Working together in partnership

It is really important that we all work together in partnership to make sure we get the best outcomes for your child. To do this requires trust, commitment and respect. It is particularly important to develop positive relationships between everyone who is involved with your child or young person.

All partners have an important role to play in developing positive and constructive relationships with your child or young person. This includes the local authority, schools and settings, outside agencies as well as parents and families.

SEND Partners, Roles and Responsibilities

All partners have an important role to play in developing positive and constructive relationships with children and young people. Who are Birmingham’s SEND Partners and what are their roles and responsibilities?

Parents and carers play an important role in the education of their child.

Some of their responsibilities are as follows:
  • Having regular contact with the school or setting.
  • Communicating effectively with teachers; informing them of any concerns regarding their child, school or setting. 
  • Ensuring their child attends their school or setting regularly.
  • Supporting their child with home learning.
  • Fulfilling duties under the home-school agreement. 
  • Respecting professionals.
  • Taking part in reviewing their child’s progress and in making decisions about their education.
  • Accompanying their child to any interview, medical appointment, or assessment.
What can parents and carers expect?:
  • The wishes of their child will be listened to.
  • To be informed by a school or setting when they start providing additional help to their child.
  • To be consulted on decisions that affect their child.
  • A copy of their child’s learning plan/SEN Support Provision Plan/Education, Health and Care Plan.

The main responsibilities of a school governing body are:

  • Ensuring that necessary provision is made by the school to meet the special educational needs of its pupils.
  • Consulting with Birmingham City Council regarding the provision of children and young people with special educational needs.
  • Ensuring that the special educational needs of a pupil are know to all teachers that are likely to teach them.
  • Establishing, and annually reporting the schools policy for accommodating special educational needs.
  • Raising awareness for the importance of identifying and providing for special educational needs.
  • Following the SEND Code of practice
The school headteacher or setting manager should, in co–operation with the governing body:
  • Determine the school’s general policy and approach to providing for special educational needs.
  • Establish the appropriate staffing and funding arrangements.
  • Maintain a general oversight of the school’s work.

The school headteacher or setting manager has responsibility for the day-to-day management of all aspects of the school’s work, including the provision for special educational needs. The headteacher will need to keep the governing body fully informed.

The headteacher will also need to work closely with the school’s designated Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) to ensure effective and efficient provision is made to meet special educational needs.

The school or setting’s designated Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator has an important role in the day-to-day operation of the school’s policy on meeting special educational needs. 

A ‘Special Educational Learning Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo), should be responsible for:

  • The day-to-day oversight of the school’s special educational needs policy and liaising with and advising fellow school or setting staff.
  • Co-ordinating the special educational needs provision.
  • Maintaining the school or setting’s special educational needs register and overseeing the records of children or young people receiving special educational needs provision.
  • Overseeing the liaison with parents of pupils with special educational needs, contributing to the professional development of fellow school or setting staff on appropriate areas of special educational needs provision.
  • Liaising with appropriate external support services.

A class teacher is a professional who has responsibility for educating a class of children or young people. The relationship between children and their teachers tends to be closer in the primary school where they act as form tutor and specialist teacher throughout the course of the day. In secondary schools, class teachers specialise in a specific subject area (e.g. Biology or English)

A Teaching Assistant (TA) is a person employed in school to support children’s learning under the direction of a class teacher.

Educational Psychologists support schools and settings in the delivery of special educational needs for children and young people.

The work of an Educational Psychologists involves:

  • Assessment
  • Observation
  • Intervention
  • Consultation
  • Training
  • Research

Educational Psychologists work mostly in schools, but also in pre-school settings at at home. They can work with children and young people directly or with teachers and other adults on a child or young persons behalf.

Their main task is to help with issues that are causing problems or concerns to children. These can be about learning, behaviour, social interactions or emotional well-being 

Through consulting with children, young people and the teachers that work with them, they decide on a plan consisting of actions that should lead to a solution. They set a time to review progress to see if the plan is working.

Educational Psychologists also play a part in the multi-agency process of identifying significant special educational needs and recommending how they can best be met.

A Specialist Advisory Teacher provides an advisory role for school and settings in a specific additional need, of which they have expert knowledge and experience. They are provided by Birmingham City Council and are experienced, qualified teachers who provide skilled support for children with communication, behavioural and sensory impairment as well as general learning difficulties

In Birmingham we have a range of different advisory teaching teams.

Find out more about Birmingham advisory teaching teams.

Birmingham City Council has an essential role and responsibility linked with:

  • Keeping under review the arrangements it makes for meeting the special educational needs of all children and young people.
  • Ensuring that suitable provision is made for children with special educational needs who require education other than in a mainstream classroom.
  • Working closely with health and social services, and other appropriate statutory, voluntary and private agencies in making suitable provision for children with special educational needs.
  • Having regard to any regulations and guidance produced by the Government and providing suitable guidance for schools and parents on how practices and procedures for meeting special educational needs should be implemented.

A Speech and Language Therapist is a professional employed by the Health Trust to work with the child, parents and teachers. They use therapeutic techniques to support, improve and care for children and young people who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking and swallowing.

Birmingham City Council has a statutory duty to provide parent services, but do not have to deliver the service themselves. Parents, schools and settings should receive clear information about services and providers (including, where relevant, the involvement of voluntary groups).

Find out about Birmingham’s Parent Services

Local authorities may wish to develop consultation arrangements with voluntary organisations and parent support groups to ensure that they are aware of local policies and procedures for children with special educational needs. They should be made aware that voluntary groups can make a positive contribution to the development and review of special educational needs policies and practices.  

Birmingham City Council has a responsibility for the provision of a wide range of information materials for parents. Local authorities should also inform parents of any responsibilities that schools have in publishing policies relating to special educational needs.