Equal partners

31st January 1997 at 00:00
You report concern among local education authorities about the effects of the special needs tribunal (TES, January 17).

I retired after 25 years as a comprehensive head and then became an advocate for children with visual impairment. It was a shock to be reminded how complex the system is for the families of such children.

I have met hardly any "difficult" families, just as I have met hardly any professionals who are not striving to do their best for pupils. I have, however, on occasion, had to point out to overworked professionals that they are not abiding by the law andor the code of practice.

I can think of other questions that need answers so that a full picture is gained. How consistently do LEAs deal with similar cases? What percentage of statements are not written according to the code of practice? Do educational psychologists feel under pressure to provide an incomplete picture that helps save money? How often does an LEA make a parent go to a tribunal and then give way just before the tribunal?

Rather than highlight the few parents or professionals who abuse the system, would not a better way forward be to hold discussions between the professionals, parent organisations and those who support parents?

LEAs must acknowledge that parents are far more aware of their children's needs and rights, and want to be treated as equal partners.

JOHN WERNER Blatchington Court Trust 165 Dyke Road Hove East Sussex

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now