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School Communications with Non-resident Parents

(15 Posts)
AlexPalex Fri 25-Oct-13 15:08:49

Hello mums, my ex-husband was granted residence of my 8 yr old son in 2012. My communications with my son's school remained in-tact until a new head was appointed. My ex misinformed him about the background to the case and told the head to cease all school communication with me. I now know nothing about my son's progress, school news, or school events.

I read a thread about this on Mumsnet some time ago but can't find it now. Can anyone advise on what the rules are on school comms with non-resident parents or where can I find these? I have no solicitor due to financial reasons and the school is saying that they will only speak to me through a solicitor. Any help / direction would be most welcome. Many thanks everyone x

schoolnurse Fri 25-Oct-13 15:51:48

I can only talk from a medical perspective. If you are both jointly responsible for him (you do not have to be living together) then all medical practitioners doctors nurses etc will communicate with both of you and one party can't stop us from talking to the other or indeed expect us to keep them away.

MadameDefarge Fri 25-Oct-13 16:04:38

Presumably you have PR, in which case you have every right to be as informed/involved by school.

Unless there are other issues involved. It sounds like there is a complicated backstory, so I doubt we can help with so little info.

tiggytape Fri 25-Oct-13 18:02:00

It isn't about where you live. It is about whether you have parental responsibility for him.

If you do then you are entitled to copies of all communications and input into choice of schools etc and you should tell the school this in writing.

Talkinpeace Fri 25-Oct-13 21:34:00

my dad lives abroad - he was never told anything by any of my schools, i very much doubt they even had his address

tiggytape Fri 25-Oct-13 22:29:08

It is more about who has the right to be told. Schools aren't going to be tracking down non resident parents to send them school reports but if a non resident parent asks to be in the loop then that has to be respected (assuming the parent has parental responsibility for the child). The school and the other parent have no right to exclude them.

Labro Fri 25-Oct-13 23:36:05

Assuming you have parental responsibility and there is nothing in the wording of the residence order that says otherwise, then you can request school reports etc are sent to you.
It may be that the new headteacher is confusing residence and parental responsibility.
The headteacher has to act in the 'best interest' of the child not according to what the parents say.
So, if parental responsibility is held by both parents (google it to check the wording of what it actually means) and there is no order stating information is not to be given, then if the head is still refusing, you would need to contact the LEA and ask them to clarify their policy.
If it is an independent school then they can make their own decisions and you would need to contact the governing body of the school.

prh47bridge Sat 26-Oct-13 10:47:31

As the mother you have parental responsibility. The only way you can lose it is if your son is adopted. As you have pr you have the right to receive a copy of all communications from the school. If the head disputes this refer him to the DfE guidance on the subject.

ElizabethJonesMartin Sat 26-Oct-13 10:52:12

How do you know that happened? Has the school told you that is what your ex said to the new head?

uselessinformation Wed 30-Oct-13 08:13:55

You have parental responsibility unless it has been taken away from you by a court. school must provide you with the information you request. They do tend to forget though so you could send in SAEs for letters and phone up to remind at report time. You can also phone and talk to a teacher about progress.

MidniteScribbler Wed 30-Oct-13 20:01:37

We request a copy of the court order for children from split families. Then we go by exactly what is in that document. So both parents would receive copies of communications unless the court document states otherwise. School newsletters and calendars are on the website for anyone to access, we don't hand those out, it's up to parents to log on and look at them.

losingtrust Wed 30-Oct-13 21:26:31

My dd receives two reports: one for me and one for exH. They send them with my dd. my ds' school sends etg to me but exH did have access to the online portal that he lost and lives abroad so he never receives atg although I do share it. I am sure if he gave them his address they would also communicate with him.

losingtrust Wed 30-Oct-13 21:28:35

Etg at secondary is online though so you just need access to this which you should be able to get from the school.

prh47bridge Wed 30-Oct-13 23:59:35

You have parental responsibility unless it has been taken away from you by a court

The courts cannot take away a mother's parental responsibility. The only way a mother can lose PR is if the child is adopted.

Labro Thu 31-Oct-13 06:35:51

PR cannot be taken away, unless as pp says a child is put up for adoption.

A court order (access, residence, specific issue or prohibited steps) can be worded that the non resident parent should not enter school property or receive information, though this usually only happens when there has been a significant problem such as attempted abduction or abusive behaviour on school premises.

As also said by a pp, most schools now ask for copies of any court orders as its then clear what their procedure should be.

However, even with such an order, PR remains in place but effectively certain parts of it are negated by a court order.

In OP case, if no order against it exists then she should receive school information and reports, though may have to supply stamped envelopes or remind the school for a password if they use a computerised system.

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