Do schools normally respond to parent emails?

(40 Posts)
MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 22-Jun-13 00:19:12

I've sent 3 emails so far, DD in yr 7.

Two to the info@ address, as recommended when I phoned to check the email address. One of those was a question about possible disciplinary action against the class, I was asking for clarification on the process. (It turned out it wasn't a class issue but that was something DD managed to resolve herself much later) One was a complaint to the chair of governors where a number of parents have voiced the same concern. No response on either matter. Not even a "we've got your email, thanks, we're looking at the issue".

The third was to a specific teacher, following up on something really positive we chatted about at parents' evening, where he had said "yes email me about it". I don't think I got the wrong address, because it didn't bounce back.

Do schools normally respond to parent emails?

Marmitelover55 Wed 02-Oct-13 23:12:20

I have emailed the head of year 7 on two occasions already - the first time something minor which i emailed about in the evening and I had a phone call back in less than 24 hours. The second time was this evening re a pastoral issue and I had a call back within an hour. I'm impressed.

My DD1 has also emailed various teachers with homework queries and usually gets a response the same day.

BlackMogul Wed 02-Oct-13 21:35:12

At a very expensive boarding school, I did not get a reply to a letter for over 3 months! It was addressed to the Deputy Head who was, frankly, rude. Some teachers answered and some did, eventually. Always write to a Governor. They never respond to emails. They discuss everything with the Head first so they present a united front and this takes ages.

KittiesInsane Wed 02-Oct-13 21:11:41

In my experience, if I email the form tutor or teacher direct, I get a very quick answer. I don't know when they eat lunch!

Head of year usually gets back within two days -- fair enough, they need to chase things up with teaching staff.

SEN staff get back almost immediately.

'Office@' or 'info@' addresses vanish forever into a void. Actually, so does anything addressed to the music staff, so I send DS in to ask real live questions instead and threaten to play the ukulele at them till they answer.

Hoopy - it sounds to me like the school has read and will take on board your comments - but don't have time to reply at length on an individual email - If you have a serious concern you can arrange to speak in person to the teacher/s

I don't think it is an outrageous response but maybe I am missing something confused

insancerre Wed 02-Oct-13 14:39:38

feeglefion
had to laugh at this (more of a knowing groan actually)
"Her form tutor and I are like pen pals (except, in email form)."
that describes my relationship with dd's form tutor last year
she has now started college and hasn't had a day off since September (yippee)
I might email her old form tutor and let her know, just for old times sake grin

hoopy Wed 02-Oct-13 14:33:09

hi
I send emails about one every quarter in response to various things. I have recently emailed after attending a meeting at school - Two emails with about two or three paragraphs. One was about their phone policy, and one was to a different teacher about the format of the evening. I sent the emails to admin to forward on. A week later I get a curt email form the deputy head saying...

" Dear Mrs B..., I am aware that some lengthy emails have been sent to several teachers; whilst we appreciate the feedback, staff are not in a position to respond to all of the points you raise but they have been noted. We want to consult and engage with our parents and we will continue to follow best practice. Regards. deputy head."

I can't believe it. It sounds like we do not want to engage. I feel really upset. I have two DS at this school, I have been dealing with them for three years. Sometimes the teachers have responded very enthusiastically. But is this what the senior staff do?

Lfs2126 Thu 27-Jun-13 10:16:01

10 min!smile

anniesw Thu 27-Jun-13 10:10:10

It is always best to use the teacher's own email address then it doesn't get lost/delayed whilst someone passes it on. I have had quick responses from staff

teacherandguideleader Mon 24-Jun-13 21:08:09

I can only comment on teacher's personal addresses.

I think I always reply, usually the same day (unless it is the weekend or the holidays when I reply on the first day back). Even if it is just a 'thanks for the email, have forwarded on to...', or 'sorry I don't know an immediate answer but am looking into it and will get back to you'. There may be one or two that have slipped through the net (I can get 40 a day from parents, other staff, random crap etc) so would hope a parent would follow up if I hadn't replied.

StressedandFrazzled Mon 24-Jun-13 17:43:29

Head of year very slow to respond, and sometimes need chasing, but all other teachers respond the same day.

