Help the school understand your child’s needs

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It’s the school’s job to educate your child. But they need your help, to do it the right way.

Make sure your child gets the education you want for them

Schools must give your child the help they need to learn, and support their cultural identity. To do these things, they need your help.

Talking to the school can be real shame. This is sometimes the case for parents and carers who left school early, and who did not have good experiences at school due to racism. Rodney understands how hard it can be. But he encourages others – especially dads – to get involved at school.

You don’t have to deal with the school alone. You can get help from a support person.

Keep in touch with school

Keeping in touch helps you and the school to be aware of any changes in your child’s life, or the help they need. If things are going well at school, the teacher can let you know. And that helps you feel good about them being there. And if there’s a problem, you and the school can work it out before it becomes a big drama.

Sometimes children need to be away from school, for example if they have hospital stays due to their special needs, or if the family has to travel because of cultural responsibilities. Let the school know when your child is going to be away, and for how long. Then they can plan how to support your child and help them catch up, when they return.

Different ways to keep in touch

You can chat to the staff at drop off or pick up time. Some children have a communication book, so you can tell the teacher what’s been happening at home, and they can tell you about your child’s day at school. If this doesn’t work for you, ask about making a regular time to check in, at drop off or pickup, or over the phone.

Stacey’s young son has a communication book. She also goes into his school regularly. She finds it a bit intimidating, but she still does it. It’s a bit easier, knowing how much her son loves his young teacher.

The school should be having meetings with you once a term, called Student Support Group meetings. Parents and carers might find these meetings hard going. You can get help in meetings, and to work with the school.

Meet and share your knowledge

At these meetings, you can tell the teacher what your child is good at, what they need help with, and what they need to feel comfortable at school. As Suzanna says, you know your own child best.

Communication goes both ways

Suzanna always lets school know, if something happens at home that could affect her son at school.

Suzanna expects the same from the school. And this requires good relationship between the family and school.