Speak to: If you think your child is upset, then the class teacher is the first person to contact.
The best approach: You should not abruptly corner your child’s teacher. Yes, you must be worried, but haste may only aggravate the problem. You can make an appointment with the teacher after school during which you can 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 evidence: State clear examples of situations that are causing your child to be unhappy. Also, prepare examples of how their studies and school life are getting affected by their unhappiness. It is important to state explicit incidents to avoid sounding vague.
How to follow up: End the meeting by confirming what the teacher has said to avoid uncertainty. You can do this 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 to begin.
The best approach: Once again, make an appointment, and don’t rely on parent-teacher conferences as other parents are also waiting for their turn. During the conversation, explain your concerns and whether your child is experiencing hardships in a specific subject or they are performing poorly overall. Listen to the teacher’s suggestions and carefully follow them. Make sure to complete any at-home tasks they recommend.
What serves as evidence: You can present the school transcript with a particular poor grade or two pieces of work done with a year-long gap that demonstrates your child’s slower progress.
How to follow up: A special education needs coordinator (SENCO) might be required if the problem persists. This extra support may even help students who are not diagnosed with any special education needs.
The teacher has some problems with my child
Speak to: In this situation, you should not directly confront the teacher, but you should rather approach a member of the senior leadership team (SLT), like the head of Key Stage or deputy head.
The best approach: Be cautious! You should not start speaking harshly about the teacher, but rather focus on discussing your child’s feelings. You should first put the concerns in a written format before going to an in-person meeting, allowing more time for the school authority to talk to the teacher.
What serves as evidence: Try to find examples of incidents where you think the teacher behaved differently with your child. Focus and clearly state what you want to say! Saying that “Miss Brown was harsh on my son” is very ambiguous. Instead, say, “Miss Brown asked only my son to stay in detention while the whole class was not present in the assembly”.
How to follow up: Give the school an ample amount of time to resolve the issue, but if the issue stays unheeded for too long, then ask for an appointment with the headmaster.
My child needs special education
Speak to: It is best to speak to the teacher and SENCO at the same time.
The best approach: In this situation, you will need to book an appointment with the school. Go through the school’s policies for special education needs, which will explain what you can expect from the school in the special education programs. Furthermore, you can seek advice from the local Parent Partnership Service, which offers advice and support to parents and caregivers of children & young people with special education needs.
What serves as evidence: Jot down all the difficulties faced by your child and include examples on how they have hindered his or her studies. Keep in mind that special educational needs can also comprise of social and behavioural problems, difficulties in reading and writing, problems with focus and understanding, and even physical needs.
How to follow up: Wait for the school to take action; 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 an Education, Health and Care needs assessment. Ask for details about timing and procedures for feedback.
My child does not want to attend school
Speak to: Contact 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 best approach: Again, we advise you to set up a meeting to discuss the problem and work towards a 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 a queue.
What serves as evidence: Have a conversation with your child about their feelings about school and why they are not willing to attend school. Take notes during your discussion.
How to follow up: Confirm the plan at the end of the meeting, be it verbal or in writing. After that, request regular catch-ups to review your child’s progress.
Someone bullies my child
Speak to: Initially, the best person to contact is your child’s class teacher. If bully does not mend their ways, then you must involve another senior staff member, such as a deputy head or head teacher.
The best approach: Write down every single concern you have and request a meeting to discuss all you concerns. Become acquainted with the school’s policies for bullying so that you have a clear idea about how the school can help you and their obligations. You can also make suggestions to the school on certain areas that are not followed by them.
What serves as evidence: Maintain a journal with all bullying events, their times, details of witnesses and incident descriptions. Discuss examples that clearly show that bullying is having a clear impact on your child’s school and home life.
How to follow up: The school must take the necessary steps immediately. Ask for a timescale from the school and arrange another meeting to follow up on the situation. Keep 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 should be discussed with the head teacher or governors.
The approach to follow: Small gripes don’t need much attention and can be easily solved by talking to the teacher after school or even by written communication in the form of a note. But, if you want to make the complaint official then become acquainted with school’s procedures. These will tell you with whom you should speak to and what kind of guidance you can expect from the school.
What serves as evidence: Just as you should keep a log of bullying activities, you should keep a log of all school correspondences on the issue. Don’t forget about the guide provided by the school and be sure to highlight areas where you think the school was weak.
How to follow up: Most of your problems should be solved easily, but if you are not satisfied even after talking to the headmaster, then you should write a complaint to the governors. However, be sure to notify the head of the school about your intentions beforehand.