How do I work with my child’s school?

Advice and support for parents and carers on strategies to help them get the best results for their child by working together with their child's school.

Benefits of a strong parent-school relationship

As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else does. Your child’s teachers will want to get to know your child too. The school will develop an understanding of your child’s needs by talking to you and your child. You will always be invited to provide input into any plans for your child’s education.

When you have a strong and mutually respectful relationship with your child’s school and teachers, you are in a good position to advocate for your child. Your child’s teachers and other school staff will work together with you support your child’s learning and wellbeing.

When everybody is working together in the best interests of your child, he or she is likely to reap academic and social benefits, such as:

  • a positive attitude towards school
  • regular school attendance
  • positive school results
  • positive social and relationship skills
  • a sense of wellbeing
  • school completion
  • progression to post-secondary education like TAFE, university or apprenticeships.

Build a strong parent-school relationship

The best education happens when students, parents and schools work together. Building a collaborative relationship with your child’s school is a two-way process.

Your child’s school will work with you to identify your child’s educational needs and decide how the school will meet them. Together with you and your child, teachers and other staff will discuss your child’s strengths, interests and areas of need. They will also give you feedback on how your child is going. You can always ask the school and teachers for information, make suggestions or give feedback. You can also share your child’s involvement in special events or their achievements outside school.

You can build a parent-school relationship in several ways:

  • involve and engage in the school community
  • talk informally with teachers at school drop-off and pick-up times or by email or phone
  • attend parent-teacher interviews and parent meetings
  • check the school website, noticeboard and emails regularly.

We understand that many parents and carers have busy lives and competing demands. Not all parents can be involved in school as much as they would like, but you can still let your child know that school is important to your family. Talking about school with your child, being encouraging at school events, and being positive about the school and its staff sends the message that you value education and are interested in what is happening for your child at school.

As well as everyday contact, you might also be able to learn more about the school through its annual report, school performances and social events – for example, barbecues, cultural or music events and school fairs. Schools might also hold parent seminars on topics like behaviour management, bullying and mental health.

Reaching out to your child's school

When you have a strong and mutually respectful relationship with your child’s school and teachers, you are in a good position to advocate for your child. You, your child’s teachers and other school staff will can work together with you to support your child’s learning and wellbeing and manage any behavioural challenges that may arise.

The school may suggest a meeting to collaboratively identify and respond to any challenging behaviour.

Consultation and collaboration

Teachers and school staff work collaboratively with you and your child to identify and respond to their additional learning and support needs, including if they have disruptive behaviour.

The school may suggest a personalised learning and support plan which includes preventative strategies and interventions to support your child’s behaviour. It will include actions for you, your child and the school.

The plan might include help from staff in the school. For example, from speech pathologists, occupational therapists, learning and support teams, behaviour specialists or the school counsellor/psychologist.

It is important to let your school know if your child has a:

  • medical condition
  • mental health issue
  • disability.

The school might ask for your consent to speak to your child’s doctor or health professionals. This is so the school can give your child the right support.

Records of meeting

It is a good idea to keep a record of what is discussed and decided in discussions around behaviour issues., The school will keep some records of this discussions as well as any plans that are agreed with you and your child. The school may communicate with your directly through parent-teacher communication books or a signed student plan.

More information on personalised learning and support is available on the Disability, Learning and Support website.

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