Speak up about your concerns

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You have the right to speak up at your child’s school.

If you’re not happy with the school

Sometimes you might have a concern about how your child or family is being treated. You might be concerned that your child is missing out on activities, or not getting the right help.

When Janine expressed concern that her son’s school had reduced his aide time, the school fixed the problem.

If you’re worried about your child

You might be worried that your child doesn’t seem to be learning well. It might be really hard going, getting them to go to school. Or your child might be in trouble for mucking up, or getting frustrated or angry in class. Usually when children refuse school or muck up, it’s because they’re upset or frustrated. It might be about bullying or some other problem with another child, or with a teacher. Or they might need more help, or different help in class.

Stacey’s older boy was seen as ‘naughty’, when he actually had a learning disability that hadn’t been diagnosed. He just needed different help to learn, and when he got it, he settled down.

Sometimes teachers try to find out what’s wrong – but not always. Even when they do, children might not be able to say. Sometimes when children get in trouble, it might remind their parents and carers of their own experiences at school, like Aunty Faye says. Sometimes they might feel like there’s no point in complaining.

It’s always worth speaking up

After many years of raising children and working in schools, Aunty Faye always tries to sort out problems at school, by talking to the teacher and the child.

Uncle Henry has always had a good relationship with his girls’ primary school. So when his oldest girl was being bullied at her new secondary school, he went straight to the principal.

Get help to speak up

Whatever your concern might be, you have the right to bring it up at school, and to have it sorted out. You don’t have to do it alone. You have the right to get help from a support person – someone to yarn with, who can give you information and support, and help you prepare for meeting with the school. Some support people might even be able to come with you to meetings.