Building positive relationships with difficult parents

  • How can we establish strong working relationships with parents and carers?
  • How do we ensure the best for our pupils, if the parents won’t listen?
  • How do we respond to parents who are hard to reach?
  • What’s the best way to engage with parents when things start to go wrong?
  • How do we support the pupil when the parent is struggling?

Escalation in the number of Difficult Conversations post Pandemic

The number of parental complaints to schools and regulatory bodies such as the DfE, Ofsted and ISI has increased significantly since Covid, this combined with increased issues with pupil attendance and behaviour has ultimately led to teachers and school leaders having to have more difficult conversations with parents.

Research has now largely confirmed these concerns, finding that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased levels of emotional and behavioural difficulties for children. Not only did the pandemic expose children to common risk factors for mental illness, including social isolation, bereavement, and economic instability, but support services were also seriously disrupted. With the closure of schools, routines were disturbed, referrals to mental health and special educational services declined, and the opportunity to form peer relationships was lost. Parents faced new challenges in supporting their children’s mental wellbeing, as well as becoming particularly at risk for experiencing mental health difficulties themselves.

This INSET will provide effective strategies to:

Booking this course will enable staff to explore issues around:

  • Best practice, in terms of parental engagement.
  • How to get the best outcomes for pupils.
  • Ways to reduce parental frustration.
  • How should we involve the child?
  • Managing unreasonable parents

Clear Approaches and Strategies to manage difficult conversations

This course is practical and interactive. Teachers will leave with a clear set of strategies and interventions to help them manage challenging conversations with parents about arrange of different issues.

This course is suitable for being delivered in a twilight session with staff after school.

Difficult Conversations INSET Outline

Participants will discuss:

  • How do we establish and maintain relationships with parents?
  • What are some of the issues that cause challenging conversations with parents?
  • Where, when, and how to manage potentially tricky conversations?
  • How much should we involve the child?
  • How to manage things when the parent is being unreasonable?

Practical applications

  • “I wouldn’t start from here” – managing parental expectations.
  • Ways to manage parental anxiety.
  • Responding to parental concerns – both reasonable and unreasonable
  • Ways to deliver uncomfortable messages to parents

What about ISI and Ofsted?

  • Are there any implications for OFSTED/ISI?


• Explore the drivers for tackling difficult situations and creating a positive professional ethos for both staff and students.
• Investigate practical leadership strategies to manage behaviour to prevent difficult situations occurring
• Gain skills in assertiveness, evidence gathering, effective questioning and target setting to tackle underachievement and complacency.
• Understand how to create win-win outcomes and success-based solutions
• Know how to evidence the effective leadership of challenging behaviours and ensure that staff and student wellbeing is at the forefront

Free CPD Consultation

If you want to learn more about this or other In-school INSET courses, then don’t hesitate to get in touch in one of the following ways:

Our enquires form

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