About this Code of Conduct
Hilliard Christian School (the School) respects the role of parents and family in the raising of a child. In keeping with this belief it must be understood the School cannot provide the best education for a child or help equip that child with the skills required for a fulfilling adult life, without cooperation and support from that child’s family.
To ensure such cooperation and support, this Code of Conduct outlines the Hilliard’s expectations for a student’s parents, step-parents, guardians, grandparents, extended family members and carers (collectively, Parents).
In developing this Code, the School recognises that Parents ultimately want the best for their children. However, the School also expects Parents to recognise that it must ultimately balance the interests of all of the School’s stakeholders (including not only students and Parents, but also the School’s staff and their right to a safe working environment).
This Code does not attempt to provide a detailed and exhaustive list of what to do in every aspect of a parent’s interactions with the School and the school community. Instead, it sets out general expectations. As such, this Code is intended to be practical and non-adversarial.
In summary, the five key expectations of parents expanded on in the following pages are as follows:
1. Support the Seventh Day Adventist Christian educational ethos and values of Hilliard Christian School. Parents are expected to visibly support the ethos and values of the School, and role model responsible and safe behaviours for their children and others in the community to learn from.
2. Behave respectfully towards all members of our community - Parents should behave respectfully at all times towards the School’s staff (including employees, contractors and volunteers), students and other parents.
3. Use technology and social media appropriately - Parents are expected to be respectful in their communication with others, be mindful of privacy and safety in publishing information online, and ensure confidential information and images are not shared without permission.
4. Be responsible visitors and participants - Parents must respect the School’s risk-management procedures when visiting the School and attending school activities and events off-campus.
5. Raise grievances appropriately and productively - Parents should raise genuine grievances they may have about such matters in an appropriate, constructive, and respectful forum.
Support the Seventh Day Adventist Christian Educational ethos and values of the school
Parents are expected to support the Seventh Day Adventist Christian educational ethos and values of the School. They are expected to model appropriate behaviours for their children to learn from, and work with the School as it educates and provides pastoral support to all students.
Parents can support the School and be positive role models by doing, for example, the following:
1. Comply with the School’s codes of conduct, directions policies, procedures, rules and regulations, and ensure their children do the same.
2. Respect (and show to their children that they respect) that the School is inclusive and welcomes students from a variety of backgrounds, and with different needs.
3. Respond to School communications (e.g., by completing forms and providing permissions in a timely manner) when requested to do so by the School.
4. Encourage their children to actively participate in the life of the School, including in the classroom and the many sporting and extracurricular activities available (noting that some extracurricular activities will be compulsory).
5. Support the School’s commitment to developing a student’s initiative, independence and sense of responsibility for their own lives and actions.
6. Support the School’s approach to student behavioural concerns, which can include a range of outcomes (including those which are educational, pastoral or disciplinary in nature).
7. Be responsive to concerns raised by the School about their own child, including by being cooperative, providing information, and attending meetings when required.
8. Raise grievances directly with the School, and in a timely manner.
9. Keep the School informed about a child’s needs (including but not limited to their behavioural, educational, personal, and physical or mental health needs). This includes providing updated
medical information, family developments and other like information as it becomes available. However, parents need to also appreciate that while the School will take into account any new information, and comply with its legal obligations, the School cannot necessarily accommodate every need.
10. Keep the School informed about a child’s parenting arrangements, including any court orders that may be in place. However, parents should not involve the School in parenting disputes, or expect the School to act as the go-between for estranged parents.
11. Recognise the damage that gossip can do within a school community, and avoid unconstructive commentary (including criticism, uninformed rumour or speculation) with other parents or students, including on social media.
Parents are expected to be a role model for responsible and safe behaviours.
This includes ensuring the health and safety of all members of our school community (including staff, students, parents, and alumni) and the wider community. Parents are expected to ensure that other individuals involved in their child’s life, such as other relatives and carers, also comply with this Code.
Behave respectfully towards members of our community
The School expects that parents will behave respectfully at all times towards other members of the school community. This applies not only to words used, but also to tone and body language, and similar expectations are embedded in the School’s codes of conduct for staff and students.
“Respect” is intentionally a broad concept. The following is a non-exhaustive list of behaviours that are not respectful:
1. Rude or insulting behaviour, including passive-aggressive, intimidating or derogatory language.
2. Bullying, intimidation, discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and child abuse. Please note that in addition to being a breach of this Code, such behaviour may also be unlawful.
3. Actual or threatened aggression (verbal or non-verbal) or violence.
4. Behaviour that causes a risk to a person’s health and wellbeing.
5. Defamatory or disrespectful comments.
6. Gossip, rumour, and innuendo.
7. Raising one’s voice, or using offensive language or actions, while communicating.
8. Age-inappropriate language when communicating with or about children.
9. Vexatious complaints.
Use technology and social media appropriately
The expectations set out in this Code can also apply to the way a parent uses technology and behaves online.
For example, parents should:
1. Respect a staff member’s professional and personal boundaries, by not using their personal online presence to raise School matters (or otherwise engage in disrespectful behaviour).
2. Not take photos, videos or other recordings of a staff member or parent without their consent, or of a student without their parent’s consent, and not publish information (including personal details, contact information, images and recordings) concerning a staff member, parent, student or other member of the school community online without express consent.
3. Avoid publishing information which may bring the School (or any of its staff, students, parents and other members of the school community) into disrepute. This may include an image or recording which shows a student in School uniform, or a member of the school community at the School or at a school activity or event, behaving inappropriately.
4. Not communicate with students from another family outside of the School, including by email or on social media, without prior consent from that student’s parent(s).
5. Not discuss confidential or sensitive School matters, including in relation to grievances about a particular staff member or student, online.
