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How Can I Get Involved In My Child's Secondary School? - KS4

Many children, as they get older, become very sensitive about their parents and the possibility that they might be embarrassed or criticised by their fellow students in school. So, they might be reluctant for their parents to come into school. It's therefore vital to take any opportunity to visit the school and talk to teachers and to keep talking to your child.

Many children will seem to be reluctant to discuss school with you, but it's worth persisting - without making it seem like an interrogation. You could try, for example, taking turns to talk about your day.

As teachers expect students to take more responsibility for their education, you'll probably find that they talk to students more and parents less. There are fewer chances to interact with the school in person and if, for instance, there are problems with behaviour, the school might contact you only when matters have become quite serious.

If you have concerns about your child's behaviour it's worth going to the school and talking to the staff at an early stage. Don't wait to be asked. You might be able to prevent things becoming more serious.

If the school has a Parent Teacher Association (PTA), it will have regular meetings during the year and you might want to attend. Try to find the time to attend parents' evenings. These are opportunities to talk to your child's teachers. If you're given a report in advance, read it carefully and work out which teachers it's most important to see and what questions you want to ask. You can ask staff for advice on how you can help with any difficulties that your child might have.

Your child's school will also be inspected regularly by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) and at that time you will be asked to fill in a questionnaire giving your opinions, concerns or praise for the school. Again, this is a good opportunity to have your voice heard.

Students often forget to bring home letters and invitations from school. It's worth regularly checking the school website and keeping in touch with other parents.