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Cardinal Newman Catholic Primary School

Lead Kindly Light, Lead Thou Me On

Xavier Education Trust

Parents' Forum - 18 June 2019


Attendees:   Mrs Senthilvelan, Mrs Agnew and Mrs Burnham

The following questions were discussed at the meeting from e-mails sent from parents.

1 Uniform

Lots of feedback from parents on this question raised by school:

“The quality of the cardigans has gone down since moving supplier.  The buttons have started breaking after 6 months and the colour has faded.  I have followed the washing instructions but the red tops have discoloured and look pink.”

“The V Neck is far too large and the sizing is also much larger than before despite the labelling.  PE bag bought in September has already lost most of the white print on the front.”

“Faded and out of shape.”

“Polo shirts fade and the quality is poor.”

“No elasticity around base and cuffs.”

“Cardigans are shapeless and hanging off”

Some parents did give positive feedback about the new uniform, saying the cotton mix is kinder on skin and feels softer to touch than the previous acrylic jumpers.

Attendees confirmed that they feel the quality of cardigans has gone down.  The cardigans have stretched and the polo shirts have lost colour and faded.  They do not look very good after a few washes.   Getting the right size of clothing also seems to be a problem and if you put the PE bags in the wash the white lettering comes off.  Parents who wiped the bags clean instead of putting in the washing machine did not have a problem with the PE bags and several parents had commented that the quality of the PE bag fabric is now better.

It was stated that the procedure of getting uniform is much easier and the customer service is excellent.  It was agreed that AlleyCatz is the best supplier for our school (and the school is tied into an agreement with them at present) but that we could discuss them possibly changing the manufacturer/quality for some of the items mentioned.

Actions:  The school has a meeting scheduled with AlleyCatz before the end of term and will take some samples of old and new uniform to the meeting.  We will try to use samples that have abided by washing instructions - ie have not used fabric conditioner and not tumble dried – in order to have a fair discussion.

2 Changing into PE Kits
“Would it be good for children to come to school in their PE kits on the days they have PE?  This might save time getting changed at school and for children not to lose their uniform or parts of PE kits.”

Mrs Burnham had asked for feedback from staff before the meeting. Teachers confirmed that it is important that the children learn to look after their PE Kit and develop their organisational skills. Even young children learn to get changed quickly with practice. Also sometimes the PE timetable changes – due to weather conditions so it is essential that they have their PE kits in school at all times.  Parents who were present at the meeting agreed with these points.

3.  Can we have hand sanitiser in each class room or outside the lunch hall so that the children sanitise their hands on the way into lunch?

Attendees did state that their children’s hands can be dirty after school and children say that sometimes there is no soap in the toilets when they go.

Attendees felt that sanitiser can be a good idea and it is quick. It does both clean hands and kill bugs.   The concern is that the sanitisers are an alcohol gel and not suitable for children with sensitive skin.  Soap and warm running water is better for cleaning hands and killing bugs. All children are sent to wash their hands before lunch and soap is refilled daily and checked regularly.

Actions: Staff to work on ensuring KS1 children wash their hands with soap and water.  To monitor the children using the soap and encourage children to tell the office if the soap has run out.  Mr Philp is in school before and after hours and at lunchtime, so soap can be refilled as needed.

4. Question asked about the reduced time limit for the Year 4  Maths times table test from 5 minutes to 3 minutes.  What is the justification for the change?

Mrs Burnham confirmed that at the beginning of year it was 5 minutes to get the children used to the tests and build their confidence on difficult times tables.  The official test time is 3 minutes for the test they are using - which is as per guidelines for the test.  Please talk to teacher if you need any further clarification as this is a year group specific problem.  Mrs Burnham confirmed that Y4 have undertaken the “pilot” Times Tables Test for the national tests which become statutory next summer.  The process went smoothly and the children accessed it well.

5. Would the school be open to set up a survey to collect regular feedback from all parents that could inform various initiatives at school other than the questionnaire for Ofsted?  It could easily be done for free via online survey – Survey Monkey and would open a great feedback channel for school. 

A lot of discussion ensued about this and a decision made to trial sending out a survey before the Parents’ Forum in the Autumn Term.  It was felt more people may come to the forum as they would like to discuss the questions they have raised.  The school will hold the first Parents’ Forum at the end of the winter term and another near the end of the school year.  Parent attendees cautioned against surveys becoming too regular as they felt parents would not have time to fill them in.


Feedback would be appreciated on the organisation of the website. How easy is it to find information?

The following was discussed:

  • The website is much better than previously.
  • All information is there but still not the most user-friendly website.  
  • Calendar can be confusing – could events be explained in a one-line description for those parents who are unfamiliar with what they are.
  • There is no drop down list if looking on your phone – this would be useful.
  • Timetable not easy to find – it is there but requires several clicks. 
  • Paying individually for different trips on Scopay is time consuming – this is out of the school’s hands but we can feed back to Scopay.

Action: Newsletter now has links which should help parents find information highlighted for that week, but further feedback from parents on how the website could be re-organised more intuitively would be useful.