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Good Practice in Parent-Teacher Relations/Meetings


Mission Statement

St. Columba’s N. S. is a Catholic primary school which strives to provide a caring, happy and secure atmosphere where the intellectual, spiritual, physical, moral and cultural needs of the pupils are addressed. Parents and teachers are partners in the children’s education. We recognise that co-operation and communication between home and school and the wider community are vital ingredients in the educational process. We all share the same aim – the well-being of the children in our care.


  1. Parent-Teacher meetings are held annually. Parents/Guardians are contacted directly by the class teacher and offered an appointment. In the case of separated parents (where both parents have legal entitlement), both parents will be advised of the meetings if they have made this request to the school. Parents/Guardians are asked to keep the school informed of any changes in family circumstances. Every effort will be made by the teacher to accommodate the parents/guardians.
  2. If a parent/guardian wishes to meet formally with a teacher, apart from the annual meeting, an appointment for such a meeting should be made through the office and a time agreed which is suitable for both parent/guardian and teacher. The teacher has the right to have the school principal, a colleague or INTO (Irish National Teachers’ Organisation) representative present at any parent/teacher meetings.
  3. Parents are reminded that all incidental messages for the teacher, e.g. absences, lateness, dental appointments, etc. should be communicated to the teacher by note or through the office.
  4. Parents/Guardians are asked to respect the teacher’s responsibility to the pupils in his/her care and to keep any informal interactions brief and to the point.
  5. During the school year parents/guardians are invited to participate in the life of the school in such activities as nativity plays, carol services, school quiz, informal concerts,etc.


It is reasonable to expect parents/guardians and teachers to follow the above guidelines.

Aggressive or intimidating behaviour, either physical or verbal, is unacceptable. If this happens during a meeting both teacher and parent/guardian have the right to terminate the session. If necessary the assistance of the principal, a colleague or I.N.T.O. representative may be enlisted.


There is a Complaints Procedure in place, agreed by the INTO and CPSMA (Catholic Primary School Management Association) , should a parent wish to make a complaint about a teacher.



INTO/CPSMA Procedure for dealing with complaints by parents against teachers


The INTO and CPSMA reached agreement in 1993 on a procedure for dealing with complaints by parents against teachers. The purpose of this procedure is to facilitate the resolution of difficulties where they may arise in an agreed and fair manner. The agreement lays in five stages the process to be followed in progressing a complaint and the specific timescale to be followed at each stage.

Only those complaints about teachers which are written and signed by parents/guardians of pupils may be investigated formally by the Board of Management, except where those complaints may be deemed by the Board to be :

  • on matters of professional competence and which are to be referred to the Department of Education;
  • frivolous or vexatious complaints and complaints which do not impinge on the work of a teacher in a school ; or
  • complaints in which either party has recourse to law or to another existing procedure.

Unwritten complaints, not in the above categories, may be processed informally as set out in Stage 1 of this procedure.

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