How do I advocate for my child at school?

As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else does. Your child’s teachers will want to get to know your child too.

You know and understand your child better than anyone else

When people are making decisions for and about your child, your voice and point of view, and your child’s point of view, help to make sure these decisions are in your child’s best interests.

If you think your child is at risk of harm, isn’t having his or her needs met, or is being denied their rights, you might need to advocate for them.

Note: If you need, you can get support to help you advocate for your child. You could ask a family member, friend, volunteer or professional advocate to help you.

How can I advocate?

  • Understand the issue - Make sure you have a clear understanding of the issue your child is facing including by asking them.
  • Identify the need - Thinking about your child’s needs will help you decide what would be the best outcome for your child. It is important to keep an open mind as you think about this because there might be solutions you haven’t thought about yet. Gather as much information as possible in order to make an informed decision about what to do.
  • Suggest a solution - When considering solutions, make sure you consider if there might be negative consequences for your child. For example, if you offer to volunteer at the school, will your child feel embarrassed?

If you would like to make a complaint, the best place to start is talking to the school about your concerns. Most problems can be solved by talking to the people who know the situation. More information can be found in the Making a complaint about schools - guide for parents, carers and students.

Tips to advocate for your child

  • Know your and your child’s rights. Information about rights is available on the rights and accountability page.
  • Ask questions and make suggestions
  • If you a situation is difficult, you can always ask to take a break
  • Take a list of questions or points you want to raise to any meetings. It can help to keep your own record of any meetings including date and time, who you met with and what was discussed
  • Encourage your child to advocate for themselves and speak up
  • Everyone in a discussion should be respectful
  • Get support by speaking to other parents who’ve had similar experiences or joining a support group can help you with useful information and emotional support.


  • Teaching and learning
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