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FAQs

What should I do if I have a query about:

 

Topic Contact
Contacting a student in an emergency Call the office on 020 8365 4400
Informing the school that my child is sick Leave a message asap on the Attendance Line: 020 8365 4429 or email attendance@fortismere.org.uk
Informing the school of any daily absence Leave a message asap on the Attendance Line: 020 8365 4429 or email attendance@fortismere.org.uk
Problems within my child's Tutor Group Email Tutor
Friendship issues in school Email Tutor
Bullying Email Tutor
Long-term Absences (over one week) Email Head of College
Academic Progress across School Email Head of College
Issues with Homework Email Subject Teacher
Issues with Subject Email Subject Teacher
Academic Progress within Subject Email Head of Department
Queries within Subject Email Head of Department
General Information or School Issue Email Office on office@fortismere.org.uk or call on 020 8365 4400
ParentMail Email Ms Greenwood on agreenwood@fortismere.org.uk
Sixth Form Email sixthform@fortismere.org.uk
Exams Email dozturk@fortismere.org.uk
Booking Parents' Evening appointments Email rbrown@fortismere.org.uk
Lockers Students can visit Ms Brown in North Wing Office, Monday to Wednesday
Fortismere Music Centre (Saturday School) Email FMCInfo@fortismere.org.uk
Lettings Email lettings@fortismere.org.uk
Making a Complaint See our Complaints Policy for course of action

Most general issues relating to your child should be addressed to their Tutor in the first instance. If you wish to escalate an enquiry, please then contact their Head of College. If you wish to take the matter further, please then contact one of our Assistant Headteachers or Deputy Heads. Only in exceptional circumstances should the Headteacher can be contacted about an individual child.

 

Some Common Scenarios:

1. My child cannot access funds for the Canteen.

A: Check their balance on ParentMail and update if necessary. If you are having technical problems with ParentMail, contact Ms A Greenwood (agreenwood@fortismere.org.uk.uk).  Please note that if a student has a genuine reason for not being able to access funds, the canteen will provide them with lunch that day.

More information can be found here.

 

2. My child feels unwell during the school day.

A: Students who feel unwell during lessons should inform their teacher. The teacher will send them, with a note, to the nearest medical room (North or South Wing). The Welfare Officer will see them there and assess their ability to stay in school. If they need to be sent home, the Welfare Officer will contact the parent/carer. Students who are ill may not leave school alone - they must be collected. Students must not contact their parents/carers direct (mobile phones are not permitted in school hours).

If a child has been vomiting or has diarrhoea, they must not come into school for 48 hours after the last episode.

 

3. My child needs to leave school during the school day for a pre-arranged appointment (eg doctor or dentist). 

A: Please email attendance@fortismere.org.uk before the appointment to inform the school. With parental permission, students may leave school during the day for their appointment. They must go to either North or South Wing office to be signed out.

 

4. My child is returning from an appointment during the school day, or is in late because of an appointment first thing. What should they do?

A: Students coming in late because of a pre-arranged appointment, or returning to school after an appointment, must enter school via South Wing gate (on Tetherdown). In order to avoid receiving a C3 (detention), they must have evidence of their appointment. They should then go straight to class.

 

5. I wish to take my child out of school during term-time.

A: You will need to complete a Leave of Absence Form and return it to their Head of College. You do NOT need to complete a Form if the absence is for:

  • a family funeral
  • Religious holiday
  • Medical Appointments
  • Exams (eg music or dance)

In those cases, you MUST email attendance@fortismere.org.uk to inform the school.

More information can be found here.

 

6. On Go4Schools, it states that my child has 2 absences, but they have only been off for 1 day.

A: We take the register twice each day - once in the morning and once in the afternoon. If a child is absent for one full day, it will show as two absences (authorised or unauthorised). Our systems take this into account we know that this means one day's absence only.

 

7. My child has lost their coat/bag/PE kit etc.

A: We recommend that items which might easily be mislaid are labelled. However, if an item is handed in, Lost Property can be found in North and South Wing Offices. Any items of PE kit might also be found in the PE Department. Items are kept for a half-term and then disposed of.

