15/11/2012

Know your rights!

If your child is having problems at school, don't fall in to the trap of being made to feel like a pushy or interfering parent.

Any professional and competent teacher will understand your concerns and listen to them, as long as you are polite, of course.

I recommend that you keep an audit trail of your contact with the school, so communicate via email or letter.

If you go in to school for a meeting, send a follow-up email or letter, stating what was agreed in the meeting.

You can speak to the school SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator) if your worries are not resolved.

Don't forget that you can escalate your concerns to the Headteacher and/or copy in the school Governors.

Each school has a Governor who is responsible for overseeing SEN issues; check the school website or ask one of the staff if you're not sure who this is.

If you live in England you have the right to apply for a Statement of Special Needs yourself, on behalf of your child. You don't have to wait for the school to do it.

Contact details for the relevant personnel will be on the website of your local county council.

You can also speak to your GP if your child has issues that would benefit from the input of speech therapists, occupational therapists, hearing and sight specialists etc.

Make sure that your child attends all their routine developmental appointments eg: hearing and sight, as sometimes issues can be picked up and rectified this way.

Behavioural issues can be referred to a Paediatrician or Psychologist.

Don't wait in the hope that the school will solve all the problems, be proactive!

Don't forget that you are your child's best advocate.

Be polite, be calm but be firm.

If you would like a copy of a sample letter to send to the school to highlight your concerns about your child's educational progress, or one to take with you to your GP which references your concerns about your child's development, please get in touch via the contact tab above, and I'll be happy to send it.

We need to ensure that our children do not fly under the radar.

They deserve to have the same chances to reach their true potential as all their peers.

Let's raise the profile of SEN and make some noise!



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