10/12/2009 15:03 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Checklist: Is Your Child Unhappy At School?

If your child seems unhappy at school, it may simply be because they are not thriving in the environment and haven't had the chance to explore their talents and the many options available.

Look out for the tell tale signs and be aware of how to take action to support your child...What are the tell tale signs that your child is in trouble?

Change in attitude to school:
• Your child appears to dread or dislike attending school
• Your child feigns illness, sleeps in, takes longer to get ready and makes themselves late
• Your child doesn't appear to be doing any homework, and doesn't seem bothered by this
• Your child is depressed, withdrawn and socially cut-off

Change in personality:
• Your child is seeking attention and approval elsewhere, such as becoming the "class clown" or having more late nights out with friends
• Your child is distracted by other activities such as visiting social networking sites
• Your child is "acting up" and venting their frustration on family members or other people in their life

Advice for parents
Listen to your child and help them find out what they're good at and what interests them. Research the range of options available and talk to them about how they are getting on at school and find out:
• Whether they are aware of the education and careers available to them
• Which subjects interest them, and which ones they find boring, overly-difficult, or feel are not relevant
• Whether your child likes to learn practically . Whether your child feels they are getting the opportunity to learn "hands on"
• Where your child's talents, skills and interests lie, and whether the curriculum is meeting this

Get to know your child's school and his teachers:
• Meet your child's teachers and inspect the school facilities
• Discuss your child's strengths and weaknesses, talents, skills and outside interests
• Find out if the curriculum is flexible and well-rounded
• Explore whether there are different teaching styles to suit your child's interests and abilities, including both practical and theoretical
• Investigate if the schoolwork is stimulating and challenging, with applications to real life
• Check if your child's school offers work experience

Provide support, encouragement and practical help:
• Highlight the importance of their education
• Link their education to their future success, a higher sense of personal achievement, and higher earning potential in the future
• Make sure you and your child know all the options available to them
• Help your child gain work experience and key life skills
• Make your views heard

For more information on how to join the campaign to ensure children have the chance to develop their individual talents at school through different ways of learning please visit

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