My child's school say they have some concerns about their learning

My child’s teacher has said he is not keeping up with the other children

Firstly try not to panic. It can be upsetting to hear that your child is not progressing as you (or they) might have hoped or expected but it is good that a difficulty has been recognised. If this problem has been spotted early then intervention at this stage is the best thing for your child. It is possible that the situation might be resolved with a little extra support from the school. The best outcomes for children happen when parents and schools work together. At this stage the class teacher will usually suggest a meeting to discuss how your child is getting on. This is an opportunity to share what you both know about the child and how they are getting on and for the teacher to explain why they think there might be a problem. If your child has recently done any standardised tests the teacher may discuss these with you. If your child has seen any therapists or specialists it would be useful to bring along any reports at this stage.

It might also be helpful to make a few notes for yourself about how you feel your child is getting on, how long he spends on homework, which aspects he finds particularly difficult etc. Following this meeting it might be decided that the teacher will give some extra in class support to the child and they may ask that you give some extra support at home. This help might be put in place for a short time (a few weeks maybe) or a longer period.

If the issue is around behaviour you or the teacher may suggest some approaches that might help and together you may come up with a plan to implement these. You could ask to have a follow up meeting in about 3-4 weeks.

The school have suggested my child should have some learning support

All schools have access to learning support teachers. The number available to each school depends on the number of children in the school. The learning support teacher is there to support a child who needs some extra help. This help will usually be given in groups of 3 or more and it may be in the classroom or in another area of the school. Typically a child will go for learning support for a number of weeks or months. It is often seen as a catch up or a clarification of a particular aspect of learning that the child may not have grasped.

You may be invited to a meeting to decide how best to plan for the learning support. This may also be called an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Personal Plan.

Once a plan is in place you will have a better idea of what support your child is getting and how best you can support them at home.

If you are to work together with the school it is import that you know what they are doing with your child to support them. Therefore if you have not met your child’s learning support teacher you should plan to meet with them about once per term unless your child’s plan says something different.