Parental Alienation, Safeguarding, Schools and Local Authorities

When two parents are at war (or in High Conflict…) the only safe ground for the children is often their school or children’s services. Likewise, for any alienated parent, the school and children’s services can offer a way to bridge the gap as they’re on the front line and can facilitate contact, keep the parent updated on news and events, and provide emotional and safeguarding support to the child.

That said, a number of our researchers have highlighted that a common thread in many of the Parental Alienation groups and emotional harm groups is that schools and local safeguarding boards are not recognising either Parental Alienation or emotional harm, and that large numbers of parents are concerned that these schools and local authorities are not trained to recognise what’s going on in front of them.


The Background

In 2016 Derek Thomas Conservative, St Ives asked the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department issued guidance to schools on how to identify and manage incidences of parental alienation.

Edward Timpson Minister of State (Department for Education) responded to say:



One thought on “Parental Alienation, Safeguarding, Schools and Local Authorities

  1. I think this is a good observation about schools and highlights how far we have to travel.

    Standing back a minute and looking at simpler problems than PA…I would ask how well schools are set up, trained and resourced to support kids of separated families even in “low conflict” cases

    How many schools have the school counsellor resource they need? (directly or through a charity like Place to Be)?

    How many school counsellors have training in support thru divorce and separation and what common issues are and how to help kids with them?

    I don’t know the answers. But I could have a guess what they are!

    Much more work is needed I believe – both broad in separation issues and deep in complex cases like PA.


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