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MAKING MEETINGS MATTER

You have the right to request a meeting with any of the team of professionals involved with your child/young person. There are a variety of reasons that you might want to ask for a meeting and these may include concerns about:

  • your child’s progress
  • how any special educational needs/disability your child may have are being met
  • your child being bullied
  • your child’s behaviour, how it is being managed and the impact on their education.

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It is important to take a list that you made prior to the meeting of important issues you feel need to be addressed.

Preparing for a meeting

Be clear why you want to have a meeting. Who do I need to meet with? If the issues are school related, you may want to meet with your child’s class teacher or form tutor and the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) and head teacher.

There may be other professionals involved with your child from outside of the school, such as a speech and language therapist, specialist teacher etc., who you would also like to attend.

If the issues are relating to an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC plan), your child will have a named caseworker/EHC co-ordinator you can speak to.

How do I organise a meeting?

You can:

  • request a meeting by calling the relevant people and arranging a date, time and place that convenient to all
  • request a meeting by emailing or writing a short letter that includes who you want to meet with, the issues you would like to discuss and times and dates you will be available
  • ask the school to arrange the meeting.

Getting ready for a meeting

  • If you are invited to a meeting, it may help to find out who will be at the meeting. Ask the person running the meeting what they do and what their role is. Find out what will be discussed at the meeting and how long it will last and where and when the meeting will be held
  • Before the meeting ask for an agenda and a copy of the most recent paperwork which records and monitors the support that your child is receiving within their education setting. You can have a look at the paperwork before the meeting and make notes
  • Write a list of things you want to say and questions you want to ask and to take it to the meeting. The meeting checklist (below) can be a helpful way of recording this:
  • It can also help to write down your description of your child’s abilities and celebrations as well as what difficulties you think he/ she may be having
  • Take with you any documentation that may be needed e.g. medical letters, reports
  • You may wish to take someone with you to the meeting for support (a friend, relative or supporter). Let the person organising the meeting know in advance who you will bring with you
  • Are there specific things that you want to happen as a result of the meeting? What are you willing to compromise on? List the things you want to happen in order of importance. Be realistic about what you are going to be asking for. You may need to negotiate and be flexible to different options or alternatives offered
  • Arrange childcare if necessary.

Your child/young person’s views

Children/young people should be supported in preparing for meetings to discuss and review their SEND provision. They should be enabled to express their views and contribute to discussions – in whatever means is appropriate. Actions agreed should be realistic but aim high – be driven by individualised, person-centred outcomes.

While preparing for a meeting, you could discuss some of the point below with your child:

  • What do they enjoy?
  • Do they have any worries?
  • Is there anything they would like to ask their teacher/s?
  • Is there anything they think would help them?
  • Is there anything that is not helping them?
  • What would they like to change?
  • Is there a member of staff at the school/college that works closely with your child/young person? If so, would the child/young person like them to be present for support?
  • Would your child/ young person prefer to voice their opinions through pictures, posters, drawings etc?

What should you take with you?

  • Meeting checklist
  • Note pad and pens
  • Relevant reports or letters
  • Other useful information (e.g. own research)
  • Your questions/views/ concerns if not captured within the planner

Remember:

  • You know your child best
  • Be prepared
  • Keep an open mind.

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