 

8. My child has been given a C3 (detention) and I want to dispute it.

A: Staff think carefully about issuing C3s and it is unlikely that a C3 will be removed. We do not therefore encourage parents/carers to contact the school to debate a C3. However, if you have a serious concern, please contact the member of staff who issued the C3 (you will find that information on Go4Schools).

 

9. I wish to book a meeting with the Headteacher.

A: As you will imagine, in a school of over 1400 students, it is not possible for the Headteacher to be fully briefed on every student. That is why there is a comprehensive structure in place to support your child, including their Tutor and Head of College. For most queries, please contact them in the first instance. The Headteacher is available at key school events throughout the year and at group briefing sessions if/when they are deemed necessary.

 

10. I wish to contact the School Governors.

A: If you would like to contact the School Governors, please email the Clerk to the Governors, Ms Sam Murray, at smurray@fortismere.org.uk or via governors@fortismere.org.uk

 

11. I am a prospective parent. Can I book a visit to the school?

A: Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to organise individual tours of the school during the year. We do run two events for prospective parents in September of each year. The first event is for parents/carers only, and the second is for students as well. 

 

12. How do I make a complaint?

A: You should look at our Complaints Policy in the first instance. There are 4 stages to the Complaints Procedure:

Stage One - Informal: Talk to the class teacher or relevant member of staff

Most concerns can be resolved quickly and effectively by the class teacher or the relevant member of staff. Contact the school to make an appointment or to find out when the member of staff is available to talk to you. You can also make contact by letter or email. The aim at this stage is to establish the nature of the concern and to find a realistic and speedy resolution to the problem.

Stage Two – Informal: Contact the relevant Head of Department/Head of College or Assistant Head

If you were not able to resolve your concern with the member of staff at Stage One you should then contact the relevant Head of Department, Head of College or Assistant Headteacher. Arrange an appointment to discuss the matter further. The aim at this stage is to establish the nature of the ongoing concern, what has been discussed with the school so far and what actions, if any, have already been taken. You will receive a response within 10 school days. It is hoped that most problems will be resolved through the informal stages of this procedure.

Stage Three – Formal: Contact the Headteacher

If your concern is still unresolved you may wish to pursue it further by raising it formally with the Headteacher. Send your complaint in writing, by letter or email, to the Headteacher. You should explain clearly the concern that has previously been discussed at stage one and stage two and why you feel that the issue is still not resolved. Explain what you think might resolve the matter. The Headteacher will investigate or nominate another senior member of staff to deal with the matter on her behalf. The Headteacher will respond in writing within 15 school days of the date of receipt of your complaint.

Stage Four – Formal: Complaint to the Chair of Governors

If you are not satisfied with the response from the Headteacher, or if the complaint directly concerns the Headteacher, you can make a formal written complaint to the Chair of Governors. Email the Clerk to Governors at governors@fortismere.org.uk The Clerk will forward your letter or email to the Chair of Governors. Individual governors who receive complaints will refer them to the Headteacher or Chair of Governors as appropriate and will not become further involved themselves unless requested to do so by the Chair of Governors. The Chair of Governors will investigate or arrange for a group of governors (two or three) to investigate the complaint. Governors will arrange to meet with you and others involved to discuss the matter. You will receive a written response within 20 school days of the date that the Chair of Governors received the complaint. The Governors’ decision is final and represents the end of the school’s complaints procedure. Governors can:

  • offer an apology, an explanation or an admission that the situation could have been handled differently
  • undertake to review policies and procedures in light of the complaint to ensure problems of a similar nature do not recur
  • uphold the complaint in whole or in part
  • decide on the appropriate action to be taken to resolve the complaint
  • dismiss the complaint in whole or in part.

 

13. Can I obtain a paper copy of information on the website?

A: Yes, if you require a paper copy of any of the information on our website, this can be provided free of charge. Please contact the office by emailing office@fortismere.org.uk.

 

14. When is the school closed this year, and are there any late starts or early closures?

A: This information can be found on our Key Dates page.