Know the 'system'

Make sure you know how the system is supposed to work.  You can remind yourself here


Read the ‘Local Offer’ on your Local Authority website. It should offer guidelines on how SEN is dealt with in schools.  It is always a powerful argument to point out that people aren’t following their own rules.


Be aware that some people working in the field of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are not aware of the law, which can result in incorrect information being provided to parents and schools.  A group of organisations involved with providing information to parents of children with SEND have written a list called 'SEND Myths' which can be downloaded here.


Work with, not against, if possible.


Try to get teachers and local authority officers on your side if possible. It is a huge advantage to have the school supporting you, especially when applying for an EHC assessment or plan.


Remember that the person you are dealing with may be potentially on your side, but can be under pressure from their superiors.


Remember your child is only one of many children for whom the school or Local Authority has responsibilities – but they must still give your child what they are entitled to.


Be tactful – what you say on behalf of your child may seem to them to be an attack on their professional competence.


Try to be seen as a concerned parent, not a pushy parent.


For more information about working with others, see here.


(Check our advice on communicating and record keeping.)