Speak to: If you think your child is completely upset, then the class teacher is the first person to contact.
The approach to follow: You should not just abruptly go and corner your child’s teacher. Yes, you must be worries but all this haste only aggravates the problem. You may fix an appointment with the teacher after the school and then discuss the problem thoroughly. The meeting should be informal, but prepare some notes on what to say and the expected outcomes.
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What serves as the evidence: State clear examples of situations which you think are the symptoms of your child being unhappy. Also, the examples of how his studies and school life is getting affected because of his unhappiness. You have to state explicit incidents to avoid sounding vague.
How to follow up: End the meeting by confirming the things said by the teachers leaving no uncertainty behind. You can do it either verbally, or by letter or email. Schedule a follow-up meeting after a week or so to keep a tab on the progress.
School work struggle
Speak to: Your child’s class teacher is the best person to approach at first place.
The approach to follow: Once again, take an appointment as parents’ evening is not the best idea as other parents are also waiting for their turn. During the conversation explain your concerns, whether your child is experiencing hardships in a specific subject or he is performing poor overall. Listen to the teacher’s suggestions and ardently follow them. Exercise those things which are asked to be done at home.
What serves as the evidence: You can present the school transcript with that particular poor grade or two pieces of work done with a gap in year demonstrating slower progress.
How to follow up: Special education needs coordinator (SENCO) might be required when the problem persists. This extra support may even help those students who are not diagnosed with any special education needs.
The teacher has some problems with my child
Speak to: Here, you should not directly confront the teacher rather you should approach a member from senior leadership team (SLT) like head of Key Stage or deputy head.
The approach to follow: Be cautious! You should not start speaking harshly about the teacher; you should talk about your child’s feelings. You should first put the concerns in written format before going to an in-person meeting, this allows more time for the school authority to talk to the teacher.
What serves as the evidence: try to find examples of such incidents where you think the teacher behaved differently with your child. Stay clear on what you want to say! Saying that Miss Brown was harsh on my son is very ambiguous, you should say that Miss Brown asked only my son to stay in detention while the whole class was not present in the assembly.
How to follow up: Let the school take ample amount of time to resolve the issue, but if the issue stays unheeded for long then ask for an appointment with the headmaster.
My child needs special education
Speak to: teacher and SENCO both at the same time.
The approach to follow: here too, you will need to book an appointment with the school. Go through the school’s policies for special education needs, this will tell you what you can expect from the school in the special education programs. Furthermore, you can seek advice from the local Parent Partnership Service (A service that offer advice and support to parent and caregivers of children & young people with special education needs).
What serves as the evidence: Jot down all the difficulties faced by your child and include examples on how they hinder his or her studies. Keep in mind that special educational needs can also comprise of social and behavioral problems, difficulties in reading and writing, problems in focus and grasping ability, and even physical needs.
How to follow up: Wait for the school to revert back, if they find that your child needs special education then they will arrange Special Education Needs support within the campus. For more complex issues ask for Education, Health and Care needs assessment. Ask for details about timings, and procedure for feedback.
My child does not want to attend school
Speak to: your child’s class teacher. He or she might be aware of the problem already but you can also involve a member from the SLT.
The approach to follow: Again, we would advise to set up a meeting to discuss the problem and work towards the strategy. You should try to get a senior staff member involved, especially if the strategy needs your child to deviate from the routine like going directly into the classroom rather than waiting in queue.
What serves as the evidence: Have a conversation with your child about his feelings about school and why he is not willing to attend school. Make notes of the discussion between you two.
How to follow up: Confirm the plan at the end of the meetings, be it verbal or in writing. After that, request regular catch-ups to review the progress of your child.
Someone bullies my child
Speak to: Initially, the best person is your child’s class teacher, if bully does not mend his ways, then you must involve another senior staff member such as deputy head or head teacher.
The approach to follow: Write down every single concern you have, request a meeting to discuss all the concerns. Get yourself acquainted with school’s policies for bullying so that you have a clear idea about how the school can help you plus what are the obligations. You can also suggest the school on certain areas that are not followed by them.
What serves as the evidence: Maintain a journal with all the events and their time, details of witnesses and the incident. Raise the examples which clearly show that bullying is having a clear impact on your child’s school and home life.
How to follow up: The school must have taken the necessary steps immediately. Ask for a timescale from the school and arrange another meeting to follow up things. Keep the copies of all the correspondence in case you need to pursue the matter with the governors –this will be the next step if the problem persists.
I have a problem with the school
Speak to: Minor problems can be addressed directly to the class teacher while serious concerns need you to talk to the head teacher or governors.
The approach to follow: Small gripes don’t need much attention; they can be easily solved by talking to the teacher after the school or even by written communication in the form of a note. But if you want to make the complaint official then get yourself acquainted with school’s procedures. That guide will tell you whom you should speak to and what kind of guidance you can expect from the school.
What serves as the evidence: Just like you should keep a log of bullying activities, you should keep a log of all the correspondences from the school in the matter. Don’t forget about the guide provided by the school and highlight those areas where you think the school was weak.
How to follow up: Most of your problems would have got solved easily but if you are not satisfied even after talking to the headmaster, then you should write a complaint to the governors. But notify the head of the school about your intentions beforehand.