6. Obtain express permission to use the School’s name or insignia in the title of any online website, forum or group, or printed or online publication. In addition, no suggestion should be made that any such platform or material is operated or sanctioned by the School.
Be a responsible visitor and participant
Parents must respect the School’s risk-management procedures when visiting the School. Parents should immediately proceed to Reception upon arrival to sign in and should only enter a classroom or other student environment when invited to do so by a staff member. This requirement does not apply when visiting the School only to:
1. Attend an activity or event to which all members of the school community have been invited.
2. Visit the School uniform shop.
3. Drop-off or collect a child from School.
When visiting the School, or attending School activities and events, parents should model appropriate and respectful behaviours, and uphold the School’s values. This includes:
1. Demonstrating good sporting conduct and fair play when attending the School’s art, drama and sporting events.
2. Complying with applicable occupation, student and workplace health and safety and risk-management procedures.
3. Complying with any reasonable directions given by the School’s staff.
4. Showing appropriate care and regard for the property of the School and others. Any damage should be promptly reported to the School.
5. Dressing appropriately for the occasion.
6. Not being under the influence of drugs or alcohol (and otherwise not engaging in the possession, sale or supply of the same at the School).
7. Behaving lawfully on School grounds whether at events hosted by or connected to the School, whether conducted on site or otherwise.
8. Ensuring that physical contact with students is appropriate given the age of, and relationship with, the student.
9. Respecting the School’s property and the property of other members of the school community (including staff, students and parents).
When dropping off and picking up students from the School, parents are expected to ensure the health and safety of all members of our school community, as well as the wider community, at all times.
Parents must comply with all traffic rules and any School traffic management system in place. This includes adhering to applicable speed limits, observing all traffic signs, limiting the use of car horns (unless indicating imminent danger), and parking appropriately and safely.
Parents must also comply with any government issued health orders or directions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes adhering to vaccination, social distancing and face mask requirements.
Raise grievances appropriately and productively
The School is committed to the education and wellbeing of each student. It is therefore critical that parents are able to raise genuine grievances they may have about such matters in an appropriate, constructive and respectful forum.
The School’s grievance-management procedures are set out in the Hilliard Christian School – Grievance and Complaints Management Policy. This policy sets out how concerns and grievances may be raised with the School; who they should be raised with; and how the School will deal with these in a respectful and timely manner.
Parents with grievances should consult the Hilliard Christian School – Grievance and Complaints Management Policy. However, in general:
1. Parents should take care with volume, tone and vocabulary when communicating with another family’s child.
2. Parents should not communicate with another student about an issue concerning their own child. In particular, parents should refrain from any attempt to discipline a student who is not their child, unless they are attempting to restrain a student from causing a risk to themselves or others.
3. Parents should raise their grievances with their child’s teacher in the first instance. More serious concerns or grievances, including where a parent is dissatisfied with a teacher’s response to a grievance, may be raised with the appropriate member of the School (as set out in the policy).
4. Parents should arrange a face-to-face meeting to discuss their grievances, rather than relying on email or other written communications.
5. Parents should clearly identify their grievances, and what they would practically like to see happen. If there is more than one issue or problem, parents should write a list so that they are adequately prepared and then decide which issue or problem matters most.
6. Parents should appreciate that while the School is committed to dealing with their grievances in a timely manner, it will not always be practicable for staff to provide an immediate acknowledgement or response (particularly where a concern or grievance is sent by email).
7. Parents should respect that the School employs experienced educators and other professionals who are well-trained in making academic, disciplinary, extracurricular, pastoral and wellbeing decisions every day. Please understand that while the School will always take into account the interests of the parent’s child, the School must ultimately make decisions that take into account the interests of all students (and others who may be affected by the School’s decisions).
8. Parents should recognise that just as the School will seek to respect each student’s privacy, the School will also respect the privacy of other members of the School community. This means there are limits to what information the School will share with a parent when issues arise. This does not mean that the School is not taking an issue or situation seriously or hiding information from a parent.
9. If a parent is not satisfied with the School’s response to a grievance, a School policy may provide a parent with a right to request an internal review of the School’s decision. Alternatively, an external body, court or tribunal may be able to deal with the issue. The School respects a parent’s right to invoke any formal grievance-resolution procedures which may exist. However, parents who refuse to engage in constructive processes that may resolve their grievances, or who choose to publicly air their grievances about the School (and in particular about staff or students) on social media, are not welcome.
Consequences for breach of this code
Where the Principal considers that a parent has breached this Code, the matter will be referred to the Hilliard Christian School Advisory Council. The Principal, in consultation with the School Advisory Council, will have absolute discretion for deciding how to best respond to concerns about a parent’s compliance with the Code.
Principal, acting on the advice and with the support of the School Advisory Council, may implement one or more of the following consequences (and not necessarily in any particular order):
1. A request that the relevant conduct immediately cease.
2. A written warning.
3. A parent (or another relevant person) being banned from the School grounds, either for a particular period of time or permanently.
4. A parent (or another relevant person) being excluded from School activities or events.
5. A requirement that a parent (or another relevant person) only communicate with a nominated School representative.
6. Termination of the enrolment of a parent’s child(s).
Staff and volunteers are empowered to take steps to protect their own health and wellbeing. If theyfeel that a parent is being inappropriate, they are encouraged to indicate this and ask that it stop. If it does not, or if a staff member feels that a parent’s actions are posing a risk to their or someone else’s health and wellbeing, they are empowered to remove themselves from the situation. This may include immediately concluding a meeting or phone call or demanding that a parent immediately leave the School grounds (or a School activity or event).
Document Name: Parent Code of Conduct
Approved Date: 25 July 2022
Review Date: 25 July 2027
Custodian: Hilliard Christian School