How to get help
If you are concerned about how your child is coping, contact your child's teacher. Speak to them at a parent-teacher evening, or make a separate appointment. Your child's teacher may have identified concerns about your child's progress, and may approach you. You can also contact the school Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo.) If you feel that your concerns are not being addressed, you can arrange to see the head teacher, or the school governor with responsibility for Special Educational Needs. From these meetings, support will be developed to help your child. This support is known as 'Early Years Action/School Action', and may move on to 'Early Years Action Plus/School Action Plus'.
Additonal support in schools:
Early Years and School Action: this level of help is identified by the child's school or class teacher and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo.) The help could take the form of different teaching methods, extra help from a member of staff, or specialist equipment. The SENCo will organise a child's daily needs, and discuss individual targets with parents and carers. These targets are incorporated into an Individual Education Plan (IEP.) If a child continues to have difficulties, additional support (known as Early Years or School Action Plus) may be required.
Action Plus - This additional support consists of help from an Educational Psychologist, Early Years Special Needs Service, Paediatrician, the Vulnerable Children's Education Service, or Learning Support Service. They will support a school to help children progress, and this level of support is written into a new (IEP) Individual Education Plan. Parents and carers will be included in discussions about the child's progress, and their views will be considered in any decisions made.
If your child continues to need a lot more help, or isn't progressing, then you, or the school, can make a request to the Local Education Authority to carry out a Statutory Assessment of Special Educational Need.
Mediation and tribunals
Contact the Parent Partnership Service if you have concerns about the Statutory Assessment process, or are unhappy with the way your child's Special Educational Needs (SEN) are being supported. If you're unhappy with the decision made about your child's education, and you are unable to sort the matter out between you, you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST.) The Parent Partnership Service can continue to support you throughout this period. The free Global Mediation service can help if you unable to resolve a disagreement about your child's SEN.
Code of Practice on Special Educational Needs
Read about the government's Special Educational Needs Code of Practice, which we follow, to identify children's Special Educational Needs.