Working with Parents or Carers and Colleagues in School

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University of Brighton
School of Education
SEND Pre-Course Task 4: Working with parents / carers and colleagues in school

How to use these materials
This unit is an introduction to a key area of your course and will help you in maintaining an environment where all learners are included. The tasks provide some of the key information on current policy, theory and practice that you will be required to engage with through your course of study and professional practice.  Take a critical and evaluative attitude as you engage with each of these self-study tasks, annotating and keeping relevant notes which will later contribute towards your professional development profile. Bear in mind that the issues and strategies of inclusion are an exciting area which are constantly evolving. It is also worth noting that many of the interventions suggested for pupils with SEN and/or disabilities will often benefit all of the pupils you work with.  Key Learning Outcomes:

* have an understanding of the statutory responsibilities and rights of parents and carers * know how to involve parents and carers appropriately and effectively * understand the importance of collaborating and communicating with colleagues who have responsibility for pupils with SEN and/or disabilities * know the range of roles that additional adults carry out, and the issues around managing them Professional Standards addressed:

Q4 Communicate effectively with children, young people, colleagues, parents and carers. Q5 Recognise and respect the contribution that colleagues, parents and carers can make to the development and well-being of children and young people, and to raising their levels of attainment. Q6 Have a commitment to collaboration and cooperative working. Q21 (b) Know how to identify and support children and young people whose progress, development or well-being is affected by changes or difficulties in their personal circumstances, and when to refer them to colleagues for specialist support. Q27 Provide timely, accurate and constructive feedback on learners’ attainment, progress and areas for development. Q32 Work as a team member and identify opportunities for working with colleagues, sharing the development of effective practice with them. Contents Page

Activity 1Working with parents 3
Activity 2The SENCO’s roles and responsibilities 8
Activity 3Roles and responsibilities of other colleagues in school 9 Activity 4Reflection12

Activity 1
Working with Parents
The SEN Code of Practice (DfES, 2001) has a chapter on working in partnership with parents and carers. Parents/carers identify the ability of teachers to listen to their perspectives on their children’s education and respond appropriately, as key to successful partnerships. Parents’ and carers’ knowledge and expertise are invaluable when planning for social and academic success in school for pupils with SEN and/or disabilities. Recent research (e.g. Hallam, 2004) suggests that while parents/carers are happy to be involved in some way with their child’s education, the ways in which they wish to or feel able to help will vary greatly. For example, while many parents/carers of pupils with SEN may be happy to work on educational tasks on a regular basis, others may feel it is not their role or something they feel equipped to take on. It is important not to make assumptions about the quality of support that parents/carers will give their children based on, for instance, ethnicity, social class, education or marital status. The SEN Code of Practice emphasises this point: “There should be no presumption about what parents can or cannot do to support their children’s learning. Stereotypic views of parents are unhelpful and should be challenged.” (Para 2:6)

Reading
Read chapter 2 of the SEN Code of Practice, Working in Partnership with Parents. This short chapter provides an effective summary of issues concerning partnership with...
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