Straightforward tips on making the parent-school relationship work for you.
Don’t be afraid to speak up
Good teachers want a positive line of communication with parents and carers so that pupils are supported beyond the classroom. Remember, you have a shared interest in helping your child to thrive in school.
Teachers are individuals
Teachers have different personalities. Parents sometimes accuse teachers of having a better rapport with children than adults – at least that’s the right way round! Respect their professional interest in your child’s achievements and just be clear and open about any worries.
Don’t wait until parents’ evening
Some problems are best ‘nipped in the bud’ rather than saved for parents’ evening so do approach the teacher if you need to. But be realistic, teachers cannot offer one-to-one sessions for every parent every week.
Get your timing right
Mornings are hectic and not a good time to leave anything more than brief messages. Ask the teacher when it suits him/her to have a longer talk, or ask the person who drops-off your child to pass on a note to the teacher. Offer clear options for getting back to you, eg your mobile number or via a note in your child’s book bag.
Talk to the right person
If you have a question about school lunches, holiday dates etc, the school office will know more than the teacher. At 9am they will be busy so you might get a more detailed response if you telephone later during school hours.
If you don’t get the answers you need
If you have a bigger problem don’t expect the Head teacher to react immediately; as team leader he/she will need to explore all sides of an issue. Your school won’t want to clash with you, but it will want to resolve problems calmly and thoroughly.
Find useful advice on dealing with schools at the Advisory Centre for Education website.
Pass it on – get the best from school
Check out tips for Getting more from your school’s parents’ evenings.