Children at school
On this page you can find links to:
- What can I do if I think my child has a learning difficulty at school?
- What is the Code of Practice?
- What are the three stages set out in the Code of Practice?
You should talk to your childs teacher or Principal. The school can also put you in touch with the teacher who has a special responsibility for children with special educational needs.
All ordinary schools provide special help for children with special educational needs.
You are an active partner with your childs school. The school will tell you about your childs progress, listen to your concerns and work with you to make sure that your child gets a proper education. When your child starts school, or moves to a new school, you should let the teacher know about all the special help that has previously been provided.
Many problems can be sorted out easily, especially if they are dealt with quickly. But in some cases the school may call in outside specialists to help.
The Code of Practice is a guide for schools and Education and Library Boards (Board) about the practical help they can give to children with special educational needs. It recommends that schools should identify childrens needs and take action to meet those needs as early as possible. They should always work closely with parents. The Code gives guidance to schools but it does not tell them what they must do in every case. Teachers are skilled professionals who can judge how best to help your child.
The Code of Practice recommends that schools should deal with children's needs step - by - step, matching the help to the needs of the child. The school will decide, in consultation with you, what should be done to help your child progress. The important point is that the special help should be right for your child.
The stages set out in the Code of Practice are:
The teacher should record any concerns about your childs learning difficulty and should speak to you about them. The school will value all the information you can give. The school may ask you:
- about your childs health and development;
- how your child behaves at home;
- how you think your child is getting on at school; and
- the possible causes of your childs difficulties and anything you feel would help.
If a child is having difficulties, the school may ask the child about what help he or she would like. Children can be very worried if they are having problems at school. Your child will need your support and encouragement so that you and your child can work closely with the school.
Full discussion of your childs needs at this early stage and careful attention to any learning difficulties, will often help your child make good progress without further help. Sometimes more help and advice will be needed.
The teacher responsible for special educational needs should talk to you, and to the other teachers, and draw up an education plan. That plan will set targets to be achieved and a date for review to check progress. The school may ask you to work with your child and help at home. Your support and encouragement are vital
The school may also ask if they can talk to your doctor or the school doctor about your child.
All the work done at this stage will often help your child make good progress. Some children may need further help.
The school will probably look for some outside specialist help. They might call in an educational psychologist or a specialist teacher. Your school will be able to explain how different professionals can help your child. It may also have information about local support services.
The teacher responsible for special educational needs will consider the information collected on your childs special needs and will decide what help is needed. Your childs teachers and the outside specialist will then draw up a new education plan. The school will check how your child is doing and will record progress. you will be kept informed and invited to attend review meetings. if your child does not seem to be making as much progress as expected, the Principal will decide whether to ask the Board to make a statutory assessment.