If there’s a problem at school

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You have the right to raise any concerns you have about your child at school, and you don’t have to do it alone.


Children and young people are in school for many years. Most will have times when they find school hard going. If you are worried about your child, or you have a concern about something at school, don’t be afraid to speak up.

In this section, families share their experiences of raising their concerns at school. By speaking up, some families stopped bullying or teasing of their child. Others describe how raising their concerns meant the school paid more attention to their child’s special needs, and gave them better help at school.

It’s always worth speaking up. It can make a real difference.

This page explains what is on every page in this section. Click on the headings to go to that page.

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Speak up about your concerns

You have the right to speak up, whether you’re not happy with something at school, or worried about how your child is going in their learning, or getting along with other children. It can be hard to speak up, but you can get help.

How to go about bringing up a concern

The best person to speak to first is usually the person involved, like the teacher. If you don’t feel comfortable to do that, there are other options. You can also get help to bring up your concern, as this page explains.

Help from a support person or advocate

You can get help to work with your child’s school. This page explains what kind of help you can get from a support person, or a support person. It also talks about how to find the right person to support you.

Ideas for dealing with common concerns

This page gives you ideas for dealing with common concerns that families told us about, including concerns about: your child’s learning; missing out on excursions; behaviour and discipline; bullying and racism; and issues with uniforms and other school costs.

Dealing with concerns about school attendance

This page talks about the importance of attendance, and letting school know if your child has to be away. It also talks about your child’s rights and how to get help, if your child is suspended or faces expulsion.

Find out about the language of special needs and schools

Many parents and carers find the language used in schools and about special needs very confusing. Read our explanations of the key terms about special needs, schools, and the people who can help you and your child.