Parent Involvement

Parents may wish to support the school by volunteering their time and skills. This may include helping with class programmes, sports coaching, fundraising, school productions, trips, and camps. Parents may also take part in school policy reviews, or become members of the board or parent group.

Parent involvement contributes to a strong school community and has benefits for everyone involved. Many events would simply not take place without the involvement of parent volunteers.

Becoming a volunteer

  • Parents are welcome to offer their time and assistance.
  • Parents are invited to help when the need exists. When there are more offers of help than required, the school declines some of these offers. The school reserves the right to decline offers of help at any time.
  • Parents are considered for their suitability for the event or activity, and are asked to complete a volunteer agreement form. For Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) events, suitability may include specific skill levels required for the event.
  • At our school, we police vet parent volunteers for camps and overnight activities.
  • Parents are informed of their obligations and role as helpers.
  • Activities involving volunteers are monitored by staff.
  • Note that it is not always appropriate for younger siblings to come along with the parent helper. Please discuss this before the event/activity.

All volunteers are expected to comply with the school's smokefree and vapefree and alcohol/drugs policies.

Care and protection of children

  • The school's child protectionprivacy, and sharing images of students policies apply to anyone helping in the school. For example, volunteers must maintain confidentiality regarding other students, and should be aware of not being alone with students.
  • Volunteers at school will sometimes become aware of issues relating to individual families or specific students. Any issues or concerns should be communicated immediately to the classroom teacher who should be able to reassure parent volunteers that the school is managing the situation. Concerns and issues should not be discussed with other parents.
  • If the parent volunteer continues to have concerns, these should be raised with the principal.

Communicating with Parents

Our communication strategies help us inform and engage parents on matters related to the school. Current, clear, and consistent information helps staff, students, and parents feel connected and confident that they know how the school operates, and what is going on in the school.

We encourage parents to raise any questions or concerns with the school directly, so that any issues can be addressed and resolved for the whole school community.

Contact details

  • Parent and caregiver contact information is updated by the school at the beginning of each year. Parents are responsible for letting the school know about any changes to their contact details, including details of parents who don't live with the child but who wish to receive school information and notices.
  • Parents can access school and staff contact information through the school office, website, and newsletter.

Everyday communication

  • We use a range of methods to communicate general information with parents and our school community including the school website, newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter.
  • If the school has concerns about a student's welfare or behaviour, we will contact parents.
  • We protect the privacy of our students and their families in our communications as appropriate.
  • Parents are asked to contact the school if their child will be absent or late that day.

Urgent communication

  • In the event of an emergency, disaster, crisis, or school closure, the school contacts parents and caregivers when it can, using the available communication options.
  • St Matthew's Primary School Hastings notifies parents/caregivers when a student has an illness or injury that requires rest at home or attention from a doctor. Parents are also notified of any head or spinal injuries, notifiable injuries, or any other injury that may cause concern. When in doubt, we contact parents/caregivers so they can decide whether any further action is needed. If parents/caregivers cannot be reached, we try emergency contacts. We decide at the time which staff member will liaise with whānau.

Reporting to parents

Communicating with parents about their child's progress and achievement is an important part of school life. Reporting methods may include parent interviews, written reports, and informal conversations.

The school also celebrates the success of students and shares achievements within the school community.

Community Conduct Expectations

St Matthew's Primary School Hastings is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for students, staff, and visitors.

Our Code of Conduct serves as a reminder to all parents, caregivers, and school visitors that their conduct must support everyone’s emotional and physical wellbeing, and not harm it in any way.

The Code of Conduct applies:

  • to all conduct, speech, and action, and includes emails, texts, phone calls, social media, or other communication
  • while on school grounds or at another venue where students and/or staff are assembled for school purposes (such as a camp or sports match).

Standards of conduct

St Matthew's Primary School Hastings expects parents, caregivers, and visitors to:

  • treat everyone with respect
  • work together in partnership with staff for the benefit of students
  • respect and adhere to our school values
  • set a good example for students at all times
  • follow school procedures to handle any complaints
  • adhere to school policies and procedures (such as those listed below), and any legal requirements.

Examples of unsuitable conduct include:

  • threats, bullying, harassment
  • profanity/offensive language
  • insulting, abusing, or intimidating behaviour
  • racism or discrimination (e.g. based on ethnicity, religion)
  • physical aggression
  • deception/fraud
  • damaging school property
  • smoking, vaping, possessing, or using alcohol/drugs/other harmful substances on school premises or at another venue where students and/or staff are assembled for school purposes (except possession or use of alcohol in accordance with school policy)
  • placing unreasonable and excessive expectations on staff time or resources
  • pursuing a complaint or campaign, or making defamatory, offensive, or derogatory comments, regarding the school, its board, or any staff or students on social media or other public forums
  • wearing gang insignia on the school grounds. (This is not allowed under the Prohibition of Gang Insignia legislation, and anyone wearing it will be asked to leave.)

Dealing with breaches of the Code of Conduct

How St Matthew's Primary School Hastings deals with breaches of our Code of Conduct depends on the nature of the incident and its seriousness, and the process any witness or victim of the behaviour feels most comfortable with. Examples include:

  • documenting each instance of behaviour, including the date, time, place, who was present, what was said (verbatim if possible), how any witness or victim felt and/or responded
  • holding a meeting with the relevant person, the principal, and/or board chair (or their delegate) or appropriate staff member to discuss the problem and possible resolution
  • issuing a warning letter that outlines the problem and required resolution, and reminds them of the possible outcomes of repeated conduct
  • arranging a meeting, which may include restorative practices, as an alternative or in addition to the processes above.

