Parents can discuss their concerns with the teacher or Special Educational Needs Coordinating Officer (SENCO).
The Education Act 1990 means that all education authorities must identify which children have special educational needs and make sure that they get the additional help that they require. Schools have the Special Educational Needs `Code of Practice', drawn up by the Department of Children, Schools and Families, to help them to recognise and help children with this type of problem. The Department has also produced a helpful Guide for Parents (see sources of further information at the end of this leaflet).
If there are concerns, the school may offer extra help using different ways of teaching to suit the child’s specific needs. If this is not enough, then they can offer interventions that are additional or different from those provided as part of the schools usual curriculum and strategies (School Action and School Action Plus).
If a child continues to make little or no progress, despite these interventions, a statutory assessment of the child may be triggered. This will take into account the views of parents, as well as professionals involved such as an educational psychologist. Once the assessment has taken place, the educational department may prepare a Statement of Special Educational Needs, which will describe what type of additional help the child will benefit from.
If the child's learning problem has resulted in possible emotional or behaviour problems, due to frustration or loss of self-confidence, more specialised help may be needed. The child's school or GP will also be able to help. If necessary, the GP can refer the child to the local child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) who will be able to offer help and support.