Worship
If you wish to withdraw your child from Religious Education lessons please notify the Head Teacher in writing.

Policy on Public Examination Entries
Students are entered for public examinations as recommended by subject teachers following trial examinations. It is our intention to enter all students for GCSEs, unless there is a compelling reason not to do so.

Homework
All students are set homework on a regular basis. All students are given an Academic Year Planner at the start of each year. Very early in the Autumn Term, a homework timetable is drawn up and sent to parents. Students must record the homework that is set in their year planner and we ask that parents sign the planner on a regular basis.

Clubs & Activities
As indicated below, a wide range of clubs and activities is available to students. These take place either at lunchtime or after school. At the start of each academic year all students have the opportunity to sign up for clubs at the Club Fairs.

Various sporting activities are offered and house competitions are organised for many of them. Teams also compete against those from other schools and students from The Commonweal have gained representation in various sports at district, county and national level.

Communication with Parents / Carers
In order to ensure that parents are kept up to date with all aspects of school life, the preferred method of communication is by email. The school uses the School Gateway system to do this, which also allows us to send text messages in emergency situations. Parents are therefore encouraged to ensure the school has an up to date record of a current e-mail address and mobile phone number.

Should parents that do not have an email address then duplicate information will be printed and given to students by their tutors.

Parents Evenings
All parents are invited to attend meetings with teaching staff at least once during the academic year. These meetings are arranged on an appointment basis. However, parents are encouraged to come to school to discuss their child’s progress at other times during the year. The initial approach should be made through the Head of House who will contact the relevant member of the teaching staff.

Student Mini Review Sessions
Three times per year, tutors will meet with individual students and their parents dependant upon need.

School Meals
The Commonweal School operates a cashless catering system to reduce queuing times and to remove the need for students to carry cash on a regular basis.  All students will have their fingertip scanned on their first day in school unless the school is notified in writing that parents do not wish for this to happen.

Accounts can be credited through the cash loader in school, through payment by cheque or preferably online via SchoolGateway.  All cheques should be made payable to Aspen Services and given directly to the Catering Manager.

Freedom of Information Act 2000
From 1st January 2005 the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows any person or organisation anywhere in the world the right of access (subject to certain exemptions) to any recorded information held by The Commonweal School. This includes information held in the school, on computer or stored by private contractors on our behalf.  The information can be recorded in any form and can be of any age.

The Governing Body has a Freedom of Information policy which sets out the principles under which the Governing Body will facilitate access to information held by the school in order to comply with the legislation.  There is also a Publication Scheme that sets out the type of information available through the scheme and how requests for information should be made and will be dealt with. Copies of both these documents are available on the school website or by contacting the School Business Manager.

Requests for information should be made in writing, including email, letter or fax and should be sent to the School Business Manager.

Data Protection Act 1998
The school complies with and is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 and takes all reasonable care to prevent any unauthorised access to personal data.  Personal data can be viewed by arrangement with the School Business Manager.

Copyright
This material is owned by The Commonweal School. It can be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium for research, private study or for internal circulation within an organisation.  This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not being used in a misleading context. Where material is being republished or copied to others, the source of the material must be identified and our copyright acknowledged.