During the Western Australian Primary Principals’ Association (WAPPA) Annual Conference, WA Education and Training Minister, Sue Ellery, announced a new set of protocols to encourage open and respectful communication between schools, students and parents across the state.
The WAPPA Annual Conference was held on 21 August 2019. These new protocols are part of a range of resources provided by the WA Department of Education to support the mental health and wellbeing of staff.
Created in collaboration with WAPPA, WA Council of State School Organisations and other associations and unions, the guidelines define the roles of school staff and the expectations of parents, carers and students, so all parties have opportunities to share good news and discuss issues in a respectful way.
The protocols state that principals and teaching staff are not required to respond to communications outside their normal working hours and are not expected to respond to communication that is offensive, threatening or unacceptable in any way.
“Every student, staff member and parent has the right to feel safe and be safe at school,” said Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery. “These new protocols reflect the complex and at times challenging world in which we live and will help ensure all school staff are supported in carrying out their duties.
“It is unacceptable aggressive or intimidating emails are being sent to principals or teachers. School staff can now feel confident in the expectations and responsibilities when responding to parent communications.”
There is also an expectation that communication and all interactions between school staff and parents is mutually respectful.
The Communication Protocols will be released to WA government schools and parents before the end of Term 3.