Social media: how to prevent and respond to negative parent behaviour

Parents can sometimes be defamatory, negative or inappropriate on social media. Take these steps to prevent and deal with any incidents.

Last reviewed on 31 October 2022
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 35491
  1. Make sure parents know the right way to complain
  2. Check that your policies set behaviour standards
  3. Explain any policy changes to parents 
  4. What to do if there's been an incident
  5. Take the matter further as a last resort
  6. Examples from schools

Our governance expert, Brendan Hollyer, helped us with this article.

Make sure parents know the right way to complain

Prevention is better than cure. Parents may turn to social media if they don't know how to raise a complaint or handle an incident in the appropriate way. 

Make sure parents know about your policies and procedures on things like complaints and behaviour.

Ask your senior leaders

  • How easy are our policies to find on the school/trust website? Are paper copies available too?
  • How easy are our policies to understand for all our parents?
  • Do we regularly remind parents about key policies in our newsletters or other updates? 
  • Do we set aside any time to talk to parents about our policies?
  • Are staff clear on our complaints procedure, and able to signpost parents to take the right steps?

Proactively set expectations for parents' behaviour on social media, and be clear about how the

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.