Department of Education

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Information for Parents

Talking to your school

The relationship between the home and the school plays a very important part in a child's education.

We can not overestimate the critical role parents play in successful learning: parents contribute much to their child's development and are among the most important influences on the way in which the child approaches learning.

Teachers are responsible for the more formal aspects of children's learning, and successful teaching builds on the home experiences of the child. This is most effective where there is an active partnership with parents.

Two-way communication is a critical factor in the partnership between parents and the school. Where a partnership exists, it is easier for parents to feel confident about the teaching and learning taking place in the classroom and to solve problems.

What might you talk to your school about?

Issues particular to your child:

  • Attitude
  • Academic progress
  • Participation
  • Behaviour
  • How he/she gets along with teachers and other students socially and emotionally
  • Physical development and well-being
  • Development of responsibility
  • Non-attendance or truancy
  • Learning program issues
  • Special events and celebrations
  • Specialised learning programs
  • Parent information booklets
  • Parent information sessions

School or class issues:

  • Quality of teaching
  • Homework
  • Learning environment
  • General student behaviour
  • Pastoral care for students
  • Schools policies and procedures
  • Conduct of staff

Access to support services:

  • School and regional level student services
  • Visiting teachers for students with disabilities
  • Visiting teachers for ESL students
  • Specialist facilities - language development centres, intensive language centres, socio-psycho educational resource units, education support schools, centres and units
  • Programs for students experiencing difficulties with learning
  • Programs for gifted and talented students
  • Instrumental music program

How your school communicates with you:

  • Two written reports or portfolios each year on student progress
  • Regular information about the school through newsletters
  • Parent-teacher interviews
  • Notes
  • Surveys
  • Displays of children's work
  • Assemblies
  • Special events and celebrations
  • Specialised learning programs
  • Parent information booklets
  • Parent information sessions
  • Learning journeys

You are welcome to talk to your child's teacher whenever you need to. However, you should make an appointment to talk with the teacher, to avoid disrupting the learning program.

Information that is available from your school:

  • Information on Department and school policies and policy changes
  • What is expected in relation to homework
  • Student behaviour management policy
  • Course details
  • Information about participation in the School Council, Parents and Citizens' Association, Aboriginal Student Support and Parent Awareness (ASSPA) program committee, and other support groups
  • School charges and fees
  • Excursions
  • School dress code

What can you do if you have a problem?

  • Seeking information as early as possible can solve many problems. If you have any questions or concerns about your child's progress, the homework set or the assessment procedures, contact the class teacher. The best way to do this is to contact the school office to arrange a mutually convenient time for a telephone conversation or meeting.
  • Interpreters, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Officers, and Aboriginal Liaison Officers are available to assist parents in communicating with their school. Please contact your local school or district education office if you would like the assistance of an interpreter, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Officer or an Aboriginal Liaison Officer. You can have a friend or adviser present during any discussion.
  • Parents have the opportunity for greater involvement in the school through the Parents and Citizens' Association, Aboriginal Student Support and Parent Awareness committee and the School Council. These provide the opportunity for parents to express opinions on policy issues in the school.

When you have a problem:

  • Try to identify the problem clearly before going to the school. If there is more than one problem, list them to ensure that the extent of the problem is clear to the school.
  • Decide whether the problem is a query, a concern or a complaint. This will help in finding a solution.
  • Make an appointment to talk with the teacher. This can be arranged through the school office. If your concern is about the conduct of a staff member, you may prefer to discuss the matter with a school administrator or, the Regional Executive Director if your complaint involves the principal.
  • Try to stay calm. Even if you don't feel it, being calm will help to get your concerns across more clearly than if you are upset or angry. It may help to take someone with you.
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Information for Parents

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