September Letter Home

Dear Parents and Carers,


I would like to start this letter by thanking you for your support in sending your children back to school ready for learning, smartly dressed and compliant with our high standards. We’ve had a fantastic start to the new academic year and I am sure you are all breathing a sigh of relief that after a long period of disruption, things are starting to return to some sense of normality.


For parents and carers whose children are new to the school, we welcome you to the Archbishop Ilsley Catholic School family and hope that your child will have a very happy and successful experience here. For parents and carers who are experiencing a child going to secondary school for the first time, this can be quite daunting and difficult to navigate, especially as there are some considerable differences in how primary and secondary schools operate. This letter will help you to understand how to work with school and what to do if you need to contact us.


UNIFORM

As Headteacher I believe that if pupils are smartly dressed they feel a sense of pride and belonging to their school community. We do insist that pupils are compliant and that they follow our policy, which is reasonable and appropriate for the environment.

This term we have had very few issues to deal with regarding uniform and I am very grateful to parents and carers for supporting us with our stance on piercings and footwear. The rules on piercings are very simple: one small stud per ear (for boys and girls) and no other piercings. Nose studs/rings are not permitted and pupils are expected to remove these prior to the school day starting.


CONTACTING SCHOOL


The best way to contact school is by telephone (0121 706 4200) or by email on enquiry@ilsley.bham.sch.uk. Please remember that schools are extremely busy places and teaching staff are not always available during the school day. If you do need to speak to a member of staff, please telephone or email the enquiry address and a message will be sent. Please allow 48 hours for a response; staff teach, have other duties and meetings which take up a large proportion of their working hours.

I must insist that parents and carers do not turn up at school and expect to see a member of staff unless an appointment has been made. It is not reasonable for parents and carers to arrive in reception and expect to see a member of staff without an appointment.

If you have a concern that a child is in immediate danger, please ring school and ask for a member of the safeguarding team.

Thank you for your understanding and support in these matters.


WHO DO I CONTACT?

For minor issues, please contact your child’s form tutor in the first instance. If your query is related to a specific subject,please contact the subject teacher or ask for the Head of Faculty for that subject area. Most issues can be resolved very quickly.

If there are more serious concerns please contact the Head of House for your child’s year group. The Heads of House are:


Y7: Mr Bruton

Y8: Ms Doherty

Y9: Mr Smith

Y10: Mrs Benton

Y11: Ms Hughes

Sixth form: Mr Newman and Mrs McMahon


WHERE CAN I GET INFORMATION?


Most of the information you need as parents and carers will be on the school website: www.ilsley.bham.sch.uk

We also publish a fortnightly newsletter and send out messages on Classcharts. If you do not have Classcharts, please contact us and we can support you with this. Classcharts is a fantastic app which gives you a daily overview of how your child is doing in school and many parents and carers use it.


ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY


Good attendance is crucial to your child’s success and experience in school. At Archbishop Ilsley Catholic School we expect all children to reach a minimum threshold of 95% attendance. We employ a full-time attendance officer who tracks the attendance of all pupils and as a school we do everything possible to ensure that pupils attend regularly. We will prosecute and fine parents and carers who do not engage in supporting their child’s attendance and you do need to be aware that we have seen significant fines issued in the last 12 months to families where the child has had persistently poor attendance.

If you are concerned about your child’s attendance please contact their Head of House. Mrs Buckley, our school attendance officer, will also be happy to support parents and carers who are struggling to get their children to attend.


Pupils know that the school gates close at 8.40 a.m. and if they are late to school, they will receive a sanction. We are aware that the public transport and road systems around the city can be challenging and would strongly recommend that this is factored in when your child is travelling in the morning. Your child may need to leave earlier than they originally planned if roads become more congested as the term progresses.


CHANGES TO SCHOOL LEADERSHIP


As you are probably already aware, I will be leaving my post as Headteacher in December, after 9 very happy years at Archbishop Ilsley. Having worked in secondary schools for over 25 years, I am looking forward to moving on to something different, but I will be very sad to leave this wonderful community. I have spoken to or met with so many of you over my years here and I have been blessed to have such wonderful support from you, particularly during the pandemic, where school life became rather challenging! Your support is invaluable to me and I know that this will continue when the new Headteacher takes up post in January 2023.


Mr Clinton will take over as Headteacher at the start of the spring term in January 2023 and I am delighted that he has been appointed. Mr Clinton and I have known each other for many years and we have planned a very thorough transition so that school life will continue as normal when I have left. I have already told Mr Clinton that relationships between school and home are excellent here and that the school community is very well supported by parents and carers.


I will be saying goodbye during the last week of term in December and until then, I remain as committed to the school as I have ever been.


May I wish everyone a very happy and successful term. It is a pleasure to serve your children and we look forward to continuing a long and happy relationship.


God Bless



Miss Burrows

Headteacher