Specific concerns and circumstances
What if… ?
- my child has special needs?
If the school has already identified that your child has special needs, they should offer you a chance to discuss the Individual Education Plan which is in place and the provision they are offering, either at Parents'evening or at another appointment. It may mean you need a longer appointment. If your child has a Statement, you will be invited to an Annual Review meeting in addition to any other Parents' evenings you may have.
If you are concerned about a specific issue relating to your child and you think they may have special needs, Parents' evening may be a good place to raise the issue. However, the teacher will probably need to refer you to the school's Special Needs or Inclusion Co-ordinator (SENCO or INCO) to discuss this further.
If the teacher raises an issue at Parents' evening that suggests they are monitoring your child in relation to them having a particular special need, try not to worry unduly. In the first instance, it may well be that they are being offered a little extra support in order to strengthen a particular area of their learning and is most likely to be a temporary intervention. But do ask to see the school's SENCO/INCO to discuss this further if you are worried.
- my partner and I are no longer together and cannot attend Parents' evenings together?
All schools are sensitive to the needs of different family arrangements and will usually try their best to accommodate you. If at all possible, try and come to an arrangement to see the teacher together or to take it in turns to attend Parents' evenings. Many schools send correspondence by email, so both parents can receive any updates in this way. If you need to speak to the teacher separately, try to explain the situation beforehand and come to a suitable arrangement.
- I am worried whether my child is being challenged?
Rather than accusing the teacher of not stretching your child enough or claiming your child is bored (guaranteed to get you off on the wrong foot!), try mentioning that you have noticed at home that your child likes to be constantly challenged and ask the teacher if they have any particular strategies they use in school.