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Resolving Concerns

How to resolve your concerns

Many problems can be solved informally by talking to the teachers at your child’s school. Before taking further action, make sure that you have shared your concerns. This section offers information and guidance on different types of concerns.

If you are concerned about the progress your child is making at school, you should first talk to the class teacher. You can do this by asking to have a chat before or after school, a phone call or an email. If your child has Special Educational Needs or Disabilities you could also talk to your Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo). You may also talk to the Headteacher.

If your concerns relate to the support your child is getting, you can ask to see the school’s policy on Special Educational Needs (SEND).

The Local Authority Parent Support Services will be able to provide you with advice and support. 

A phone call may reassure you about an issue concerning the Local Authority. If not, then put your concerns in writing.

The Parent Guide for Resolving Problems

 

1. My disagreement is about the support provided by the school

“I have a disagreement with my child’s school about support for Special Educational Needs provided by the School”

Who Can Help Me? 

Many problems can be solved informally by talking to the teachers at your child’s school. Before taking further action, make sure that you have shared your concerns.

Every early years setting and school has a teacher who has particular responsibility for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. This person is usually called the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo). As well as sharing concerns with your child’s class teacher, you should ask to talk to the SENCo.  You may also share your concerns with the Headteacher.

The setting/school may have someone whose job is specifically to support parents. They may be called a Family Worker, a Parent Support Advisor or something similar.

The setting/school will also have Parent Governors and a Governor with particular responsibility for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities who you can ask to talk to if you are not happy after sharing your concerns with teachers and the Headteacher.

What Other Help Can I Get?

You may ask for a copy of the setting/school’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities policy.

The Government has two publications which provide information for parents and carers of children and young people who may have special educational needs.  These are known as:

Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (0 to 25 Years)

SEND: guide for parents and carers

In the first instance, Our Parent Link Service  can:

  • listen and discuss your concerns,

  • help families understand their rights and how to work in partnership with others,

  • help families communicate their views in writing or face-to-face,

  • help children and young people express their views and have their voices heard,

  • help families prepare for meetings, school visits and discussions with professionals,

  • offer support and representation at meetings.

“What if I’ve tried all this and I’m still not happy?”

Each Local Authority has a Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) who provide support and advice for families of children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities. 

You can contact SENDIASS for advice on what to do next. They should provide information and guidance about what help and support can reasonably be offered by settings and schools.

You can make a complaint:

The school’s prospectus and their policy on Special Educational Needs and Disabilities should include complaints procedures for parents.  You should be able to view these on the school's website.

Your first step when making a formal complaint about issues in school should be to put your concerns in writing to the Headteacher. If you are not satisfied with the response, then write to the Chair of Governors.

 

2. My disagreement is about the specialist support provided by the Local Authority

“I have a disagreement with Local Authority about support for Additional Learning Needs”

All settings and schools are funded to support children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities. If your child has complex needs the Local Authority provide specialist resources. This may include specialist provision (i.e. a Special School or a Resource Bases). 

You can telephone the Parent Link Service to discuss your concerns. 

What Other Help Can I Get?

The Government has two publications which provide information for parents and carers of children and young people who may have special educational needs.  These are known as:

Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice (0 to 25 Years)

SEND: guide for parents and carers

In the first instance, Our Parent Link Service can:

  • listen and discuss your concerns,

  • help families understand their rights and how to work in partnership with others,

  • help families communicate their views in writing or face-to-face,

  • help children and young people express their views and have their voices heard,

  • help families prepare for meetings, school visits and discussions with professionals,

  • offer support and representation at meetings.

“What if I’ve tried all this and I’m still not happy?”

Each Local Authority has a Special Educational Needs and Disability Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) who provide support and advice for families of children and young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities. 

You can contact SENDIASS for advice on what to do next. They should provide information and guidance about what help and support can reasonably be offered by settings and schools.

 

3. My disagreement is about choice of schools

“I have a disagreement with my Local Authority about my choice of school”.

All parents have a right in law to express a preference for the school they would like their child to go to. This is not the same as having a right to choose a school. If too many children want to go to a particular school, there will be rules about who has priority for a place. You may be given your preference of school, but you may not.

Appeals concerning school allocations should be referred to your Local Authority. Our  Parent Link Service can offer helpful advice.

IPSEA is a national charity providing free legally based advice to families who have children with special educational needs. All advice is given by trained volunteers. They have a website at www.ipsea.org.uk and an Advice Line on 0800 018 4016.

 

4. My disagreement is about Disability Discrimination

“I have a disagreement with my child’s school about Disability Discrimination”.

Who Can Help Me?

Many problems can be solved informally by talking to the teachers at your child’s school.  Before taking further action, make sure that you have shared your concerns.  You can speak to our  Parent Link Service for advice and support.

IPSEA is a national charity providing free legally based advice to families who have children with special educational needs. All advice is given by trained volunteers. They have a website at www.ipsea.org.uk and an Advice Line on 0800 018 4016.

What if I’ve tried all this and I’m still not happy?

In certain circumstances, you can make a claim to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) about disability discrimination in schools. Further information and the necessary forms are available at https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/first-tier-tribunal-special-educational-needs-and-disability