Manchester City Council

Schools, education & childcare Information, Advice and Support (IAS) Manchester

Help and Support for parents or carers of a child with special educational needs

If you are a parent or carer of a child with SEN, the system can appear to be very confusing and many parents find it difficult to understand what support their child is receiving and how to find out if this is at the right level. The important thing to remember is that you are not on your own - most parents and carers find the system difficult.

The SEND Reforms which came into effect on 1 September 2014 has brought lots of changes to the way children and young people with SEN and disabilities are supported.  Help and Support Manchester has a section dedicated to the SEND Reforms to help you understand how they will affect your family.

There are several agencies whose role is to support parents and carers through this process. All local authorities have a duty to provide an Information, Advice and Support (IAS) service to offer impartial advice and support.

There are several national agencies which offer help and advice relating to SEN. They include IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice) and ACE (The Advisory Centre for Education).

Many parents find it really useful to talk to other parents who have a child with SEN. Talking to someone who has already been through the process or is in the same situation can really help. Help & Support Manchester holds details of local parent support groups. You can also get in touch with the national organisation 'Contact a Family'.

Don't forget you can always talk to your child's class teacher or another person in the school. Communication with your school is really important and will make sure your child's needs are being met in the best way possible.

Other links

  1. CBeebies link to SEN (external website)
  2. Department of Education - popular questions about SEN (external website)
  3. Independent Parental Special Education Advice  (external website)
  4. Give your views on your child's school to OFSTED  (external website)
  5. Guidance on making a complaint about a school (external website)
  6. Council for disabled children (external website)

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