Communication in School Essay Sample

Communication in School Pages
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In this report I will be investigating the different ways in which the school communicate internally and externally. Internal communication refers to how the school communicate with teachers and staff, external communication referring to how the school communicate with parents and carers. Mr Lantos, the head teacher at Preston Manor is trying to improve communication across the school. In this report I will look at how communication works within the school and I will outline the current methods being used, I should also look at ways to try and improve the current procedures being used.

Preston Manor at the moment has their own aims and objectives. An aim is something you want to achieve although an objective is something you do in order to help achieve the aim. The schools aim is for the school to achieve as highly as possible and to achieve their full potential both academically and non-academically, for example by sports, drama etc. The objectives on the other hand which the school could meet are to make the school experience memorable by providing a wide range of experiences and opportunities for a greater chance of success. They also celebrate the multi-cultural nature of the school. So by the school providing all these different experiences they are ensuring that pupils achieving their full potential because they have these extra experiences which range from things such as extra sports, music, special events etc for them to participate in.

Now I will draw an organisational chart to show the chain of command from Mr. Lantos to our business teacher:

An organisational chart is a chart showing several layers of responsibility. The people higher up the hierarchy have more responsibilities than lower down. From the organisational chart above you can see that Mr Lantos has the span of control as two, however when you look at the Head of Department you can see that he/she has the span of control as five. The span of control basically refers to the number of people directly controlled by one person. If you were to look at the chain of command, referring to the way in which orders are passed down throw the organisation, you would be able to see that it would be able to flow in many directions, there are three ways: upwards, downwards and horizontally. Upwards communication can give useful information about problems and successes and helps keep managers in touch with employees. Downwards communication is usually to tell employees about decisions made, instructions and company policy. And horizontal communication is when employees are at the same level and messages are passed on between themselves.

Here is an example of a hierarchal organisation with many layers:

The other organisational structure is the Flat Organisational Structure; this consists of only two layers, this is what it looks likes:

There are some advantages of having a flat structure. First of all because there are only two layers it means that information is passed along a lot faster and decisions are made quicker. What’s more is that as there are only few levels the workers feel more responsible for the work they are doing, this further builds up their motivation and job satisfaction.

General Communication within a Business

Other businesses use a variety of different communications to communicate with others. The main purpose of communication in general is to give information, receive information, to give a positive image of the organisation and to sort out problems immediately.

Different forms of Communication

Written

Visual

Oral

Electronic

– Notices

– Billboards

– Face to Face

– E-Mail

– Letters

– Flyers

– Telephone

– Fax

– Reports

– Slides

– Voice Mail

– Text Message

– Memos

– PA System

– Teletext

Written communication has many advantages and disadvantage. The advantages of using notes to communicate with one another is that they can be seen easily by a number of people, this is easier as you don’t need to hand them out individually to each person therefore it saves time. The second advantage is that they are cheap to produce. However there are a number of disadvantages, the first of which is that it’s a very impersonal method of communication, for example if you wanted to aim the notice at certain people, a large number of people would see the notice even though it’s not for them.

Letters also are an effective way of communicating with others. The first advantage of using letters is that they can be extremely detailed so it’s easier for others to follow instructions. The second advantage is that letters provide a permanent record of the communication, for instance the receiver can keep the letter safely just case needed later on for a reference. Although the problem with this method of communication is that it’s a lot slower then other methods, this isn’t very effective because it may take time for message to be sent to the recipient. Furthermore the feedback isn’t immediate, due to this it’d take a longer time for the reply to reach the sender again.

Reports are also a form of communication. The advantages to using them are that they can be copied and circulated to many people; this is useful as everyone receives the same information. Secondly they can be very detailed, this could include data, charts and graphs. However the main problem of having reports too detailed is that due to their length and the amount of information, they may not be read fully and understood.

Memos are usually sort and to the point, which is to its advantage, they are especially useful when communicating from one business branch to another. Although they hold some disadvantages, these consist of there being no immediate and the other that smaller pieces of paper can be lost easily or ignored.

