St John Plessington Catholic College

17-Nov-22 Letter from the Head of School

Dear Parents / Carers

I hope that you and your families are well. As you will be aware from the letter sent out from our Chair of Governors last week, I have been asked, in Ms Sharratt’s absence, to take on the role of interim Head of School. In addition, I would also like to welcome Mrs Wheeler, who will be acting as Executive Headteacher to offer some additional capacity and support during this period of time. We will be working together to ensure that our expectations remain high and that classrooms are a productive and enjoyable learning environment for all of our students.

With this in mind, I felt that it would be timely to remind people of what the minimum standards and expectations are.


We expect that all students follow our simple, ready, respectful and safe rules. Unfortunately, as addressed in my previous letter to parents earlier this month, some students are falling short of these expectations, which is having a negative impact on the learning environment for all our community. As an interim measure we have updated our behaviour support procedures. Students will be given a reminder, followed by a warning to ensure they are clear about what is expected from them. In the event that the reminder and warning are ignored, then consequences ranging from class teacher detentions to removals will be issued. For serious breaches of our College Behaviour Policy, students may be issued with Senior Leader Detentions, be removed from lessons, suspended or excluded. I hope very much that we can continue to work together to ensure that we create a harmonious learning environment for all. As ever, I do appreciate your support on this matter. I would urge all parents to download and use the Arbor app to be able to access your child’s record. Further information on how to access this is available here.

Attendance & Punctuality

It is important that all students attend school regularly. Attendance below 96% equates to 8 days of absence, which is over 40 hours worth of learning in a year. This can cause significant gaps in a child's knowledge and understanding. Guidance from the DFE states that parents are responsible for making sure that their children of compulsory school age receive a suitable full-time education. As a school we will do everything we can to support good attendance at school. Where pupil absence is unacceptable, we will follow the procedures in our school attendance policy. Can I take this opportunity to remind you that when a child is ill and unable to attend school, you must inform the school before 08:30 in the morning. Holidays cannot be taken and will not be authorised during term time. Medical appointments should be made outside of school hours. I appreciate that students may need time off for hospital and specialist appointments, however attendance to school before and after the appointment should be maintained.

Our school gates will open at 08:15 and close at 08:35. Punctuality to school and lessons is equally as important. Where a child is late to school or lessons, they will be issued with a same day late detention. Truancy from lessons will be dealt with via the school behaviour policy. We have contacted our travel company to ensure that school buses are getting pupils to school on time. We will continue to monitor this over the coming weeks. Students who use public transport (buses and trains), including the 410 and 38, must ensure that they get the bus that gets them to school before 08:30.

Please see the links below for bus times and routes for the 410, 38 and school buses.

38 Bus timetable

410 Bus timetable

School bus timetable

From Friday 18 November, any pupil arriving late to school between 08:35 and 09:10 should come through the canteen door where they will be met by a learning coach.

Please speak to your child and remind them of good behaviour and courtesy when using public transport. When in our uniform students are representing our school community.

Uniform & Appearance

Numerous reminders have been shared with regards to our uniform. We have, in line with our ready, respectful, safe behaviour policy, introduced ‘be ready’ checks at the gates to ensure that all students are in school happy, safe and ready for their day ahead. Our uniform policy is available on our school website.

I would like to remind all parents of some of the key points from the policy:

  • All students should now be wearing their winter uniform, which includes the tank top or jumper.
  • Jewellery and piercings should not be worn in school. Any jewellery being worn will be confiscated.
  • School shoes must be worn at all times, trainers are not acceptable (please check the policy carefully to ensure the correct shoes are worn).
  • Make-up, including coloured nail varnish, lip gloss and fake tan, is not to be worn. False nails, false eyelashes or other such beauty accessories are not acceptable. Hair fashion accessories are also not to be worn. Black or navy coloured bobbles are to be used when tying the hair back. Scrunchies and large hair clips are not allowed.
  • All students must have a SJP school bag to ensure that they can carry their planner and equipment needed for lessons.
  • Coats may be worn to and from school and while on breaks - but must be removed on entering the school building.

Pupils who do not conform to the College’s uniform and appearance policy will be sanctioned in line with our Behaviour Policy.

Mobile phones

We advise that pupils do not bring mobile phones into the College. However, we do recognise that some parents may wish their child to have a mobile phone with them as they travel to and from SJP. Any mobile phones brought in should be both switched off as they enter the school premises and put away until they have left the premises. We do not take any responsibility for loss of or damage to mobile phones. Inappropriate use of phones in school will result in confiscation, without notice. You will receive a text notification from the school office and the phone will need to be collected by an adult. Phones will not be returned to pupils under any circumstances. Should you need to contact your child in an emergency, please use the main College number 0151 645 5049. Do not seek to contact your child in school directly, as your child’s phone should be switched off as they enter the premises in the morning.

New Build

We are excited to announce that we will be ready to move into our new building by the end of November, this is an exciting time for our school and we will all welcome the use of this much needed additional space and state of the art classrooms.

I look forward to sharing with you some of the exciting upcoming events and opportunities available to all of our pupils over the coming week. Working in partnership is key to success and I would like to thank you for your continued support. Should you have any queries or questions please do not hesitate to contact your child’s Head of Learning or Learning Coach in the first instance.

Kind regards

Mr P McLoughlin

Interim Head of School