Raising concerns with your children's school

If you have noticed a change in your child's behaviour, or have concerns that something might be affecting their learning, speak to their teacher as soon as possible.

A change in behaviour may be showing a deeper issue. It's a good idea to arrange a face to face conversation.

These steps will help you find positive outcomes.

1. Find out who to talk to

  • Check the school website. Find out what the process is for raising a concern and who you need to speak to.
  • Arrange a time to meet so everyone involved can give it their full attention.
  • Avoid meeting with the teacher or principal on the spot. You could say "I (or we) really want to discuss this without interruptions."

2. Prepare

  • Gather information, making sure it's accurate (it can help to make notes).
  • Can you describe the issue clearly?
  • Has something happened that's worrying you? Be specific.
  • Find someone you trust who will listen. They may suggest options, help you make a plan, and provide advice on who you can take with you for support.

3. Discuss

  • Take notes at the meeting or ask your support person to.
  • Have a positive vision for your child's future.
  • Focus on the issue and the needs of your child and whānau.
  • Listen to the school's perspective and their needs and offer suggestions.

4. Resolve

  • When you've come up with a solution together, write it down and develop a plan to put things in action.
  • You might want to arrange another meeting to discuss progress of the plan.

Different issues and who to speak to

You can use this information below to help you decide who is best to speak to when issues arise at your children's school.

Speak to your child's teacher

  • For information connected to your child's learning.
  • When you are concerned about their progress.
  • When your child is worried about attending school.

Speak to the learning support coordinator

  • For concerns about your child's specific learning difficulties.
  • For example: physical difficulties, sensory impairment, speech and language requirement, cognitive disabilities, behavioural difficulties.

Speak to the Principal

  • When you want to make a complaint.
  • For concerns about bullying.
  • About stand-downs, suspensions, exclusions and expulsions.

Speak to the Board of Trustees Chairperson

  • When you want to make a complaint about a teacher.
  • When you have an issue or school-wide idea you want to discuss.

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