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Academic Records when Child is in another Country

Filed under: Gender Politics,General,Law & Courts — Had_Enough @ 5:35 pm Mon 9th May 2016


My daughter is currently living in Canada with her mother and has dual Canadian/New Zealand citizenship. She’s under 18 and is still at school. I am concerned about her welfare and one of the few ways I have of keeping tabs on her is to try and build a relationship with her school. Last year I was given (by email) some of her academic records by her teacher but the school seems very reluctant to give me any more academic records or any information about my daughter other than confirming that she’s still attending the school.

I could involve lawyers (would rather poke out my eyeballs with skewers) but I was wondering if anyone out there knows anything about international conventions regarding schools providing non-custodial legal guardians with their children’s school records. I know if she was still living in NZ this would be mandatory but the school seems very reluctant to supply me with the records and I am currently trying to get the principal to offer me an explanation although this isn’t forthcoming yet.

Funny how it’s OK for me to pay a king’s ransom in Child Support each month but I am not allowed to see my child’s school records. There is absolutely no history of abuse on my part (verbal, physical or anything) although the mother is a compulsive liar so could have told them anything. Please help!! Thanks guys


  1. Hi Had_Enough,

    Similar situation with ex-Japanese wife unfortunately.

    As she attempted to block all information about our children and their education I was forced to fill an application for the release of that information.

    Give it a try!

    Comment by sharingiscaring — Mon 9th May 2016 @ 7:31 pm

  2. Thanks sharingiscaring but I’m not sure if there’s any international conventions that oblige Canadian schools to give me the records. They talk about the “Global Village” but it seems to me that there is no legislation that I could use to help me get the records. I could be wrong though but I can’t find anything on Google

    Comment by Had_Enough — Mon 9th May 2016 @ 7:39 pm

  3. Hi Had_Enough,

    Im sure Canada probably has the same nonesense privacy laws that N Z has in regards to what information schools have to pass onto the non custodial parent.
    For example here you are entitled to school reports and should be informed if some issues effecting their performance or the way they are interacting with teachers or other students. They would have to be serious issues.
    Other than that you are not intitled to any further information and the schools are not obliged to. Once your child is a bit older Im not sure exactly but around 12 years old the child can ask the school to prevent you having any information including school reports.
    All these rules are irrelevant of course unless you are involved with an acrimonious ex. Sounds like you are.
    I have experienced the same issue here in N Z with my vindictive ex using the childrens schools for more controling humiliating
    Asked for reports. Promised them. Didnt arrive. Asked again and told they cant give me the last two years because they dont have them on file. New principles. Asked for them and once again didnt get them. Followed it up and on and on it goes.
    The latest saga involved me asking to know what sports my chidren are playing via email and just getting completely ignored.
    Once they listen to her lies the schools just turn into another brick in the frustrating wall of beurocracy. Im considering my options on complaining but Im assuming the board of trustees or education dept will prob circke the wagons and give me the same humiliating run around.

    Comment by Jono — Mon 9th May 2016 @ 8:47 pm

  4. Dear Had-Enough, in NZ people have a right to access a copy of information that the Government holds about them and have a right to correct or have noted that they object to the information or challenge its accuracy. When children are minors, “them” gives the parents of that minor access rights to information about the minor. (Of course there are many exceptions, that you should be aware of. eg abortion counselling, mental health…)

    The NZ Act allows applications to be made by an individual. This disallows applications by a corporation or company or trust. However, a foreign citizen may make a request under NZ law, to a NZ Government Department.

    Under the Canadian Privacy Act, a foreign citizen is not given a right to apply for information. (I haven’t checked whether parents have access rights under Education legislation?) Thus, it would appear that the school principle is under no legal duty to supply a non-citizen parent information about their child.

    If you can gain their confidence and they believe it is in your child’s interests, then they might agree to supply some or all information. It appear that that has already happened. However, if the mother is opposing release, then I am guessing that you are in a difficult situation.

    I can only suggest that you stay patiently in touch with the school principal, even if he isn’t supplying information. Just say, I am available if needed and leave it at that. If he is concerned for your daughter’s welfare, he can then make contact at any time in the future.

    It also has the advantage that if your daughter ever says to the principal, my father isn’t interested for me, the principal is in a position to say that you have stayed in contact, despite the barriers placed in your path by the mother. (Of course, before any dealings with the principal, put yourself in his shoes… or get help to do this.)

    Best regards,

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Mon 9th May 2016 @ 8:54 pm

  5. Hi Murray and Jono, I had some further correspondence from the school this morning and the principal is going to speak with her legal advisers before releasing any info on my daughter. They asked for NZ FC Parenting orders which I emailed them even though these are null and void in Canada. I think they were trying to make sure that I am actually a legal guardian of my daughter and the Parenting Orders imply that, and I also forwarded them an old email from my lawyer stating that I am a legal guardian according to NZ law. Anyway, I guess I will have to wait and see what happens although the fact that the school needs to speak to a lawyer is ringing alarm bells. She could have told them anything but I am hoping that they are able to see through her bullshit.

    Comment by Had_Enough — Tue 10th May 2016 @ 12:37 pm

  6. Dear Had_Enough, the children’s birth certificates and maybe marriage certificate and divorce certificate for good measures, establish the original parent-child relationship. So, provide them with copies. (Especially if the mother has claimed that you are not the father at all….)

    There are two things going on, one is legal and the other is simply taking the best care of a child. Teachers and schools are meant to stay within the law (which they are better at than caught$), but their hearts are mainly in trying to give the children the best opportunity.

    From the legal side, there is rights. But schools are more considering of “how much hassle might this parent give me?”. If you come across as I demand my rights and I will fight you every step of the way, then they will be very cautious about supplying you with anything, physical information or even just talking with you on the phone.

    If you come across as patient and trying to work with them, when enough time has passed for them to see this is what you are like, they are more likely to open up. Also, if there is a crisis which maybe the mother might not be able to handle, they are more likely to let you know. Surely, this is what matters most?

    Softly, softly, catchee monkey…….

    Best wishes,

    Comment by MurrayBacon — Wed 11th May 2016 @ 9:10 am

  7. Hi Murray,, you are correct about the softly softly approach. I think this may have worked because I appear to be getting some traction. I seem to have met their criteria for legal guardian and have been told that the records will be made available to me shortly 🙂 Looks like they took any defamatory comments she may have made about me with a large grain of salt thank god. I have some inside knowledge on how schools deal with separated parents and I have to admit that their processes are much more rational than the FC or IRD. They generally assume that both parents have rights to their children’s records and tend to ignore sour grapes comments from parents who are out to disadvantage each other. We shall see..

    Comment by Had_Enough — Wed 11th May 2016 @ 7:17 pm

  8. Well done!

    Comment by sharingiscaring — Thu 12th May 2016 @ 12:56 am

  9. HI I have a question and some advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Does anyone know if you can be liable for Child Support based on more than what your previous (higher income) of 5 years ago was? Which is the income the review officer keeps on referring to under ground 8, 5 times now the review officer nailed me on a historical salary. Given that they never go above that amount, I suspect they can’t. Any knowledge out there on this? Much appreciated

    Comment by Mr Done — Thu 12th May 2016 @ 6:31 pm

  10. Review officers have a very very broad level of discretion guided by Court precedent but they are rather rare.

    Comment by Allan Harvey — Thu 12th May 2016 @ 6:47 pm

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