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Five Steps to Improve Community Communicaiton


Education Minister Dr Tony Buti released an updated action plan, Standing Together Against Violence, with additional support and resources for public schools to prevent and respond to violent, aggressive or threatening behaviour. One of the points of the 10-point plan is engagement guidelines to highlight what parents and carers can expect from schools when it comes to communication and providing respectful and productive feedback. A section of this initiative is the introduction of a reasonable expectation response time to parent/carers inquiries from educators. I read this as a support for educators not to be compelled or feel guilty for not answering Mrs. Smith’s issues at 7.30 pm. I totally support the initiative to reduce educator’s workload after school hours by limiting communication with parents/carers. With the advent of technology there are plenty of ways to access educator’s time. It may be easy to send the problem, but that does not mean it should be actioned asap. We don’t get that sort of response from other professionals. With that same technology there are also plenty of ways for parents/carers to access the information prior to sending the email – school website, Connect, Dojo, School Newsletter, School social media. Sometimes the answer is only a few steps away. Like me asking my partner where my socks are. More importantly there are a few steps that leaders need to take to ensure the educators get the benefit of the initiative.

  1. Allocate the next staff meeting to the development of a Communication Framework that considers all parties and addresses the issues.

  2. Articulate the Communications Framework, highlighting the opportunities to converse with the community. Make it simple, manageable and time considerate.

  3. Give clear instructions as to the after-hours communication expectations to the community and educators. “Educators will not be responding to parent/carer inquiries after school hours.” Attach the Communications Framework.

  4. Model this behaviour by not sending information to educator’s after-hours. Schedule the information for the next morning.

  5. Back the educators when crunch time comes. There will be an outcry so direct the community to the Communications Framework.

Just because a directive has been issued (a good one at that) it doesn’t mean educators will stop what they have been doing for the past years. They need guidance, support and courage to implement a non-action.


As James Clear author of “Atomic Habits” said, “You don’t rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems.”

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