Chetham’s Music School in Manchester, at the heart of an inquiry into sexual abuse on the part of past teachers, has written to parents asking them to participate in a procedure that is supposed to improve safety for children. The questionnaire looks like another attack of mind-numbing form-filling, but if parents make their views known fully and strongly enough it could result in a positive outcome. It is also good to see the school trying to move beyond the defensive paralysis of recent weeks. Here’s the Head’s letter:
Seeking the Views of Parents
I hope you and your family had a relaxing Half-Term break. It was good to see so many of you at all the music course concerts! As I wrote to you on 18th February, we are expecting a visit this week from Manchester Children’s Services, following all the recent publicity about historic allegations at Chetham’s. The visit will I hope give us the opportunity to demonstrate robust and effective safeguarding and welfare policies and procedures at Chetham’s in the modern era. The MCS team will be joined by two inspectors from the Independent Schools Inspectorate, who would like to invite all parents to take a few moments to complete a confidential questionnaire as part of the process. The questionnaire is available for you to complete online at http://surveys.isi.net/ <http://surveys.isi.net/> .
The unique code for your school’s inspection is [redacted] and you will need to enter this to complete the questionnaire. The online questionnaire must be completed by the evening of Wednesday 6th March to allow the results to be collated, so please complete the questionnaire as soon as possible. If you have more than one child at the school, you can complete a questionnaire for each child by following the prompts after completion of the first questionnaire. The completed questionnaire provides a valuable source of information for the inspection team and are designed to allow you to make detailed comments for the reporting inspector should you wish.
A good volume of returns ensures that the questionnaire process gives a balanced view of the school’s strengths and weaknesses. We appreciate that parents are busy and that inspection at short notice does not allow much time to complete the questionnaire. Inspectors value your feedback and thank you in advance for taking the time to contribute to the forthcoming inspection. Many of you have already contributed to our own music questionnaire in January, the results of which I will be letting the Independent Schools Inspectorate have too. The Independent Schools Inspectorate online questionnaire however is not solely focused on the musical provision but on all aspects of your child’s education at Chetham’s. In order to complete the online questionnaire you will need to put your child into a National Curriculum year group. At Chetham’s we name the year groups differently but the equivalent year group, which you should use in the online questionnaire, is shown in brackets in the guide below. Junior C (Year 4) Junior B (Year 5) Junior A (Year 6) Form 1 (Year 7) Form 2 (Year 8) Form 3 (Year 9) Form 4 (Year 10) Form 5 (Year 11) Lower 6 (Year 12) Upper 6 (Year 13) If you experience any difficulties with the online questionnaire, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com> .
Best wishes, Claire Moreland