Different schools have different ways of reviewing a child’s progress. If you do not have significant concerns, it may be something you can discuss briefly, as part of a regular parent teacher meeting; if you are happy with this, there is no problem.
What can you do if you are worried that your child may be having difficulties or has Additional learning needs (ALN)?
If you think your child may have difficulties you should talk to any of the following:
- your child’s class teacher or early years practitioner
- the school ALNCO (this is the person in the school or early years setting who has a particular responsibility for co-ordinating help for children with additional learning needs)
- the headteacher
- a SNAP Cymru advisor
You know your child better than anyone.
You hold key information and have a critical role to play in your child’s education. You have unique knowledge and experience to contribute to the shared view of your child’s needs and the best ways of supporting them.
Your child’s views are also very important
Children and young people with ALN needs have a unique knowledge of their own needs and circumstances, and have their own views about what sort of support they would like to help them to make the most of their education. They should feel confident that they will be listened to and that their views are valued.
However if you need any further help, please do not hesitate to contact us: – Telephone helpline 0808 801 0608 or www.snapcymru.org/contact
Asking for a Meeting
When asking for a meeting, it is worth thinking about who needs to be present.
Usually it would be your child’s class teacher and/or the schools ALNCo (additional learning needs coordinator).
If our child already has special educational needs(SEN) /additional learning needs (ALN) you may also want to ask if any support staff or outside professionals working with your child can be present.
Bear in mind that the more people you ask for at a meeting, the longer it can take to get a date , so consider whether some people could be consulted in different ways
You can verbally request a meeting; however, it is usually better to send a letter or email to school, addressed to the ALNCo.
Dear (name of ALNCo or Teacher)
I am concerned about (child’s name, date of birth and school year) as (he/she) (does not appear to be making progress at school/is struggling with …..)
Therefore, I would like a meeting to discuss this and to review (his/her) progress.
I would particularly like to discuss the following : ( examples include. The levels he/she is currently working at. Is he/she at the expected level for their age?
What additional help is he/she receiving in school?
Is there any further help that can be given?
Do you think my child has Additional Learning Needs?)
I look forward to hearing from you regarding a date and time for this meeting. You can contact me on (contact telephone numbers)
How to prepare?
- Make a note of the problems or questions you have
- What is happening or not happening that makes you unhappy?
- Think about what would make it better
- Think about what you want the school to know
- If you are worried your child’s needs are not being met, have a few specific examples ready. List each issue separately and write down examples that have happened
- Ask your child what they want shared. Write down how your child feels emotionally & socially
- List what you want to happen
- think about if what you are asking for from the school is reasonable?
- think about other options that might work and where you are willing to compromise
- Be ready to share all this information with the school, they will have their opinions too, but remember you are an expert in your child
Attending meetings about your child’s education can be a very positive experience but it can also be upsetting or frustrating. Remember that the law says you should be involved in decisions about your child’s education and support and have your views heard. You need to have up to date information about how your child is progressing in school.
At the Meeting
- Ask people to introduce themselves and explain their roles
- Ask for anything you don’t understand to be explained
- Ask for notes to be taken – or make your own
- If you’re not sure what has been agreed, ask them to clarify this for you
- Share what your child is telling you at home.
- Make suggestions about what might help.
- Ask why they think our child is struggling?
- Ask what help do they think your child needs to help them to progress?
- Ask for a copy of your child’s most recent plan if they have one.
- You may want to note down what is agreed at the meeting. It will act as a useful reminder for you to check later
“Are there other alternatives we could consider, as I have some concerns that my child will not cope with that level of support?”
“Can we talk about what is working well as my child is much happier this term?”
“Can I share what my child has said about feeling isolated at lunchtime?”
“Does my child have Additional Learning Needs?”
“What does universal provision mean?”
“Can I check I’ve understood what you said about extra support?”
“Could you explain how support will be managed on a day-to-day basis, what will that look like?”
“How will we review my child’s support to see if it works?”
“What’s the best way to contact the school if I have any issues?”
Remember, your concerns may not just be around their schoolwork, you may also want to discuss changes in behaviour, health issues or increased anxiety.