Best Practice

Working with parents/carers to support a struggling child

How can and should we work with parents and carers when a child is struggling? Mental health expert Dr Pooky Knightsmith offers some tips, strategies and advice

There are many different ways in which a child may struggle at school in either an academic or a pastoral sense and the best outcomes for the child generally come from a positive home-school partnership.

In this article I will explore simple steps that we can take to help make this relationship work, especially if it has got off to a slightly cold or rocky start.


We’re all on the child’s team

Sometimes working with families can feel a little like us and them. We need to remember that we are actually all on the same team, that of the child – and that we are far stronger when we can find ways to work together. Genuinely child-centred planning (see my article in SecEd’s recent vulnerable learners supplement) helps us work together towards sustainable goals which the child and their family are more likely to be on board with.

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