Parents and schools are involved together in educating children. The recent Every Parent Matters document recognised the importance of parental involvement in their child’s education and linked it to higher attainment.
You know your child better than anyone. Any information you can share with school will be useful to them and help them support your child. The teacher sees your child in a different setting and has teaching knowledge and experience that can be shared with you.
A lot of learning goes on outside school and everyday things can help your child learn. It could be reading a book at bedtime, talking to your child about their day, using routine experiences to allow them to put what they have learned into practice, e.g letting them count the change after shopping, asking them to read signs or looking at a bus or train timetable.
Be informed and involved
- Read leaflets and booklets about special educational needs and about government policy. A lot of these policy documents are available at the Department for Children, Schools and Families website www.dcsf.gov.uk
- There is also a section of useful contacts which contains the names of organisations where information will be available.
- Join a parents group. Parent Partnership Service holds information on local parent support groups.
- Contact a voluntary or community organisation
- Ask for an interpreter if you need one
Keep in touch with school
- Visit school regularly, to share information about how your child is getting on
- Speak regularly with your child’s class teacher and SENCO
- Always contact school if you have any worries or questions
- Offer to help in school, if you can
- Join the Parent Teacher Association
- Put yourself forward for election to the Board of Governors
- Ask to see the schools SEN policy and Accessibility Policy
- Know the arrangements for teaching your child and for giving help recommended by the Code of Practice
- Contribute to the planning of your child’s learning. As a parent, you should be invited to meetings to review your child’s progress and plan the next steps. Make sure you attend these meetings. Parent Partnership Service may be able to support you if you don’t feel confident speaking up or have something you find difficult to say.
- Ask for an interpreter at meetings or for translation of reports, if it would help.
Schools are changing a lot and school buildings are now being used for a lot more than teaching 9.00-3.30pm.
Many schools now offer breakfast clubs and after school clubs, offering a wide variety of activities for your child outside school hours. They could include things like music, drama, sports or help with homework. All out of school activities should be accessible to children with SEN and out of school providers should not refuse to admit a child simply because they have a special educational need.
There are also things that you as a parent can access at your local school. It might be help with mathematics or English or learning a new language. Or you could go on a course that will support you in developing your parenting skills. Don’t be put off if you didn’t enjoy school much as a child, things may have changed a lot since you were at school.
For more information, go to www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/nottscyppartnership or look on your local school website or noticeboard and see what they are offering.