Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Parents and school

Hi Sam,

My parents have divorced and I live with my mum, I don't see my dad at all as he doesn't want to see me anymore. In school I know that information goes out to both my parents, and I know my dad gets lots of information about my school progress. However, I don't want any information to be sent out to him from school about where I live and everything about how I'm doing in school as I don't think he has the right because he never sees me. When my brother turned 16, he asked his school to not send any information to our dad about him, and they agreed not to.
I'm 16 now, and I was wondering whether I have the same right, because me and my brother go to different schools, so maybe we have different school policies.
GCSEs are coming up and I really don't want my dad to know anything about them as I don't think he has the right to.

Thank you!

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Your rights when it comes to your personal information being shared can be complicated and it depends on how your parents are separated. The best thing to do when you’re unsure about this is to ask your school to find out for sure.

Some schools have a ‘policy for separated and divorced parents’. This tells everyone what they have to do to make sure that your best interests are looked after when your parents divorce or separate. Usually the policy asks families to let them know if there are any changes so they know how best to support you. If they haven’t heard from you, they’ll probably continue to send letters to both parents, so the first thing to do may be to check out what they know so far.

If you find out they're still sending information to your dad, you could talk to a teacher you trust about your schools policy. Let the teacher know how you feel about dad having the reports and why you feel he should not have them.

You can explain that he no longer receives reports about your brother from a different school. You can also request that no information about where you are living is passed to your dad. If you feel like you need some help to talk to a teacher you may want to ask mum, your brother or a friend to be there with you.

Hopefully the school will be able to stop sending the progress reports to your dad. If they can’t, it will be natural to feel disappointed and angry. The school should be able to explain why and offer you support with the decision. 

If you’re not happy with their decision, you could take it to the school’s board of governors. You can also get lots of advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or the Children’s Legal Centre.

Remember you can always talk to a counsellor for further support.

Take care

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