These are our top suggestions to help meetings go well and some ideas for questions you could ask. We also have more information about;
- getting the most out of meetings
- your role and your child’s part in meetings
- tips for virtual SEND meetings
- different types of meetings
- day to day working with the people who support your child
Top ten tips
- Prepare well – Know what the meeting is about, think about what you want to get from the meeting, and read any reports or paperwork beforehand.
- Have a list of questions written down or the DiAS meeting form to hand so you can check it during the meeting.
- Be on time. It helps to arrive five minutes early so you can sign in and get to the meeting room. If you are going to be late, phone before the meeting to let them know.
- Find out how long the meeting will be and allow enough time so you don’t have to cut it short to be somewhere else!
- Have a pen and note pad so that you can make some notes.
- Make sure you’re comfortable – have a drink with you and go to the toilet beforehand if it’s likely to be a long meeting!
- Get some support if it will help you feel more comfortable and confident – ask a friend or family member to be with you at the meeting.
- If you don’t understand something or need more information, ask. You have every right to be involved in the decisions made about your child – to do that you need the right information, given in a clear and straightforward way.
- Be respectful of other people’s point of view. You don’t always have to agree but try and be constructive and look for solutions rather than problems.
- Remember that you’re an expert too and as such you have an important role to play – you know more about your child than anyone else!
Questions you could ask
This is by no means a full list, but some of these might help you get started.
- Is my child getting support for special educational needs?
- What assessments have been done to find out more about my child’s difficulties?
- Does my child get extra help from a teacher or another adult? If so, what kind of help is it and how often?
- Is my child getting help individually or as part of a group?
- Is my child making the kind of progress expected and how is that being measured?
- Have any goals or targets been set, to show whether support is making a difference (outcomes)?
- Has my child been referred for any kind of specialist advice or support, such as educational psychology or speech and language services?
- What can I do at home to help and support my child?
- What will the next steps be if my child needs more help?
Don’t forget, you can always ask the question “What else can you do?” Most parents don’t know everything that’s on offer, so it’s always a good idea to ask.
You can download a copy of the information – meeting top tips and questions to ask (PDF 283 KB)