Preparing for School Meetings
You have the right to request a meeting with any of the professionals involved with your child/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
- your child being bullied
- your child’s behaviour, how it is being managed and the impact on their education.
- how any special educational needs/disability your child may have are being met
How do I request a meeting?
You could contact the school directly, but often sending an email with details of your concerns may be helpful in letting the school know what you wish to discuss during the meeting. It is important to book in the meeting when it is convenient for you, preferably a day where you can allow for extra time if the meeting runs over.
Who do I meet with?
In the first instance you may wish to meet with the class teacher, however, it may be worth inviting the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) too if you feel that your child’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) are not being met. If there are other professionals involved too it may be worth inviting them.
Prior to the Meeting
It is important to remember that you have a say in the support around your child’s education. You have a unique and expert knowledge of your child and you should be involved in decisions and discussions about the support they receive.
Attending meetings about your child’s education can be a positive experience and a good opportunity to hear about the progress your child is making. However, sometimes meetings can be difficult, especially if you need to talk about things you are feeling worried or unhappy about.
You have the right to share your views about your child’s support needs and have your views taken into account.
What should you take with you to the meeting?
- A note pad and pen
- Any relevant reports or letters
- Any other useful information
- Your diary/calendar in case you book in another meeting
- Your questions/views/ concerns
Who can attend?
You can take a friend or family member with you or an advocate if you have one. If appropriate, you could ask another professional if they are able to attend. However, if you are planning to take someone with you to the meeting, let the school know in advance so they can make sure the meeting room will be suitable.
At the end of the meeting:
- Ask for a summary of the main action points- who is going to do them and when will the points be actioned?
- Check that all your questions have been answered
- Ask when the next meeting will be
Top Tips for Meetings
- Make a list of what you want to discuss before the meeting, make notes during the meeting and make sure you have raised everything you have written down.
- Remember that you are the expert on your child
- Accept that it is okay to show your emotions
- If your child is not going to attend the meeting, ask if they have anything they would like you to say to the people at the meeting
- Take your time to express your views
- Try to start with something positive — for example, ‘thank you for arranging this meeting’
- If there are specific things you want to talk about, contact the person organising the meeting in advance to let them know
- If an important member of staff cannot attend, ask if they can put something in writing that can be shared at or before the meeting
- If you are not clear on what someone has said, say in your own words what you have understood, and check this with the other people at the meeting
Check List for preparing for a meeting
- Do you have an idea of what you would like to discuss?
- Do you have all of the relevant information and documents to hand?
- Have you captured your child/young person’s views?
- Do you have somebody to support you if needed?
- Will somebody be taking minutes? If not, do you have a way to take your own notes?
- Have school explained the purpose of the meeting?
- Have you planned your day to allow plenty of time for the meeting?
- Do you feel confident asking questions? If not, talk about the points you would like to be raised with your supporter