A school education can give our children so much, both educationally and socially. Many children love attending school….for the learning, for their friends, because they love achieving…and many parents love saying goodbye to their children at the start of the school day, knowing they will come back tired but a little bit more knowledgeable.

However, for many pupils and parents, school is more of a challenge. Some may be struggling and this can lead to behavioural problems, anxiety or a pupil simply not achieving their best.

We know that teachers don’t just teach. 

You educate, inspire, provoke, encourage, influence, motivate, prompt and drive. You know that what you teach children now, can impact on how they choose to live their lives in adulthood. It is exciting and is why most teachers are teachers. 

However, before you do that, you have to plan, administer, assess, report, observe, monitor, review, record and prepare. It doesn’t leave much time for the good stuff. 

Why should I develop working relationships with parents?

Developing good working relationships with parents of children with SEND is vital if you want to deliver the best possible learning outcomes for the child. It can also make your life easier as you get to know and understand the child better. Building up good communication with parents also allows consistency of messages between school and home, and for targets to be supported at home as well as in the classroom. 

Two blue characters are waving in greeting. One is in a wheelchair, the other has cochlear implants.
Image shows a family of blue characters. A father, mother and small child are standing together. The father and child are holding hands. The mother is standing close behind them.

Course content

This toolkit will help you build positive and constructive relationships with your child’s teachers, so you can work together to provide your child with the support and learning environment they need.

1. About disability and specific needs

2. Daily issues that families of children with specific needs face

3. How family situations and culture impact communication

4. Tools for communication and building relationships with parents


The terminology around people with disabilities differs worldwide and is constantly being reviewed and updated. For example, the term “persons with determination” is used in the United Arab Emirates; in England, the term Special Educational Needs and Disabilities or SEND is used; In Scotland, the term “Special Educational Needs” was changed to “Additional Support Needs” (ASN); in Mexico, the National Education System uses “Special Educational Needs”. 

In this toolkit we use two key terms: “Special Educational Needs and Disabilities” or “SEND” as general terms to represent all people to describe adults and children with learning difficulties or disabilities as it seems to be the most commonly used term globally. However, some people argue that talking about ‘special’ needs means people feel they are having to do something extra or different. We agree, so we are also using ‘Specific Needs’ as it removes that impression, let’s be honest, everyone has specific needs! Over time, we will be adopting ‘specific needs’ in place of SEND.

Different countries also have different definitions of what disability and learning difficulties are, so ‘special needs’ in one country may not be the same as ‘special needs’ in another. The criteria for diagnosis and evaluation also differs widely, as does the level of support you can expect to receive. We think that using ‘specific needs’ makes it easier to talk about the issues involved.

After this course…

Following this course, additional help is available at wecanaccess.com

Ask questions on our forums and find ideas and inspiration in our blogs. 

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