From the methods of written communication I think that memos are the most quickest and effective way of communicating if short messages want to be passed around, the reason why I haven’t chosen notices is because I think that it’s a very impersonal way to communicate and in short spaces of time it’s a lot easier to send out memos. However my only problem with using memos is that they could get lost easily and then the whole process of communicating would be a mess.

Visual Communication has its own advantages and disadvantages. Billboards have their advantages also, it’s that information can be read and presented easily in an area where many people can see it. They are extremely powerful when they are short and contain eye catching colour and features. They prove to be effective as they contain a lot of persuasive images and slogans. On the other hand they have some disadvantages; this is that they can be damaged easily by weather conditions which do not really help the main aim.

Oral Communication has many methods within it. Communicating face to face with one another has its advantages also. The first of which is that there could be a meeting, here everyone gets the same information and issues can be discussed freely. Furthermore if anyone wants to object to a point then the feedback is immediate and the problem can be sorted out there and then. But the disadvantage of this method is that is everyone listening to what’s being discussed? Can everyone hear? And is everyone confident enough to speak up if they have a problem? Even so is everyone able to attend the meeting, some meetings are further away than others so money could be an issue for some.

Telephones are usually a fast and easy method of communication, they are extremely good for long distance calls/communication and it’s a lot easier to sort out problems due to it being a two way method. But the problem with the use of telephone is that there is no written record and most importantly there can be misunderstandings due to bad line signals. Also when trying to phone another country time zones affect when you can actually make the phone call.

From the methods of oral communication I think that both face to face and meetings are just as good and bad as each other, both tend to have disadvantages which will effect how good they really are. The problem which I think is a disadvantage for face to face meetings is that they could be far away and not everyone is able to attend. I would say using the telephone is much easier as it enables everyone to get in touch with everyone and you do not have to go anywhere to actually speak to the person, it can be done over the phone.

There are lots of different methods for electronic communication, this includes fax, e-mails, paging and video conferencing. Faxing has its advantages, the first of which is that it’s fast and gets there faster than other methods. Secondly nobody needs to be there in order to pick it up, the recipient can pick it up when possible. But the advantages to this method include, you can’t send confidential things and the print can be of poor quality.

E Mail is method used by many businesses also. The reason is due to it being fast, confidential and having the choice to send the same information to many people at one time. Although sending confidential information can be problem if hackers are able to hack into the persons email account. Also if the information being sent is important and urgent, you need to make sure the recipient checks their mail regularly.

Video conferencing is used by some businesses only. The main advantage is that you can see the person you’re talking to without being with them. It’s really time consuming and saves pollution as there’s no need to go directly to the person, instead you can see them over a screen. The disadvantage however to this method is that it costs money and it can be of poor quality sometimes.

In my opinion I would say to use e- mail as the electronic form of communication. I say this as I think it’s a lot more efficient than the other methods such as video conferencing. Video conferencing has its advantages but I still think that it’s a lot more difficult to get hold of because you need to get these special cameras that can send sound and pictures from one location to another so that business people can conduct a live meeting with colleagues who are many miles away. In addition email is available at all times and it is a facility which you could use all the time. Also I know that usually there’s a high initial cost in setting up a computer network and in training workers but I still think that in a world of business it will improve customer satisfaction and will result in high sales and better communication in the long term.

Having good communication is vital in a business organisation. Having communication means that clear instructions are given out so that the task is completed correctly and on time. It also means that action is consistent and coordinated well. If communication was at its best then the information would be simple and the information would be as accurate and up to date as possible. However if communication is not good then many problems occur. First of all jobs would not be carried out properly as the employees would not have understood instructions that had been given out and secondly bad communication would lead to disappointed employees and customers. The effect of poor communication would then develop problems such as unrest within the workforce and loss of business with poor service.

The School’s Communication with Parents – External Communication

How the school Communicate with Parents

Type

Method

Context

Advantages/ Disadvantages

Written

Letter home

End of term

arrangements

Student Progress/Reports

Advantages: Can be very constructive and detailed

Disadvantages: Can get lost and students may intercept

Oral / Verbal

Telephone

Face to Face

For complaints or praise

Parents Evenings

Meetings

Advantages: You get immediate feedback

Disadvantages: Someone may not pick up

Advantages: You can discuss freely

Disadvantages: Is everyone able to attend?

