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RT @TomKindlon: 🧵 Healthwatch Sheffield & @sheffieldmefm worked on a project to help improve health & social care provision for people with…

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Information for Parents

How to implement special arrangements for schooling

If fibromyalgia has an impact on your child’s ability to cope in the normal school setting, then they are classed as having a ‘special educational need’.

Schools have to abide by the SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years which explains the duties of local authorities, health bodies, schools and colleges to provide for those with special educational needs under part 3 of the Children’s and Families Act 2014. The 2001 SEN Code of Practice still applies for those who have a SEN Statement under part 4 of the Educational Act 1996, rather than an education, health and care (EHC) plan under the Children and Families Act 2014.

Under the Equality Act 2010 it is unlawful for any education provider to discriminate between pupils on grounds of disability and other criteria. They are expected to do all they can to meet your child’s needs and to make ‘reasonable adjustments’. The Act includes the following points:

  • Schools will be expected to provide an auxiliary aid or service for a disabled pupil when it would be reasonable to do so and if such an aid would alleviate any substantial disadvantage that the pupil faces in comparison to non-disabled pupils.
  • Adjustments should be ‘anticipatory’ but it is recognised that organisations cannot be expected to anticipate the needs of every imaginable disability.
  • Legislation applies to all pupils including prospective, attending and absent, and former pupils who have a continuing relationship with the school. It applies to all student services.
  • An education institution should not treat a disabled person ‘less favourably‘ for a reason relating to their disability.

Each school has one person Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) responsible for ensuring pupils with special educational needs are catered for and any necessary special arrangements are made and carried out. School Action is the term used for making and recording these arrangements known as an Individual Educational Plan (IEP).

If academic progress is not made under these arrangements School Action Plus comes into effect and external support services are used for further assessment and recommendations.

Normally, keeping a good dialogue with the school means your child receives the consideration needed to be able to cope with school.

Other assistance is available to parents through the Local Authority Parent Partnership Service or Independent Panel for Special Education Advice (IPSEA).

You do have the right to request a statutory assessment of your child’s needs and to appeal to Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDAT). This should only be used as a last resort.

Websites:

www.ipsea.org.uk

www.gov.uk/children-with-special-educational-needs/overview

www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25

www.gov.uk/government/publications/equality-act-2010-advicefor-schools 

Summary

  • Maintain a positive outlook.
  • Be proactive.
  • Be supportive of your child but do not let the symptoms affect your normal family functioning.
  • Try to maintain the usual routine (including school) as much as possible.
  • Encourage your child to continue as many normal activities as possible.
  • Remember children need to be around other children their own age so they do not feel left out of the social group.
  • Encourage your child to maintain friendships.
  • Do not be afraid to seek advice from health professionals or a support group.

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