At the beginning of each academic year the Class Representatives set up a WhatsApp Group for each class. The main purpose of these groups is to share important information regarding class activities, reminders of events in the school calendar, and share messages from the PTA quickly and efficiently.
The WhatsApp Groups can be extremely helpful when used wisely, following the below guidelines. Don’t forget, that these groups pull together parents from different cultural backgrounds, and you should always use respectful language and think of the cultural sensitivity of other members.
Be mindful that any messages or images etc. that are added to the group chats, like any social media, are in the public domain, so be mindful of what you post.
Parents should remember the following guidelines when using class WhatsApp groups:
The class chat groups are intended for the parents and carers of children in the specific class group only
Class Reps are group admins, making sure members invited/seeking access to the groups are part of their class community. Class Reps also act as moderators to review content posted on the group regularly, and contact anyone who uses the forum inappropriately
The groups should be used for
- Reminders about deadlines, school activities and events
- Asking immediate questions about school business
- PTA messages and lost property notices, or relevant community notices
- Sharing relevant community notices
Keep in mind that the class group messages do NOT replace or substitute communication coming directly from school via SchoolPing for relevant matters
The group should be used to make our lives easier and not become a nuisance, therefore avoid
- discussing current affairs
- sharing advertisement, statements, memes, or anything offensive or irrelevant to the class group
- starting private conversations with anyone else within the group
The groups should never be used as a platform to express negative views regarding a teacher, child or parent in the class or school. Complaints should be raised directly with the school regarding the school, the curriculum or any member of the staff
The groups should be used keeping in mind mutual respect and cultural sensitivity between all its members
Group members should respect the Vineyard values, and all members of the Vineyard community
Group members should NOT post abusive or personal comments, display offensive language, or discuss private matters or issues regarding individual children. NEVER share medical records, school reports, or any sensitive information regarding your or someone else’s child
Following the school’s safeguarding rules photos/videos should NOT be shared without explicit parental permission. However well intentioned, as some parents do not consent to images of their children being posted on social media
Points to note:
If in doubt, always consult the Newsletter, the SchoolPing messages or ask your Class Rep (who can then forward your question to the school, if needed)
If you are concerned about inappropriate comments on a class WhatsApp group, in confidence, please contact Mrs Bracegirdle by emailing the firstname.lastname@example.org