Electronic

Email

Website

E-Mail to Parents

OFSTED Report

Advantages: It’s fast

Disadvantages: Recipient needs to check their mail regularly

The school communicates with parents and carers in various different ways, it is extremely important for the school to have such good communication with them because they need to inform them about any problems or important updates that could affect their child’s education. The main aim is to keep the parents informed on how their child is progressing at school, if changes were being made parents would then be able to take these changes on adapt to them. Above I have drawn a table showing the different that the school communicate with parents.

For the different reasons of communication the school use different methods of communication, the first one is through writing. For example they would write to parents if their child has been in trouble, asking the parents to visit the school. They would also write a letter to inform all parents of end of term arrangements. This method of communication is usually quite successful; this is because the letter can be very constructive and detailed and can be sent directly to the recipient. The problem however with sending letters home is that firstly the student could forget to give the letter to their parents and secondly the student could intercept the letter so therefore the parents may not receive it.

The school also communicate with parents verbally, for example they phone the parents if they want to let them know of any complaints or praise. This provides a fast method of communication and is really effective; this is because the teachers receive immediate feedback and if there are problems they can be sorted out quickly. Although the problem with phoning is that the parents could be really busy so as a result would not be able to be contacted easily. The school also meets parents face to face since they regularly hold parents evenings and meetings. The main advantage of this is that they are able to discuss freely and that the feedback is given and received immediately. But the problem with this method of communication is that is everybody able to attend, some parents work late and therefore aren’t able to be present.

The school sometimes communicate with the parents electronically, for instance teachers often email parents regarding their child’s progress. This method of communication is really good because it’s a lot faster and it’s easier to store rather than looking through lots of pieces of paper. Although the downside of using email is that the parents need to check their mail regularly to keep in contact. Also the parents could forget to respond to the message so therefore there would only be a one way system communication between the school and the parents. The school also have their own website; this includes OFSTED reports and the schools performance etc. This is a good way of communicating with parents as the website has a variety of things and it’s a lot easier to access nowadays rather than phoning up and waiting for letters. On the other hand there are disadvantages, they are that some people may not be able to access the internet or may not have the time to do this or the website may not be updated regularly.

However, now if communication did not get through then problems would begin to occur. First of all parents and carers would not be aware of their child’s progress, if letters were being intercepted by students and phone numbers and addresses weren’t being updated, then the parents and carers would not know of their child’s progress in school. This could lead to their child having poor academic achievements due to poor communication with the school because the school and the parents aren’t keeping in contact to discuss important matters. To try and stop these problems from happening the school and parents need to try and keep in touch as much as possible, even if it means having face to face meetings every two or three months. Furthermore they keep in touch by phone calls, as long as the parents and carers know how their child is doing academically and behaviour wise.

If I am to compare the methods that teaching staff are using to communicate with parents I think that face to face in a meeting is better than phone calls simply because when teachers and parents are face to face with one another it is a lot easier to discuss freely without having to worry about other outside issues; like when you try calling parents an issue is raised to whether or not the parent has time to speak on the phone. Secondly you are able to have a three way conversation with the member of staff, the parent and the pupil; this way issues are sorted with the person who the meeting is about (- the pupil) and thirdly problems are sorted out face to face rather than over the phone, where you are able to see the body language of everyone.

Whereas in contrast, when you use the phone you need to make sure telephone numbers are right and if the parent has the time to talk at the time the teacher calling. However a serious problem is that you are not able to see who you are talking to, for all you know you could be having a conversation with someone claiming to be someone their not, therefore the message is not getting through to the right person. So by organising a face to face meeting at a time where both parent and teacher can attend, whatever matters are to be sorted, will be sorted out easily and in a formal manner. The only down side that I worry about is the fact that are the parents able to attend these face to face meetings? If they aren’t then there would be a communication barrier and another form of communication would need to be used.

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