The best outcomes are possible for students when families and schools work together.
On this page:
- Video: Helping to make school work for your child
- It’s all about relationships
- Supporting your child’s learning
- Looking after yourself and celebrating progress
Video: Helping to make school work for your child
Learning Together contains a range of information about schools and the support system, and how you can help to make school work for your child.
This section focuses on how to build an effective working relationship with your child’s school. In it we include many tips, stories and examples of what has worked for other families. These are provided for information and inspiration, but of course partnership and relationships are about individual people – you will have your own ways of making it work, in your situation.
- Education planning for your child, which explains how your child’s school should work with you to tailor your child’s learning and supports over their many years in the education system.
- Raising a concern with school, which explains what to do if you have a concern about any aspect of your child’s education, and how to be an effective advocate for them.
- Tips for dealing with common challenges, in which we share tips and strategies for tackling some of the issues that parents and carers most commonly ask our advice about.
“My approach is really to create friendships, in a sense. To keep in regular contact with a respectful stance of their status as education experts.
I learnt through other advocates helping us that it helps to defer to their knowledge – to say, ‘Look, I’m not an expert in education, you are, but I understand that Patrick gets anxious when he’s in this kind of a setting, is there some way that you could think about addressing this?’ And allowing them to come up with a response, and then perhaps providing some input.
I am a bit ‘bull at a gate’. It was hard for me to learn to be more trusting of institutions. I think it’s hard for educators to recognise that as families, we’ve been up against it for 10 years perhaps, before they’ve even reached us. So when we get to them, we’ve got well-honed advocacy skills, and we might be packing a punch. We don’t mean any harm by that. We’re just really doing the best for our kids, and trying to be heard.
We actually are looking to schools to be a partner to us, to reduce some of our anxieties, and to assure us that things will be okay, even if it doesn’t look the way that we expected it would look.” – Tania
It’s all about relationships
Building a partnership with the staff at your child’s school is just like building any other relationship. Its about good communication, mutual respect and empathy. As the families interviewed for this resource show, it is really worth putting in the time and energy to build good relationships with the key staff at your child’s school.
- Keeping in touch with school
- Getting involved at school
- Being part of the school community
- Build your relationships with school staff
Supporting your child’s learning
You know your child best. By sharing your knowledge of their abilities, strengths and needs with their school, you become a partner in their education. Your belief that they will learn and progress at school can also inspire others with the same confidence.
- Being part of your child’s learning
- Understanding your child as a learner
- Communicating your child’s needs
- A team approach – getting input from your child’s specialists
A key aspect of learning is becoming as independent as possible. Students need support to learn to speak up for themselves.
Looking after yourself and celebrating progress
Parents and carers share their experiences of looking after themselves, and taking time to celebrate how much they have achieved with their families.