Parents should not use schools or preschools for personal contact with their child
It's not appropriate for a parent to call a school or preschool to speak to their child. It's also not appropriate for a parent to visit a school or preschool to spend time with their child during school hours.
This applies regardless of whether the family is separated and regardless of whether there are Family Court orders in place.
Situations where personal contact is okay
There are some situations where parents phoning or visiting the school or preschool to contact their child is okay. Valid reasons for this include:
- passing on information in an emergency
- collecting a child for an appointment
- attending special events
- educational meetings
- assembly, sports day and similar school or preschool events
- volunteering or working at the school or preschool.
Aside from these reasons, parents are not permitted to disrupt their child’s learning.
Contact should only occur subject to any applicable Family Court orders or intervention orders.
Schools stay neutral and don’t get involved in family matters
Departmental employees maintain a neutral position and do not become involved in private family matters.
Requests to contact children will be politely declined
Sometimes parents ask to allow phone calls or visits between the parent and their child during school or preschool hours (including break times). The department expects us to politely decline the request if its purpose is for the parent to obtain contact with their child.
Schools should not be used for personal contact
Providing parents with a place to make personal contact with their child is not the school purpose. Schools and preschools have a duty of care for students and must remain child-focused at all time. This means maintaining a learning environment free from pressure or interference from private family matters. Personal contact with parents can disrupt this environment, interfere with learning, and cause distress.
Parents unhappy with this procedure can seek independent legal advice or lodge a complaint
If a parent is unhappy, they may seek independent legal advice on how to address their concerns through mediation or the Courts or lodge a complaint with the department’s Customer Feedback unit:
Phone: 1800 677 435