DeWe Mon 24-Jun-13 10:44:36

The school encourages people to email, and says they will get in touch within 10 working days. Sounds terribly long, but on both occasions I've contacted them, it has been within 24 hours, and they've followed up to check we're satisfied a couple of days later. They've always phones my back though, have they got a current telephone number for you?e

Lottie4 Mon 24-Jun-13 10:12:43

I sent two general queries to my daughter's school and didn't hear back, so phoned them. The receptionist gave me the details of a lady who clearly checks her emails every break time and replies immediately. She did suggest I email her colleague on the matter, but colleague never replies, so I have contacted the first lady again and she is brilliant.

If you get nowhere with this, then I'd write a letter and deliver it to reception. If it's for the Chair of Governers address it care of the school as they will be in regular contact.

Leeds2 Sun 23-Jun-13 21:40:19

I normally get a response within the day, although most of my emails have been requests for information specific to DD, so relatively easy to answer, rather than complaints.

olivo Sun 23-Jun-13 07:46:53

Oh, and re phones, don't forget most teachers spend the majority of time teaching a ful lime table, and there are rarely phones in classrooms. It can take me a day or two before I get a cycle to check my answer phone in someone else office.

Email is definitely easier for the teachers- I can often have a situation resolved with a parent whist teaching a class and without having to leave the room!

olivo Sun 23-Jun-13 07:44:03

I try to respond on the same day, even if it is to say, I'm not at school until Thursday but will look into it and get back to you, or I'll forward to mr so and so as he is better placed to deal with it.

At Dds school, all my communication was done by email in reception, but in year 2, the teacher told me they were not allowed to reply, had to talk, hence poor teacher trying to catch me I nthe evenings by phone.

trinity0097 Sun 23-Jun-13 06:36:20

Our school has a policy that all emails are responded to within 2 school days.

I normally reply straight away though, e,g, a parent emailed me on Friday night at 8.30pm, I replied at 9pm (mainly as it took 20min to write a decent reply!)

SlowlorisIncognito Sat 22-Jun-13 21:56:23

Do you have an email address that might trigger a spam filter in any way?

mumslife Sat 22-Jun-13 21:37:25

Usualy very promt response on the odd occasion i have phoned and asked to be put through to relevant department. I have even had one teacher repond to me whilst shewas on holiday!

gazzalw Sat 22-Jun-13 18:25:39

We actually have DS's form tutor's school email address so can contact him directly if need be.... Have found all the staff respond quickly (usually within the parameters of the same school day unless they're not in school for some reason). No complaints here...

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 22-Jun-13 16:01:44

My letter would be along the lines of "Dear Chair of Governors. I've tried to contact the school three times on three different matters and had no response from them. Are they always this rude?"

Or something like that... wink

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sat 22-Jun-13 16:00:09

I don't mind them not responding the same day, or passing the email on to someone else, higher up.

I do mind no response whatsoever. Not even a "I've passed this on" email. The first one was sent in February. And I've double checked the email address by phoning.

BackforGood Sat 22-Jun-13 15:59:46

ds's school - yes. Excellent means of communication. Some staff even respond at evenings / weekend / holiday (not that I would expect them to)

dd's school - nightmare. 'enquiry@' doesn't get a response and they won't let you know teacher's e-mail addresses and staff names aren't listed on the website. The HoY gave me his e-mail address and is excellent, so it does seem to be a 'blockage' at the office, rather than the individual staff.
Mind, you don't get a lot better on the phone either. Real communication issues.

Not in my experience.
It seems to be a culture. Letters don't work any better either. Phone is the best.

Depends if they get through, never rely on electronic communication. My in box is choosy and the ICT tech just says 'it's never done that before' a lot.

It may also be that incident are being dealt with higher up than the classroom teacher, in which case they wouldn't respond as someone else is dealing with the issue. Or if the teacher is teaching all day and then has meetings they may not be able to reply that day.

I don't reply to the crazy parents, the one who email's me 8 times in half an hour because she's drunk/stoned/stupid.

Startail Sat 22-Jun-13 15:17:42

Yes, always and often very quickly.

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