Children and young people have the right to be safe, healthy, and cared for both at home and in school.

It's everyone's job – parents, teachers, school support staff- to make sure children and young people are okay in school.

Pastoral care in school

Teachers care about the children and young people in their school. As a parent/carer, you can talk to staff at the school about any issue that might be affecting your child’s learning or causing them to be worried or upset at school.

If you are the parent/carer of a child at primary school and would like to talk about your child with the staff of the school, you should visit, send an email or make a phone call to the school office requesting this. Or you could send a note or a letter with your child to give to the headteacher, asking for a meeting to be arranged.

In secondary schools, there are teachers called 'Pastoral Care Teachers', or 'Guidance Teachers' whose job is to help pupils with any worries they have and to give them support and advice. You may have been introduced to your child's Pastoral Care Teacher already.

She or he will be interested to know how they are doing throughout your child's time at secondary school and will try to talk to you, as their parent/ carer, from time to time.

If you are the parent/carer of a child at secondary school and would like to talk about your child with the staff of the school, you should visit, send an email or make a phone call to the school office requesting this. Or you could send a note or a letter with your child to give to their Pastoral Care Teacher or to the Depute Headteacher, asking for a meeting to be arranged.

Religious observance

All schools in Scotland have some kind of religious observance or 'time for reflection'. How often and in what form this happens varies from school to school; it can be every week, or a few times a year. 

Parents have a right to withdraw their children from religious observance; and young people's preferences should also be respected.

Talk to your child's Headteacher or Pastoral Care/Pupil Support/ Guidance Teacher if this is something that you'd like to discuss with the school.

Behaviour and discipline

Schools in Scotland are not allowed to hit students, or punish them with any kind of violence. Physical punishment is against the law in Scottish schools.

Schools have positive behaviour policies to try and encourage good behaviour so that everyone feels safe at school and able to learn.

Schools also ensure that unacceptable behaviour, such as bullying, is dealt with and can withdraw privileges, give detention and exclude pupils whose behaviour has caused harm to others.

Bullying, racism and religious prejudice

Bullying behaviour makes children and young people feel hurt, threatened, frightened or left out. It can happen face to face and online. 

Racism involves treating someone differently and unfairly because of their race, culture or skin colour. Religious prejudice can lead to people treating others differently and unfairly because of their religion or because others think that they belong to a particular religion or faith. 

Bullying, racism and religious prejudice are never acceptable. If your child experiences these at school, you can help by listening to what they have to say about it and contacting the school about the matter too. The Headteacher, Guidance, Pastoral Care/ Pupil Support Teacher will take the matter very seriously and take action to prevent any further bullying, racist or prejudiced behaviour against your child.