Stuck in the middle: teachers, schools and family law issues

B2B Editor8 July 2016

Stuck in the middle: teachers, schools and family law issues

Which school should a child attend? Who can collect a child from school? Who can attend school functions? Who has a right to information about a child’s progress and attendance? These are just some of the issues schools and teachers often find themselves in the middle of when parents are involved in a family law dispute. It is not the role of schools to make these decisions, nor is it their place to mediate or adjudicate amongst warring parents. There are certain things parents involved in family law issues can do to help prevent educators from being “stuck in the middle.”

1. Make sure the school has a current copy of any Court Orders, including Domestic Violence Orders that might be applicable. It is not the job of the school to enforce the Orders, but it is useful for staff to have some context if concerns raised by another parent, or to provide a starting point if an issue arises.

2. If there are going to be changes to the regular arrangements for your child, let the school know. This includes if a different parent or family member will be collecting
a child from school.

3. Keep the school informed of important developments. If you are concerned for your child’s safety, or your own, tell the school.

4. Understand that unless there are contrary Orders in place, both parents have a right to attend school functions and to receive school information. If this is problematic, your lawyers, or the Court, are the appropriate people to deal with this.

Teachers and school administrators are there to provide a safe, enriching space for children to develop and learn. School staff are required to follow protocols set down by their governing bodies. Parents need to understand and respect this, and be proactive in engaging with their children’s school if they have questions or concerns. If you’re unsure as a parent what your right and obligations are, contact DDCS Lawyers to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced lawyers.

Sage Leslie is a lawyer of the firm.
18 Kendall Lane,
New Acton, Canberra
phone (02) 6212 7600
E: [email protected]