Building relationships with parents
- Engaging parents with EAL: strategies Use our practical strategies to engage effectively with parents who have English as an additional language (EAL). Help them become a part of the school community and provide support for them and their children.
- EYFS: home visits Find advice around conducting home visits in the EYFS, as well as examples of policies from other schools.
- Get your community on board with your approach to anti-racism Not all school communities will be eager to talk about racism and racial justice. Find out how you can encourage resistant members of your community to engage with any anti-racism work you’re doing.
- Headteacher's welcome presentation to parents Whether you're a new headteacher or an existing head welcoming new parents, download our template to help you structure your thoughts and make sure you cover everything you need to.
- How to get your school community on board with your policies Get tips on bridging the gap between your school and your community, so you can get buy-in from everyone involved and gain advocates for your policies.
- Parental engagement: guidance and examples Take a look at practical strategies to engage parents with their child's learning and your school community, including examples from different schools and a trust.
- Relationships and sex education (RSE): consultation toolkit If you're updating your RSE curriculum or policy and need to carry out consultations with parents, pupils or staff, use our tips and resources to help you get it done.
- RSE: handling objections from parents Your school's RSE requirements are a sensitive subject, so you might have to field objections from parents. Learn about the most common ones and how to handle them.
Information and guidance for parents
- How to review your school uniform policy Follow these steps to make sure your uniform policy is in line with the DfE's statutory guidance on uniform costs. Use our cost ready-reckoner, policy audit and consultation guidance to help you develop a policy that works for your school and provides value for money.
- School uniform Use our resources to help you comply with the new statutory guidance on school uniform and make sure you're securing best value for money for parents.
- Statutory guidance on the cost of school uniform Be clear what the DfE's statutory guidance on the cost of school uniform means for your school and what you need to do to comply.
Letters to parents
- Absence, attendance and punctuality: template letters to parents Use our template letters to help you address attendance issues such as unauthorised absence and poor punctuality. See examples of letters from primary and secondary schools, and find out how to adapt your letters for pupils with special educational needs (SEN).
- Allergy awareness: involving your community Get everyone on board with your approach to keeping pupils with allergies safe in school. Find letters, a factsheet and resources aimed at building support and cooperation among pupils, parents and staff.
- Behaviour incidents: letters to parents Use our template letters to communicate behaviour incidents with parents. See examples of letters from schools, and find out how to adapt your letters for pupils with SEN.
- Dealing with abusive or aggressive parents: guidance and letters You can ban a parent or a visitor from your school premises for abusive or aggressive behaviour. Find out the process, see examples of letters to send to parents and steps you can take to reduce this behaviour.
- Headteacher leaving letters: examples Telling parents that you're leaving your school is an important message to get right. Use the advice from our expert and examples from schools to help you write your letter to parents.
- Leaving staff members: letter to parents Download our template letter to inform parents about staffing changes in your school and get advice on managing the transition for pupils with SEND.
- New headteachers' letters to parents Use our template to write a letter to parents as a new headteacher, and read advice on what your letter could cover.
- Newsletters: template and what to include Use our template to create your own newsletter. Also, find tips on what it should include, and how best to write and distribute it.
- Online safety: involving parents and carers Help parents keep their children safe online by engaging them in discussions about online safety. Download and share factsheets about online safety concerns, see examples of letters to parents, and read our tips on working with parents with EAL.
- Parent factsheet: cost-of-living support As the cost-of-living crisis continues to squeeze families' wallets, share our factsheet with parents and carers to let them know what practical and financial support is available to them.
- Parent governor/trustee elections: documents Check if you're responsible for organising parent governor/trustee elections, and use our template documents to save you time and make sure the process runs smoothly. Download our template letters to parents, ballot paper and candidate form.
- Phonics screening check: information for parents Use our phonics screening check factsheet to explain the process to parents, including when they'll receive results and how they can help their child prepare at home. See examples of how schools display this information online.
- Pupil premium and FSM registration: template letter to parents Boost your pupil premium funding with our template letter that encourages parents to register their children for free school meals (FSM).
- Residential trips: examples of letters to parents Read examples of letters to parents about residential trips from primary and secondary schools and a MAT.
- Security lockdown procedures: informing parents and pupils Follow our guidance when discussing emergency lockdown procedures with your pupils. Download our template letter to parents and see examples of letters from primary and secondary schools.
