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Parent involvement

The Code of Practice on Special Educational Needs (SEN) emphasises the need to include parents, and if appropriate, the child, in discussions about provision.  This is reinforced in the Bercow Report (2008) and The Rose Report (2009). The increased availability of local Parents Partnership Officers, whose role is to advise parents on their entitlement, is developed by the Code and current good practice.

Schools are free to choose the best means of providing for the needs of children within the guidance of the Code and a graduated approach is advocated to match the changing needs of the child. A child who stammers may not necessarily be put on ' School Action', even though support is being provided as this can be given through the differentiation strategies of Wave 1 and 2 teaching, as was the case with Matthew in Year 5. 

Now in Year 6 it appears that he is becoming more anxious about his speech and his learning may consequently be affected just at the time he is preparing to transfer to secondary school. The flexibility of the SEN guidance allows a response to changing circumstances so that the extra support may only be temporary to meet a need at a particular time. The school has now referred Matthew to a therapist and wants to place him on  'School Action Plus' so that he may receive more support by a designated review of targets set, through the IEP, and ongoing contact with the parents and the speech and language therapist.

In the video clip the SENCO is talking with the parent and the therapist about this.  Many parents like Matthew's mother do worry about their child being labelled once more the formal educational processes are used and the leaflet from the local Parents' Partnership service has obviously reassured her.  A parent's concerns always need to be recognised, and practice in the school maintained to address it.

Summary

  • Parents should be included in all discussions about their child, and their concerns recognised.
  • A parent of a child who stammers may also stammer and staff need to be sensitive to that possibility.
  • A child may move in and out of ' 'School Action'' according to identified need at the time.