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Dealing with a problem at school

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Dealing with a problem at school can be a little tricky but if your child has a problem at school there are a number of steps you can take to make sure it is dealt with quickly and to the best possible outcome. Depending on the severity of the issue at hand, there are various levels you can take your complaint to, starting with the class teacher and leading right up to full scale legal action.

Be aware

The first thing to do if you become aware of a problem at school – such as bullying, difficulties with the curriculum or conflicts with teachers – is to talk to your child. It may be that they themselves have told you about something that has happened or that they are not happy about, or you may have heard it from someone else such as the school, another parent, friend or sibling.dealing with a problem at school

Speak to your child

Make sure you find out how your child feels about the situation and talk to them about the possible ways you can deal with it before taking any further action. It could be that all you need to do after that is talk to your child’s class teacher or year tutor. It is likely that they will be able to identify the problem and, in most cases, resolve it. If they can’t resolve it, or you don’t feel comfortable raising your concerns with the class teacher for any reason, then you can insist on speaking to the head teacher directly.

Speak to other parents

It may also be worth speaking to other parents to gather more support if it’s an issue which may be affecting others as well. You could perhaps take action jointly or raise the concerns at a parents’ association meeting. Decisions made by the head teacher have to be in consultation with the school’s governing body or local education authority, so the board of governors would be your next port of call if you are still not satisfied that the problem has been resolved. You could either contact the parent representative on the board, or write to the clerk asking to discuss your concerns at an upcoming meeting.

Formal complaints

If all informal discussions fail then you may want to consider making a formal complaint. All schools which come under the education authority’s control have to have a formal complaints procedure for dealing with grievances. You can get a copy from the school. It is likely to be dealt with by the head teacher or another designated member of staff in the first instance.

If it still can’t be sorted out then it will go to a complaints appeal panel of the governing body. There may also be a right of appeal to the education authority, or the organisation which set up the school if it’s a differently-run establishment, such as a church school for example. If you can appeal to the education authority then it might be worth speaking to local councillors for advice and support.dealing with a problem at school

Legal action

In some cases you might be able to take your complaint to the ombudsman. They deal with complaints on specific issues including school transport services, school admissions, permanent exclusions and special educational needs. The Local Government Ombudsman website details other organisations which you may be able to complain to if it’s not an issue they can help with directly.

If all else fails you may have a case for legal action; especially if you feel the school has failed in its legal duties to your child, particularly in respect of discrimination and the promotion of equality, or meeting special educational needs. There are a number of support organisations which could provide help and advice along the way; these include ACE Education Advice, Ofsted, Bullying UK, National Parent Partnership Network and Parents for Inclusion.






About Linda Ram

About Linda Ram

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