- Strikes: communicating with parents, staff and stakeholders Find out who you have to inform about industrial action and school closures, and use our template letters to tell parents what your school's arrangements are. Also, get guidance on talking to striking and non-striking staff.
- Thanking staff at the end of term: template letters to parents Use our template letters to reassure parents and pupils that they don't need to buy gifts for staff to show their appreciation. Encourage homemade cards and kind words instead, and request those who still want to give something to donate to charity.
- Uniform policy change: letter to parents Use our template letter to communicate changes to your uniform policy so parents understand how you're securing best value for money and know when the changes will come into force.
Parental consent and responsibility
- Educational visits: do we need parental consent? Find out which trips require parental consent and who can give this consent, along with advice on separated parents and parents who withhold permission.
- Multi-purpose parental consent forms Use our multi-purpose parental consent form covering consent for on-site activities, administering non-prescription medicines, emergency release and communication preferences. Find links to DfE parental consent forms that you can use for off-site activities and prescription medicines, and see examples of consent forms used by other schools.
PTAs and events for families
- Organising a school event: what to consider Be confident you've got everything covered so your event runs smoothly. Get up to speed with how to keep on top of health and safety, what you can charge for, any insurance or licences needed, and data protection issues around photos and videos.
- Parent forum: guidance and templates Get advice on how to run a parent forum. Understand how you can use them to engage with your wider school community and how to get parents involved. Find everything you need to get set up, including a model terms of reference and a template agenda.
- Parents on school trips: guidance and templates Get tips on how best to support parent volunteers on school trips. Download our template letter to recruit volunteers, as well as a pack of resources to help make sure parents feel fully confident on the trip.
- Parent teacher association (PTA): guidance Learn about how to set up a PTA, register it as a charity and see examples of PTA constitutions from primary and secondary schools.
Pupil reports and parents' evenings
- 5 tips to reduce your pupil report workload See examples of time-saving report-writing strategies from other schools, with advice on how to streamline and improve your reporting processes to parents and carers.
- EYFS: how to report to parents All early years providers must report to parents at age 2 and at the end of the EYFS. Find out what you need to include in these reports and use our templates - based on the 2021 EYFS framework - to help you write them.
- Free your teachers from report-writing frenzy: a case study Hazelbury Primary School has replaced traditional end-of-year reports with pupil-authored learning journals. Teachers have better work-life balance, the headteacher saves over 400 hours a year and parents get all the information they need. Here's how you could achieve this too.
- Parent consultation evenings: requirements You need to provide at least 1 opportunity per year for parents to discuss pupil progress with a teacher. Get guidance on how you might do this.
- Pupil reports to parents: checklist and templates Use our checklist to make sure your annual reports to parents meet statutory requirements, and see what extra information you need to include at the end of Key Stage (KS) 1 and KS2. Download our templates and adapt them to suit your needs.
- Supporting teachers at parents' evening Reduce the stress around parents’ evenings with expert advice on planning and running the event. Download and share our top tips on effective parent/teacher conversations and a talking points template to help staff scaffold effective discussions.
Resolving issues with parents
- 5 tips for effective parent communication Use these tips to help improve communication with parents in your school.
- Aggressive parents: zero tolerance posters Find out what to include on posters to remind visitors and parents that aggressive behaviour will not be tolerated. See examples from schools.
- Handling persistent or aggressive complaints from parents Read about best practice for dealing with persistent or aggressive complaints from parents. Find out how to use your complaints procedure to close a complaint and stop responding.
- Handling requests to withdraw pupils on religious grounds If parents wish to withdraw their child from a subject due to their faith, read our article for help with finding a compromise.
- How to manage complaints: checklist and guidance Be clear how to investigate complaints about your school in a thorough and timely manner. Download our checklist to help you carry out a formal investigation, and know what to include in your complaints procedure and when to seek external support.
- Parents' complaints about other families: how to respond Get expert advice to help you respond with confidence to complaints from parents about other pupils and parents.
- Recording conversations with staff Data protection legislation doesn't apply to parents and pupils recording meetings or conversations for their own personal use. Find out how you can respond to any recordings made of your staff.
- Separated parents: rights and responsibilities All parents have a right to participate in decisions about their child's education. Understand what your school has a responsibility to do, and how to avoid common conflicts.
- Social media: how to deal with negative comments or behaviour by parents Use our internet acceptable use agreement to help prevent inappropriate social media use by parents and to make your school's expectations clear. Get tips on how to deal with incidents and problems online, and download our template letters to parents.