Habsmonmouth Online

Pastoral care

Protocols for videoconferencing

Protocol for instrumental teaching/counselling/academic tuition sessions via videoconferencing

  • The school will write to parents of pupils in advance of videoconferencing sessions, to introduce the service.
  • Videoconferencing sessions may be used only for a limited number of purposes: for music tuition, for academic tuition or for counselling with one of the school counsellors only. Pastoral staff (tutors, HMs and HOYs) may also use Microsoft Teams to periodically check on the welfare of the students. In all instances the conditions below must be met.
  • Staff conducting a videoconferencing session in the senior schools should use Microsoft Teams, with their school email account as their ID, and not a personal account. ICT staff can help colleagues set up their Teams accounts.
  • The staff member conducting the session may decide whether they record it. If they are going to record it they should inform pupils at the start of the session that they intend to do this and place the recording on the Team. If the session is being recorded, pupils should have the option of turning their cameras off. Pupils should not record the session and neither staff nor pupils should make private recordings of the session.
  • The member of staff opens the call, and ends the call after the session. Students must not be left alone in the “room” after the session.
  • Pupils should switch their cameras on (if their equipment has one) and be visible during the session (unless they are being recorded and object to this).
  • Dress – pupils and staff should dress appropriately, i.e. fully clothed, nothing revealing, no extremes of fashion, no T shirts with controversial slogans etc. Pupils are not required to wear school uniform if learning from home.
  • The pupil is in a “public” room, e.g. a kitchen or living room, where an adult can come and go freely. A bedroom is only used in certain circumstances, e.g. if the pupil is quarantining or if this is the only room in which there is suitable IT equipment or an instrument can be played, and, if so, the door is left open. Sessions with a School Counsellor do not need to be held in a public room.
  • A neutral or blurred background which obscures personal effects or information should be used.
  • Timings: Academic tuition can take place between 8.30am – 5.30pm only. Where tuition must take place outside of these timings due to differences in time zones (for example) parental consent must be sought in advance and SLT informed.
  • Staff should keep a log of all videoconferencing sessions and report any safeguarding concerns that arise during them to the relevant DSP.

For pastoral one to one sessions with tutor / HOY / HM during lockdown Lent 2021

  • The school will write to parents explaining that to enable us to continue to support their son / daughter during the period of lockdown or remote learning it may be necessary or appropriate for members of the pastoral team to make contact with a pupil on a 1-1 basis via Microsoft Teams. The reasons for this may be for safeguarding, continuity of pastoral care or a routine tutor / HOY check-up.
  • Timings: Parents will be advised that 1-1 sessions with a tutor or HOY may only take place at lunchtime or during  designated C4L / tutor time.  1-1 Sessions outside of this time can only be conducted with the consent of a parent and this consent should be sought beforehand confirming the time and the reasons for the call.
  • In every instance a second member of the pastoral team must be invited to the call e.g. if a tutor is making the call the relevant HOY / HM must be invited to attend. If the HOY / HM is making the call, the Senior Deputy Head (Pastoral) should be invited.
  • Chaperone – tutors / HMs / HOYs should check with the pupil that there is an adult present in the house, who introduces him/herself at the start of the session on camera and gives permission for the session to proceed. The adult may then stay in the room to supervise, or may be in a different room, but still in the building.
  • If a tutor becomes aware that a child who is not old enough to be left home alone is in fact alone at home it should be treated as a safeguarding matter and a member of the safeguarding team must be informed.
  • Please note: sessions with the school counselling service are confidential and will normally proceed without a chaperone.

Updated November 2020, January 2021, Next review: September 2021