Dear Parents and Carers,
I would like to say a huge thank you to our wonderful OPA members who have shown a continual commitment to the school and our children by providing them with many great experiences as well as raising a significant amount of money for the school over the years. Their task is a difficult and busy one as not only are they parents themselves, with their own busy lives to lead, they selflessly give up many hours of their own time to organise and manage a wide variety of events. I am confident that I speak for the very large majority of the school community when I say we are extremely thankful for the time and effort that they put into these events and for the joy that they bring to the children. I would like to thank all current members as well as any members who have been involved in the past – thank you.
However, I have noticed that from a minority of parents, members of the OPA are being spoken to inappropriately, usually through facebook, when there are a few issues. In order for different events to run smoothly there does need to be cut-off times for when payments for things can be made and parents have sometimes missed these and then taken it out on the OPA members when they rightly say ‘sorry, but the deadline has been missed and we can’t help’. Often the reasons given for missing an event deadline revolve around ‘not knowing about it’ or ‘issue with wisepay’. Therefore I would like to clarify a few points about these two things as well as making it clear what to do if you are experiencing these issues.
Communication/Parentmail issues – All events are advertised and shared in plenty of time. They are sent out by parentmail and on the OPA facebook page usually a few weeks before the event. When there are deadlines in place, these are well advertised by both parentmail and facebook. For example, the recent mother’s day gifts had a two-week window to put orders in and this was then extended a further week due to the recent snow. This was also well advertised on both parentmail and facebook. We no longer send out letters for events unless there is a need to sign a reply slip. The world we now live in is a computer-aged one it is very rare to not have access to email or the internet, particularly through smart phones. This is also a huge cost saving for schools in terms of paper and ink, in very challenging financial times for school, which over the year will save us a significant amount of money that can be better spent on resources for pupils. If you are experiencing issues with parentmail then please do let our office staff know and they can check and update your email address and resolve most issues very quickly. However, if we are not aware then we can’t fix it.
Wisepay issues – This is the system that we use in the school and as a general rule, we do not accept cash for events any longer. The vast majority of parents use this system with no issues so we know that it works well. However, with any system there will sometimes be some issues. If you are experiencing any problems with wisepay then please do speak to our office staff who will be able to check the system and resolve most issues very quickly.
Finally, I feel that it is important to also point out that on rare occasions human mistakes may be made. While both the school and the OPA endeavour to minimise these, when they do occur and we or the OPA are informed politely, they have been rectified very quickly and apologies made. Again the very vast majority of parents fully understand this and are polite and reasonable in these situations. However a few are not. Neither the school or our hard-working OPA volunteers should tolerate rudeness or aggression, in person or through a message. Please can you ensure that these issues are raised in a polite and respectful manner.
Head of School