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What to do when contacting your child’s school

Tips on how to ensure your discussion with the school goes well

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School should be a safe, supportive and welcoming environment for every child. No matter what is on your mind, you should feel comfortable to contact your child’s school and talk to them. Right now, your child may experience some anxiety due to changes in their routine as a result of COVID-19. If you feel like you need extra support, please contact your child’s school. Here’s some tips on how to ensure your discussion with the school goes as well as possible.

Talk to the right person: Phone the school first and explain the matter you would like to discuss. Find out who is the best person to help you and how to contact them.

Make an appointment to meet: The conversation is likely to go much better if you arrange a time that suits.

Build goodwill: Start the conversation with something positive. This will help build trust and goodwill from the start and will help steer the conversation in a positive direction.

Get your facts straight: Try and clarify your story before you speak to the school. Consider speaking to another parent to check what you’ve been told.

Make some notes: Write down the main points you would like to discuss so you can keep the discussion on track. Share any supporting documentation that might inform the conversation.

Be open about what’s happening at home: Tell the school about anything going on at home that might be affecting your child or anything you’ve noticed about your child that might help their school understand the situation better.

Keep to the issue: Try and stick to the topic you’ve come to talk about. Bringing up too many other issues will ‘muddy the waters’ and make it difficult to resolve the matter at hand.

Stay calm and listen: Avoid becoming emotional and remember to really listen to what the other person is saying. The other person will take their cues from you so try to set the right tone.

Treat the school as a valued partner: Treat the person you are speaking to as a valued partner, navigating the system with you, and trying to do the best by your child.

When to talk to your local regional office

If you’ve worked closely with your child’s school and things still aren’t working out, please contact your local Department of Education regional office to seek help.

Last Updated: 03 August 2020