Resolving School Issues

problems-at-schoolWhen a child is not doing well at school it’s a big worry for the parents. Perhaps the first indication of this will be in their annual school report and up until that time you may have no idea. Hopefully a proactive school will have contacted you well before any learning or behavioural issues have become a problem.

One of the biggest factors that many parents perhaps don’t recognise is their own role and influence in the child’s education. In my experience children who do well at school have parents who are interested and proactive in their education. That means taking an interest in what they are studying, looking at and assisting with homework and generally talking about school life in as far as the child will allow it. If you are interested in the welfare of your child then difficulties at school will show up earlier. So the keyword is being proactive and supportive.

When something happens you should act immediately and in the first instance talk to your child’s teacher. This is important because they are the person who sees them on a daily basis or they may be the teacher in one particular subject and you need to know if they are aware and if not then make them aware of the issue. It’s also the proper etiquette and shows that you’ve tried to use the normal route to resolve something before going higher up in the school.

If the matter isn’t resolving then you should take the next step of seeing the head of your child’s year or in a smaller school the head or deputy head and discuss the issues with them.

Put your concerns in writing. This is an omitted step by many and it’s very important, since written communications will go on file and are more likely to be addressed, also it’s an indisputable record of your version of events rather than a “he said, she said” type of scenario. Back up your discussions with written communications. Schools have to keep these on file and they will show up in an inspection, also if things go horribly wrong you have something to go back to.

Remember also that your attitude will to a degree determine the outcome. If you enter the arena in a combative mood then it’s very likely things will deteriorate immediately. Most schools want to solve problems and want your child to do well, you may not agree with what their solutions are but if you start at least in a spirit of cooperation you are more likely to get a good result. Do not resort to playground tactics of getting the first punch, metaphorically or even literally!

If even after all your best efforts you feel the school is not responding well or the issue is not resolving you can file a formal complaint. You can write to the board of governors and even the local authority, or the inspectorate bodies for private or state schools. You can take things as high as your MP if needed. This is your right and you are entitled to exert it. However before embarking down this road try your very best to get the problem resolved amicably. Our school maps show other good schools in your area.

Remember that you are doing this for the welfare of your child and it is their education and well-being that is important. Always keep that in mind and remind the other parties involved of their duties in this regard and most things can be sorted out. Good luck!

If you’d like to know more, then you’ll find answers to your education questions in the Education Quizzes Knowledge Bank. We have a library of articles aimed at finding answers to the questions asked by parents. As well as covering all aspects of education, from the Early Years Foundation Stage all the way up to university, it also has tonnes of information and advice on parenting issues, such as promoting self-confidence in children and protection from online dangers. It’s well worth a visit!

good-educationGuest Blog by David Evans Bailey

David Evans Bailey is currently studying an MA at the University of Brighton in Digital Media Art. He taught ICT and Photography at Secondary School level for several years as well as being involved in many theatrical and other endeavours. His background is an IT professional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *