I write this letter to seek you support with basic expectations and standards across the college. For the overwhelming majority of students at the college, this letter serves to only remind students of the proud and agreed standards they exhibit on a daily basis and for which I remain grateful.
Governors and staff alike know that the past two years have been difficult for all, particularly the young people we serve. The college continues to look to support all students, accepting that we must be cognisant of our legal and moral obligations. The college sets high standards of bearing, turnout and conduct as they set the tone for learning and protect the reputation and talents of all in the college. I would like to take this opportunity to remind all in the college community of our commitment to such standards and indeed, the action we will take to maintain these.
Standards of uniform and jewellery
The expectations and standards of dress are published here. They are agreed and committed to by parents and students alike via the ‘home school’ agreement. Student who are without items of uniform for short periods are supported by pastoral staff and, if appropriate, a temporary replacement issued. The wearing of excessive make up, acrylic nails etc. are not permitted within college. May I take this opportunity to stress to parents that jewellery is not permitted to be worn in college and that parents are advised against permitting students to have fresh piercings applied during term time. Where this does occur, it is still a requirement not to attend college with jewellery. Through the support of the school nurse, we are can advise parents that the removal of piercings for the duration of the school day will not result in full healing of any new piercing and ergo, students must not arrive to college with jewellery.
Mobile Telephones and E-Devices
The college acknowledges that parents may wish their child to bring a mobile phone to college for use on the way to and from college. Whilst on the college premises between 8.45am and 3.15pm, there is a zero-tolerance approach to the use of mobile phones. If a student is found using their mobile phone or a mobile phone seen on college premises, it will be confiscated and held until the end of the day. A summary of the process can be found here.
Conduct in Lessons
Newman College serves over 1515 young people. 1415 have never once been asked to leave a lesson due to poor conduct. Regrettably, there are occasions whereby the behaviour of an individual may warrant their removal from lessons in order to safeguard the education of others. We do not want this, but where necessary, we will carryout this action. Where a young person’s behaviour is such that they are routinely disrupting the learning of others, sanctions and support will be applied. If we are to ensure that all young people have the success they deserve, we must safeguard an effective learning environment. Parents will now be informed on a daily basis if their child has been exited from lessons for poor behaviour. Should such behaviour continue despite successive attempts at support, then the college will seek the support of parents to discuss alternatives to support the young person. However, this is rare and I would ask that you stress the importance of engagement in the learning on offer at the college to your child. Should you have concerns or need to discuss support for your child, please do contact the relevant Pastoral Co-ordinator.
Conduct to and from college
Schools have a duty as directed here , to set appropriate standards of behaviour even beyond the college gates. Again, whilst rare, I wish to remind parents that any negative behaviour beyond college will be dealt with robustly. Residents are encouraged to contact the Police over matters of anti-social behaviour and the college supports any formal request from the Police in dealing with such matters. The college has a strong relationship with the bus companies and tram providers. We are aware that two students have been banned from using the college bus system due to poor behaviour, at considerable expense and difficulty to their parents. To avoid this, we encourage all to follow the college expectations of “Dignity and Excellence” at all times to avoid such situations.
The tone of this letter may be considered negative, for which I apologise. The simple fact is that for the majority of students, the messages within this letter are well known and adhered to. The aim is to therefore remind those who may have forgotten about such expectations and indeed our commitment to robustly challenge those who fall short of our standards, providing support where necessary. We know that it is the majority of the students conduct that we must focus on, and it is for that positive reason that we will shortly be launching a revised and enhanced rewards system. However, for the minority who choose to challenge our standards or who believe that we will not challenge their conduct, this letter serves to politely remind us all.
Mr G R Potts DL