What to Do if your Child is Performing Poorly at School

Like adults, children can experience ups and downs in their working lives. There are multiple outside factors which conspire to disrupt them or set them on the wrong track during their early academic lives. Whether your child is very bright, average or has additional needs, there is every reason to support them to aspire to achieve all they possibly can throughout their schooling.

Some children have enormous potential in all areas, others may have one or two strong subjects whilst some may struggle with everything and be performing poorly at school …but that does not mean there is nothing for them to take away from the school experience or that you should accept poor performance.

Identify the problem

performing poorly at school

First and foremost, you must get to the bottom of what is causing the trouble. Some of the most common for a child with no additional needs are as follows.

  • They don’t understand the work
  • They’re having trouble with time management
  • They may simply not be doing the work

The last one is the most common reason and that’s because there are multiple factors which can cause a child to simply put down their pens and give up.

  • Peer problems
  • Anxiety
  • Overtiredness
  • Lack of motivation

Seek Help

The first three issues can be fixed quite easily. Bullying or lack of friends can cause severe problems in children so it’s vital to identify why they are performing poorly at school and fix it immediately. Not all children will admit to being bullied so it’s important to speak to their teacher if you’ve recognised any of the following signs that your child is being bullied.

  • Unwilling to go to school
  • Sudden, regular stomach or headaches
  • Lost or damaged personal items


School child

Anxiety is more problematic and can take some time to work through. Cognitive therapy can help enormously with this as can speaking to your child’s teacher to come up with some easy strategies to enable the child to feel like they’re being taken seriously and supported. Sometimes, if anxiety and bullying are intertwined then a new school can be the best option. Schools which support children in all aspects of their personal and academic growth are best for a child who has experienced problems. This independent school in Barnet emphasises pastoral care as much as it focuses on academics. Schools like this can be an excellent choice in general.


Looking at the age-old problem of tiredness is much simpler than the more serious issues of anxiety and bullying. Tiredness is often a result of too much time online. Strict rules about internet usage and ensuring your child winds down for an hour before bedtime with a book will help with this.


Lack of motivation can be a trickier issue but making your expectations clear to your child will help them to understand that working is not a choice. It’s something everyone has to do in order to succeed in life.



A rewards-based system might be enough to spur your child into trying harder…especially if you remind them on a regular basis what’s at stake. Remember that the most important aspect of supporting your child when they are performing poorly at school is to remain positive and let them know that you have every faith in their abilities to shine.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.