Young girl smiling in class Close up head shot of boy in school Girl holding hand up, with teacher at white board
.

Special Education, School Age Children

Who should I talk to if I have concerns about my child’s progress?

 

What kind of help is there?

 

Will I be involved?

 

I think my child has a problem but the school does not agree. What do I do?

 

The school thinks my child has a problem but I do not agree. What do I do?

 

Both the school and I have agreed there is a worrying problem. What happens next?

Who should I talk to if I have concerns about my child’s progress?
Your child’s teacher will want to know if you are worried about your child’s progress. You should contact the school and make an appointment to talk your child’s teacher or principal. At this meeting the school will listen to your concerns, tell you about your child’s progress and any efforts they have made to help.

 

What kind of help is there?
Depending on your child’s difficulties, a range of supports can be made available. In most instances your child’s needs can and should be met within the routine differentiation that takes place in all schools. Differentiation means using different styles of teaching that take account of the various ways in which children learn and the level each is currently at. When teachers differentiate the curriculum they present information in the most suitable way for each child. If a child is making slow progress a teacher might try one or all of the following:-

 

  • Giving work at a more basic and simple level.

  • Using ways of teaching that better suit the way a child learns, for example more active involvement.

  • Using books and worksheets that fit in better with the child’s own experiences.

  • Moving a child into a different set or into a small group.

  • Giving different support through a classroom assistant.

  • Breaking complicated information down into small steps.

 

Will I be involved?
Yes. You should be told about how your child is getting on in school right from the very start. Parents are an integral part of their child’s education and play a key role in their child’s learning. Your views, feelings and perspectives on your child’s development will be respected and contribute to educational planning for your child.

 

I think my child has a problem but the school does not agree. What do I do?
You should talk to the principal as sometimes there can be misunderstandings. It is important that you co-operate as much as you can with your child’s school in any discussion about your child’s Special Educational Needs. You may find it helpful to write down your worries before a meeting and, if you want to, you can take a friend or relative with you.

 

If you still disagree after you have talked to the principal you may want to consider in the first instance getting in touch with the Chair of the Board of Governors. If after taking this step you are still not satisfied then contact your local ELB. In the unlikely event that matters are still unresolved you may want to consider getting in touch with DARS.

 

The school thinks my child has a problem but I do not agree. What do I do?
You should talk to the principal as sometimes there can be misunderstandings. It is important that you co-operate as much as you can with your child’s school in any discussion about your child’s Special Educational Needs. You may find it helpful to ask the school to write down their worries before a meeting and, if you want to, you can take a friend or relative with you.

 

If you still disagree after you have talked to the principal you may want to consider in the first instance getting in touch with the Chair of the Board of Governors. If after taking this step you are still not satisfied then contact your local ELB. In the unlikely event that matters are still unresolved you may want to consider getting in touch with DARS.

 

Both the school and I have agreed there is a worrying problem. What happens next?
In this circumstance, the teacher responsible for Special Educational Needs should talk to you, and to other teachers, and draw up an Education Plan. That plan will set targets to be achieved and a date for a review to check progress. The school may ask you to work with your child and help at home. Your support and encouragement are vital.

 

The school may also ask if they can talk to your doctor or the school doctor about your child.

All the work done at this stage will often help your child make good progress. Some children may need further help.

 

The school may also look for some outside specialist help. They might call in an educational psychologist or a specialist teacher. Your school will be able to explain how different professionals can help your child. It may also have information about local support services.

 

The teacher responsible for special educational needs will consider the information collected on your child’s special needs and will decide what more help is needed. Your child’s teachers and the outside specialist will then draw up a new Education Plan. The school will check how your child is doing and will record progress. You will be kept informed and invited to attend review meetings. If your child does not seem to be making as much progress as expected, the principal will decide whether to ask the Board to make a Statutory Assessment.