Parents demanding support for children with learning difficulties are not pushy

6th March 2009 at 00:00

Your report on parents' lack of awareness of their rights to mediation and dispute resolution as part of the Additional Support for Learning Act ("Parents not aware of their rights", February 6) misses an important point.

Too often, the onus is on "pushy" parents to have to fight to get the support their child needs, rather than on the authorities to provide access as a matter of course. Many parents of children with learning difficulties are afraid to exercise these rights for fear of being branded "difficult", consequently facing greater challenges in accessing this support.

The existence of these rights should not divert us from the main challenge - assigning sufficient resources to additional learning support to ensure that every child with a learning difficulty is properly supported.

The importance of this was underlined by last week's publication of the pupil census for 2008, which showed a 6 per cent rise in the number of pupils with additional support needs. This is to be welcomed, since it suggests that more children with learning difficulties are being properly identified and supported. But it still represents the tip of a much greater iceberg.

Sophie Dow, Founder, Mindroom, Musselburgh.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today