Having Successful Meetings
You have the right to request a meeting with any of the team of professionals involved with your child or 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's Individual Support Plan (ISP)
- Your child’s barriers to school attendance, how this is being supported and the impact on their education
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 you need to meet with. If the issues are school related, you may want to meet with your child’s class teacher or form tutor, the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) or Head Teacher.
There may be other professionals involved with your child from outside of the school, such as a speech and language therapist, school nurse, social worker, specialist tutor 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 EHC Co-ordinator who you can also speak to or invite from the Local Authority.
How do I Organise a Meeting?
- Request a meeting by calling the relevant people and agreeing a date, time and place that is convenient to everyone.
- 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 a 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. If you are unsure, you can ask the person running the meeting what they do and what their role is. Find out what will be discussed at the meeting, how long it will last and where and when the meeting will be held.
Before the meeting ask what will be discussed and if there is an agenda you can be given. Ask for a copy of the most recent paperwork which records and monitors the support that your child is receiving within their education setting. For example an Individual Support Plan (ISP) if they have one. You can read 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.
It can also help to write down your description of your child’s abilities and celebrations as well as what difficulties you think he or she may be having.
Take with you any documentation that may be needed to refer to e.g. medical letters or 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.
If a SENDIASS Officer attends a meeting, please be aware that we aim to empower you to feel confident to say the things that you want to say and feel listened to. We are not an advocacy service and as an impartial service, we do not favour either side or have influence over the outcome of any meeting.
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.
Your Child or Young Person's Views
Children and 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 and be driven by individualised, person-centred outcomes.
While preparing for a meeting, you could discuss some of the points below with your child:
- What do they enjoy?
- Do they have any worries?
- Is there anything they would like to ask their teachers?
- 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 or college that works closely with your child or young person? If so, would the child or young person like them to be present for support?
- Would your child or young person prefer to voice their opinions through pictures, posters, drawings etc?
What Should You Take With You?
- Your pre meeting notes
- Note pad and pens
- Relevant reports or letters to share or refer to
- Other useful information (e.g. your own research)
- Your questions, views or concerns if not captured within your notes
- You know your child best
- Be prepared
- Keep an open mind