Parental Communication & Engagement

At Dormston we really appreciate the importance and benefit of working closely with our parents/carers.  ‘Parental Communication & Engagement’ is an intrinsic part of any successful school and our parents/carers support really does make a difference to our student’s success. 

It’s really important, that as a school, we are able to put ourselves ‘in your shoes’ and listen to what you say, in order to find out if there are any barriers you are facing so we develop good, positive parental communication and engagement with you all.  If you have any ideas or suggestions on how we could improve in this area please contact Karen Otton on 01384 816395 or

We do understand that as Parents you may often be under pressure with busy, demanding lives and workloads, so it is important that we try to communicate with you as effectively and efficiently as possible so that we can all work together.  On a day to day basis we aim to respond to ALL parent/carer phone calls and queries within 48 hours.  This is due to the fact that many of our teachers have a full teaching timetable as well as other outside class commitments and meetings.  We also sometimes need time to look into and investigate queries to be able to respond effectively to your concerns/questions. 

‘Whole School’ Communication & Engagement Review

We started by taking a good honest look at what we did in this area and in September 2018 we undertook a Parental Communication & Engagement Survey.  Although the results were good we still wanted to improve this area further to ensure that we are doing all that we can to communicate and engage with our parents/carers effectively in terms of ‘whole school communication’.

Please see the downloads tab at the bottom of this page for our Parental Communication & Engagement  Survey Results 

Our Most Recent Improvements

Some of our most recent improvements in terms of Parental Communication & Engagement as a result of this consultation are as follows:

Increased staffing in ‘Main Reception’ at peak periods to help deal with phone calls and visitors to the school more quickly and efficiently.

Standardisation/checking process for all correspondence to improve consistency and accuracy of letters that are being sent out to our parents/carers.

ALL correspondence are now automatically uploaded to the Website - giving parents the option to look on-line if letters have got lost/mislaid. 

A move towards e-communication to assist with information being received quickly and efficiently without delay.

Our Website Calendar is now populated and colour coded with all events and deadlines reflecting any correspondence that has been sent out.

‘Weekly Bulletin’ – a Weekly Bulletin is circulated every Friday and is designed to give parents/carers a snapshot of the week ahead, giving them reminders of reply slip deadlines, payment deadlines, trips, events for that coming week.  We also share weekly sporting results and Head Teacher Commendations in this bulletin. 

Monthly Update Sheet - this has been revamped and also now includes Staffing Updates, School News, Pupil Success Stories along with any school events that are coming up over the next two months to give parents/carers advance warning.

Development of Dormston Twitter Page as another electronic mechanism for communicating and sharing information.

Development of Dormston Facebook Page as another electronic mechanism for communicating and sharing information. This will be launched in October 2019.

Introduction of a Quick Note System - parents/carers wanted to know more frequently how their child was getting on in School.  The Quick Note System gives parents/carers a simple heads up that their child has worked hard in a particular subject, on that particular day.  This was originally just for KS3 but due to the popularity of this simple but effective system this has also now be rolled out to KS4.

Learner of the Month - all pupils who are nominated for this Monthly award also receive a letter home from the Head Teacher telling them about who and why they were nominated for this very special award. The winning Students parents are invited in to school to see their child receive this accolade.

Head Teacher/Parent Coffee Mornings – hearing first hand from our Parents/Carers about how they feel about us as a school is incredibly useful and valuable.  Groups of parents are periodically invited in to have Coffee & Cake with the Head Teacher to discuss how things are going and if there is anything we could do to support them further.   If this is something that you are interested in being invited to please contact

Development of Family Learning opportunities to engage both parents and pupils together in learning.  During 2018 we have facilitated a Christmas Cake Decorating Workshop and a Pottery Workshop.  More exciting family learning opportunities will be available shortly.  If this is something that you are interested in please contact

Parents Committee Membership was reviewed, re-established and has subsequently increased from 12 to 30.  We now also increasingly use our Parents Committee as a sounding board and seek advice from them when planning events and making changes whenever the opportunity arises, which has proved really valuable. 

Parent/Teacher Association (PTA) Following our PTA Information Evening in September 2019 we are pleased to announce that we had enough interest to set an AGM and officially form a PTA.  We will be holding our AGM sometime in November 2019. The date of this will be published to parents shortly who are all welcome to attend.

If you have any suggestions about how we could further improve our Parental/Communication and Engagement both now and in the future please don’t hesitate to contact Karen Otton on 01384 816395 or



Page Downloads Date  
Survey Results 02nd Oct 2019 Download

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19th July

Staffing Update

We are pleased to inform you that we have successfully recruited another Science Teacher; Mrs Pajaj who will be starting with us in September 2019. You can find out more about Mrs Pajaj in our September/October Update Sheet. Mrs Vyse, Science Teacher who joined us in April 2019 will however unfortunately be leaving us in July 2019 due to personal commitments. Dance Teacher, Miss Knight who was with us on a temporary basis will also sadly be leaving us. We will also be saying goodbye to Mr Lee, Head of Maths in July 2019 as he has been promoted to Assistant Principal for Behaviour & Safeguarding at RSA Academy. Mrs Jacques however will be Acting Head of Maths in the interim so worry not, the Maths Department is in safe hands! We will also be saying goodbye to Mrs Baker, Head of MFL and Mrs Windmill, English Teacher in July 2019. They have both worked at Dormston for a number of years and will be sadly missed by staff and pupils. Mrs Baker has been a great teacher and Head of Department and her passion for MFL has inspired so many students over the years; with many of them going on to study MFL at colleges and universities. Mrs Baker is also well known for her creativity and has encouraged countless students to take up arts and crafts. Mrs Windmill is an expert in Shakespeare and has awakened a passion for literature in many past and current students. She has also been heavily involved in all of our school productions, including pushing numerous full size cars onto the stage in Grease and Blues Brothers and also making several children ‘fly’. We would like to thank them both for all their hard work and commitment over the years and wish them well in the next chapter of their lives.