Why should teachers, schools, local authorities and others work in partnership with parents and carers? Apart from the fact that a duty to do so is enshrined in legislation such as:
and is detailed in the new SEN Code of Practice (2001), and reinforced in guidance relating to the Disability Discrimination Act, 2005, common sense tells us that it is a good and sensible thing to do. Most would agree that involving parents/carers and working with them is likely to enhance the effectiveness of any professional involvement with children and young people. Whilst, in the past, professionals may have taken the view that they are the experts who know best, it has long been acknowledged that parents are experts in their own children, and as such, have a huge contribution to make. Just type “parental involvement” into an internet search engine to get an idea of how much attention is focussed on this issue.
Much of this attention relates particularly to parents or carers of children and young people with special educational needs, or SEN. Whilst working in partnership with parents/carers is important for all children, those whose children have SEN are a group where this is especially important due to the uniqueness of their situation, and the degree of contact they are likely to have with a wide range of professionals.
What will you get out of this course?
All local authorities have established Parent Partnership Services in one form or another to improve this relationship. This online course is based on their experience, and is designed to introduce you to the relevant issues, to stimulate your thinking, and to provide you with a few useful tools to enhance your own practice. Whilst it is aimed primarily at those working in the education sector, it will also be of interest to those in health, social care, the voluntary sector, and to parents/carers* themselves.
*throughout this course parents should be taken to refer to parents and carers and others with parental responsibility