Outcomes of breaching the Code of Conduct

If a parent, caregiver, or visitor acts or speaks in a way that contravenes the Code of Conduct, possible outcomes may include:

  • The school (principal, board member, or staff member) may ask a person to leave the school premises by revoking their permission to be on the school grounds, then asking them to leave under section 3 of the Trespass Act 1980.
  • Unacceptable behaviour of a criminal nature may result in the police being informed. For example, under section 241 of the Education and Training Act 2020, it is a criminal offence to insult, abuse, or intimidate a staff member within the presence or hearing of any student while on school premises or in any other place where students are assembled for school purposes. Other instances of criminal offending may occur where drugs are involved, an assault has occurred, or a person persists after being trespassed off school grounds.
  • In the case of behaviour amounting to harassment, a restraining order may be sought.
  • In some instances, it may be appropriate to refer behaviour to a third party for resolution. For example, a Facebook comment that contravenes this policy may result in a report to Facebook. If unacceptable behaviour occurs at a sports event or sports venue, then it may be appropriate to involve the governing body of that sport, event, or venue.

School Planning and Reporting

Schools are required to create a 3-year strategic plan that aligns with an updated planning framework set out by the Ministry of Education. See School planning and reporting: Te Whakangārahu Ngātahi l Planning Together for Ākonga Success  (Ministry of Education).

Under the Education and Training Act 2020, the board of St Matthew's Primary School Hastings is responsible for developing and publishing documents that:

  • communicate our strategic goals and priorities
  • describe our plans to achieve these
  • report on progress
  • provide details on school finances.

We meet the requirements of Te Whakangārahu Ngātahi l Planning Together for Ākonga Success (Ministry of Education planning framework) by developing:

  • a 3-year strategic plan in consultation with the school community that sets out how the board of St Matthew's Primary School Hastings meets its responsibilities under the Education and Training Act
  • an annual implementation plan that sets annual targets and actions for working towards our strategic goals
  • an annual report that outlines how our finances and resources have been used to meet our strategic goals.

Our plans and reports are clearly written and presented, and made publicly available online. We ensure publicly available documents do not breach privacy requirements. See Privacy.

As required under the Education and Training Act (s 139.3), the board consults with the school community to develop our strategic goals and annual implementation plans, and to reflect on our performance against our goals and priorities. Consultation with the community is ongoing and allows our board to review achievements in relation to our objectives, and to consider our priorities, goals, strategies, practical actions, and performance.

Our strategic plan

We produce a 3-year strategic plan with detailed information about:

  • our vision for the school
  • our strategic goals for meeting our primary objectives (set out in the Education and Training Act), including:
    • the National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP)
    • any other relevant national education strategies or plans
    • foundation curriculum policy statements and national curriculum statements
  • how our strategic goals have been prioritised, and our measures, evidence, and processes for evaluating progress towards achieving these
  • our plan for working towards our strategic goals based on the identities, needs, and aspirations of our school community, including identifying and catering for students whose needs have not yet been well met the aims, purposes, and objectives of our special character
  • our strategies for giving effect to te Tiriti o Waitangi.

We publish our strategic plan online (in effect from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2025) and submit it to the Ministry of Education by 1 March 2024.

Our annual implementation plan

We produce an annual implementation plan that sets out how the board intends to implement our strategic plan during the year. It includes detailed information about:

  • our previous year’s performance and how we will address any unachieved targets from the previous year
  • our annual targets for each strategic goal and actions to meet these
  • our allocation of resources
  • our measures and evidence to evaluate progress
  • our teaching and learning strategies and programmes, with a particular emphasis on literacy and numeracy and/or te reo matatini and pāngarau, including how we will address the needs of learners whose needs have not yet been well met
  • how targets and actions will support te Tiriti o Waitangi obligations.

We publish our annual implementation plan online for the current school year by 31 March. We also submit our annual financial statements to the school auditor by 31 March.

Our annual report

Our board produces an annual report to provide key performance information to the Ministry of Education, members of parliament, parents, and the wider community. It includes detailed information about:

  • our school finances and funding
  • our statement of variance outlining the impact of the actions the board took to achieve its targets, reasons for any differences between our targets and our performance, and how these differences will inform the next year's planning
  • student progress and achievement
  • how we have given effect to te Tiriti o Waitangi
  • compliance with our employment policies – see Employer Responsibility Policy and Equal Employment Opportunities.

We submit our annual report (including audited financial statements) to the Ministry of Education by 31 May and publish the annual report online as soon as practicable following this.

The principal assures the board that the strategic plan is submitted to the Ministry of Education by 1 March; that the annual implementation plan for the current school year is published by 31 March; that the annual financial statements have been sent to the school auditor by 31 March; that the annual report (including audited financial statements) is submitted to the Ministry of Education by 31 May; and that the annual report is published as soon as practicable following this. See Self-Review and Board Assurances.

Reporting to Parents on Student Progress and Achievement

The school reports to parents regularly on the progress of their child. Reporting methods include:

  • Formal parent interviews

    We have an interview early on in the year to share start-of-year information and National Standards achievement data from the previous year.

  • Written reports

    Each child receives an end-of-year report.

Term 1 review topics

​​​​​​​Instructions for reviewers

  1. Follow the link to each policy in the table above.
  2. Read the policy.
  3. Click the red Policy Review icon at the right-hand top corner of the page. A new screen will appear.
  4. Select your role (board member, staff member, or parent/caregiver) from the drop-down list.
  5. Enter your name (optional).
  6. Submit your ratings and comments.

Community username:  stmatthewsprimary

Community password:  king

If you don't have internet access, school office staff can easily provide you with printed copies of the policy and the review form.