Dealing with your child's school

Appeal against a GCSE, AS or A level grade or the result of a qualification 

You can challenge a grade or the result of a qualification if you think there has been a mistake. You can ask your school or college to request a review from the exam board (external link)

Bullying at school 

Some forms of bullying are illegal and should be reported to the police. These include: 

  • violence or assault 
  • theft 
  • repeated harassment or intimidation, for example name calling, threats and abusive phone calls, emails or text messages 
  • hate crimes 

Call 999 if you or someone else is in immediate danger. 

By law, all state (not private) schools must have a behaviour policy in place that includes measures to prevent all forms of bullying amongst pupils. 

This policy is decided by the school. All teachers, pupils and parents must be told what it is. 

Health and safety for school children 

Schools are responsible for your child’s safety while they are at school or on a school trip. 

Contact the school if you are worried about your child’s health and safety. If you are still concerned, tell the local council or the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). 

Schools are responsible for day-to-day health and safety whenever your child is in the care of school staff - this includes school trips and clubs. 

Every school has a health and safety policy. Ask the school if you want to read it. It should contain details of what the school is responsible for (for example, school trips) as well as what they should do to look after your child. 

Schools must follow the same health and safety law for indoor temperature (external link) as other workplaces.  

School Closures 

School closures happen because of an emergency like severe weather. Check if your child’s school is closed using the postcode search (external link) on the GOV.UK’s website. 

School discipline and exclusions  

Every school has a behaviour policy, which lists the rules of conduct for pupils before and after school as well as during the school day. The policy should also say what the school does to prevent bullying. You can ask the school for a copy of the policy document. 

Schools can punish pupils if they behave badly. Examples of punishments (sometimes called sanctions) include: 

  • a telling-off 
  • a letter home 
  • removal from a class or group 
  • confiscating something inappropriate for school, for example a mobile phone or MP3 player 
  • detention 

Illness and your child's education 

Academies (unless they are only for pupils between 16 and 19 years old), maintained schools and pupil referral units should support children with medical conditions. You can ask to see the school’s policy on supporting pupils with medical conditions. 

You or a healthcare professional should tell the school if your child has medical needs. 

If your child has a disability, the school must make reasonable adjustments to make sure they are not discriminated against. 

By law, schools have to provide a space for: 

  • treatment of sick or injured pupils 
  • first aid or medical examinations 

This is usually two separate rooms, both with a sink and access to a toilet. 

If your child cannot attend because of illness or injury, your school and local council will provide support to make sure their education does not suffer. 

Complain about the school  

There are different ways to complain in England depending on whether your child: 

Schools may not consider complaints about behaviour that happens outside the school’s hours or premises – check the school’s behaviour policy.