THE BASIC PROBLEMS: Problems at school can show up as poor academic performance, lack of motivation for school, loss of interest in school work, or poor relationship with peers or teachers.

School difficulties range minor to serve, might be very short-lived or last for longer. Even short- term school problems can have a negative impact. Children do better and stay longer at school when their parents and families are involved. A strong relationship with your child’s school and its staff is important, even if your child isn’t struggling.


Some signs that might indicate your child is having problems at school include:

1. A drop in marks in one or more subjects.
2. A lack of engagement, connection or involvement with school.
3. Showing embarrassment or discomfort when talking about school.
4. Refusing to talk with you about school or rarely talking about school with family or friends.
5. Never or rarely doing homework or rarely talking about home work.
6. Having low confidence or lacking self-esteem – your child might say she is ‘dumb; ‘stupid’ or not as clever as her friends.
7. Being kept back at lunch time or the end of the school day.
8. Finding excuses not going school or skipping school without your knowledge.
9. Being bored with school work or not feeling challenged enough – your child might say he’s not learning anything new.
10. Having attention or behaviour problems.

Sometimes, problems at school will be easy to spot, and your child will willingly talk to you about them. But some children hide problems from their parents, teachers and peers. They might copy homework, pretend to be sick during important tests, or not bring reports home. This can make it very difficult for you to pick up on a problem. Sometimes even teachers might not spot the clue – especially if your child is a absent a lot.


If existing problems aren’t picked up and addressed early, they can have significant, long term consequences. School problems can also lead to an increased risk of dropping out. They might make children more likely to avoid school and less likely to want to go to school. Poor academic performance is connected with negative long-term consequences such as an increased risk of absenteeism, leaving school early, and being less likely to undertake further Education or Training.
Another consequences of problems at school is that children can get tagged with unhelpful labels such as ‘uninterested; ‘easily distracted’ or ‘doesn’t try hard enough’. Worst of all, young people often ‘own’ the label and begin to believe that they are ‘troublemakers’ or ‘misfits’. All these labels suggest a child is somehow to blame. But school problems are often a sign that systems and support networks around a child aren’t adequate.


1. Chronic illness.
2. Intellectual or cognitive disability.
3. Behavioural or development difficulties or disorders.
4. Mental health issue such as depression or anxiety.
5. History of abuse and neglect.
6. Poor self-concept or self-esteem.
7. Poor communication skills.
8. Poor social skills.
9. Difficulty with listening, concentrating or sitting still.


1. Being bullied
2. Disliking school subjects, not liking the choice of subjects, or not feeling challenged by the work.
3. Disliking, or not feeling connected to, the school culture or environment.
4. Poor school or academic support, especially in relation to heavy workloads.
5. Not getting alone with teachers or other students at school.
6. Skipping school because of any of the reason listed above.
7. Competing demands on time, such as extracurricular activities.


1. Parents who aren’t involved in their child’s Education.
2. A home environment that doesn’t or can’t adequately support a young person’s learning.
3. Family problems such as relationship breakdowns.
4. Competing family or social responsibilities, such as caring for family members, or working outside school hours.

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