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Forthcoming events and seminars

Managing difficult parent issues – a seminar for academies and colleges

Who should attend

Staff in academies, academies, sixth form colleges ad further education institutions who are responsible for managing student and parent issues and the preparation and implementation of policies and procedures relevant to students and parents (e.g. business managers, deputy/assistant heads, personal tutors, student support staff, student managers and senior management and clerks and governors).

Synopsis

It has been widely reported that parents and guardians have increased expectations regarding the education and support provided by academies and colleges and are becoming increasingly demanding and willing to challenge institutions, and individual members of staff, where their expectations have not been met.

It is important for academies and colleges to foster and maintain co-operative and positive relationships with parents, guardians and carers. Whilst many institutions recognise that managing increased expectations is part and parcel of modern day education, there is a threshold where behaviour and conduct becomes unacceptable and impacts adversely on the institution, its students and the health and wellbeing of individual members of staff.

This seminar will explore the legal nature of your relationship with parents, guardians and carers and the various potential strategies available to you in managing unacceptable behaviour including, for example, in respect of frequent and demanding correspondence, social media postings/campaigns, damage to reputation and harassment of, and violence to, staff on and off institution grounds. We will explore the overarching legal framework and the key legal and practical issues which arise for institutions in this area, provide you with practical guidance to help you deal with matters as they arise and assist you to manage your relationship with parents, guardians and carers effectively and confidently and discharge your duties to students and staff.

Issues will be highlighted through the consideration of interactive case scenarios and delegates will have an opportunity to share experiences and discuss good practice.

Issues for discussion will include:

  • What constitutes unacceptable behaviour?
  • What legal and practical options may be available to you in managing such behaviour?
  • What action should you take bearing in mind the legal duties owed to students and staff?
  • Is there a distinction between unacceptable behaviour which occurs at your premises and that which arises elsewhere?
  • What considerations arise where the behaviour in question may constitute criminal activity or civil harassment?
  • How may you manage the challenges arising from social media misuse and mitigate the risk of reputational harm?
  • In what circumstances may you ban individuals from attending your institution’s premises and how may you take such decisions fairly and lawfully?
  • In what circumstances can you seek an injunction or other court redress to manage challenging behaviour?
  • The importance of proper record-keeping and your obligations in relation to data protection (including regarding subject access requests) and confidentiality.
  • What are the key dos and don’ts?

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