WACSSO calls for a sensible approach to addressing inappropriate parent behaviour

31 August 2022

WACCSO President Pania Turner has called out the sensationalist language used in recent reporton inappropriate parent behaviour in schools. “Labels such as pushy parents, childish parents, problem parents invading schools, and class warfare are unhelpful and prevent sensible discussion about the important topic of inappropriate and unacceptable behavioudisplayed by some parents,” she said.

The President’s comment follows headlines in the West Australian Newspaper at the end of August, which labelled parents as childish. The articlereferred to the WA Primary Principals Association submission to the Minister for Education regarding teacher retention. The submission raised a number of issues impacting teacher retention and recruitment, including the inappropriate and aggressive behaviour of some parents.

WACSSO supports the Minister’s perspective of encouraging positive parent behaviour and recognises the work of the Department’s parent liaison office. WACSSO will work with all education leaders to take a stand against violence or aggression toward school staff.

“Parents have a right to put forward their concerns and make a complaint when experiencing an issue with their child’s education, “added MsTurner. “Helping parents understand the guidelines and processes available to them when they feel their complaint is not being addressed is essential. The circumstances of making a complaint are often emotional, both for the parent and the student and also for the school. No matter how upset a parent may be, however, aggression in any form is not acceptable.

Regarding the core focus of the submission -teacher supply shortage, WACSSO looks forward to engaging with the Departmentandall education stakeholders to address the national challenge of teacher supply and to ensure that WA schools are places of safety and wellbeing for staff, students and families.