5 Signs Your Child Might Need to Change Schools

Are you satisfied with the schooling your child currently receives? A 2012 Gallup poll asked parents of public school students to rate the quality of the U.S. public education system as a whole. Only five percent of parents polled said public schools offer “excellent” education for children. Most parents rated traditional public schools as “only fair.”

When a school isn’t a good fit, children often give indications of that with their attitude and performance. If your child exhibits any of the following signs, it may be time to look into whether another school could be a better fit.

Your Child Isn’t Challenged Enough

Does your child constantly complain of boredom, get assigned busy work every day, or get into trouble for moving around or talking during class? If so, he may be too advanced for his current class work. Gifted children often get in trouble for behavior issues because they complete lessons well ahead of their peers and are left with nothing to do. If your child consistently finishes assignments before classmates, her current school may not be challenging her enough, and she may benefit from a change in schools.

Your Child’s Needs Are Not Addressed

Different schools address different learning styles, learning disabilities, and special needs. Not all schools are equipped to help all types of learners. If your child is lagging behind because his needs are not being met, it’s a clear sign that your child will benefit from a school change.

Your Child Refuses to Go to School

If your child continually complains that she hates school, refuses to go to school, or fakes illness, it may be a sign that her school is not a good fit. Conflict with other students or teachers, boredom, or other challenges can lead a child to dislike school. There may be ways to address the issue with the child’s current school, but it also could indicate that it’s time to try something different.

Your Child Is in Danger

Bullying in schools is a widespread problem. If your child’s current school is not taking bullying seriously, it might be time to move on. Excessive bullying in school—and even cyberbullying by classmates outside of school—can have severe physical and emotional consequences. If teachers and administrators aren’t resolving the problem, the best approach could be to remove your child and find another school.

Your Family Circumstances Change

What works for a family at one point in life may not work at another. A new military assignment, job changes, new siblings, and other lifestyle changes can affect whether a school will meet a family’s needs. For example, if your child currently attends private school, job loss could necessitate a change in schools. And even if a school change must occur mid-year, there are ways to ensure your child’s transition to a new school goes smoothly.


Children today have more school options than ever before, and education can be customizable for a wide range of circumstances. If you find that your child’s current school is no longer the right fit, finding a new school or pursuing alternative forms of education, such as online learning, may be the answer.

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