Getting help when your child is not making progress at school

If your child is not progressing as well as they should, is having difficulty at their school or college, or they have a disability, extra help is available. 

All children progress differently.  You may find that your child is struggling with a particular piece of work or have a short-term delay in their learning.  Staff in schools and education settings should continually assess, plan, implement and review how they teach all pupils.   

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Support available in schools and settings for all children  

Within schools, every child should receive a good quality of teaching, this is from their class teacher and any support staff in class.  If a teacher notices a child is struggling and falling behind in their learning, they should notify you either by asking to meet with you or at parents’ evenings.  They will then put into place certain measures to try and help. 

These can include: 

  • pre-teaching 
  • additional adult or peer support 
  • catch-up programmes 
  • additional or different resources and apparatus 
  • opportunities for mental health and well-being support  

Once these measures have been put into place and reviewed, if your child is still not achieving as expected, the class teacher will discuss with the school Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) alongside you. 


What to do if you have concerns about your child’s progress 

Encourage open communication with your child and take an interest in what they are learning. This may help you discover any difficulties or areas of concern.  

You can attend parents’ evenings and keep in contact with your child’s teacher, tutor or key worker.  Your child may feel unable to ask for more support, so arrange to go along to a meeting with them.    


Discussing your concerns about your child’s learning   

If you have any concerns about your child’s learning, you should discuss this with your child’s education setting or key people involved in your child’s education.  

If your child is at nursery or pre-school this may be their key worker.   

For children in full-time education, you can discuss your concerns with your child’s teacher, form tutor, head of year or head of house.  

Before any meeting, think carefully about why you feel your child may be struggling and how they compare to other children of a similar age.  It is useful to write down your concerns and take them with you to a meeting.  

During the meeting with the school, you may find it useful to make a note of what was discussed, particularly when and how any support agreed will happen and how you will all review progress.  

You could ask: 

  • do staff share your concerns?  
  • what support is available?  
  • who will give that support and when will it start?  
  • what can you do to help at home? 
  • how will support and progress be monitored? 

If you think your child has a special educational need or disability 

If you, or someone who works with your child, think that they may have a special educational need or disability (SEND), visit the education and learning section of our SEND Local Offer to find out further information about schools and settings that can support your child further.  

You could also ask the school if your child has special educational needs how will they identify this.  All settings should display SEND information on their websites showing how they support children with SEND. 

If your child still continues to make no progress the education setting /school may discuss with you about your child receiving SEN support and being placed on the SEND register.

Further support

If you have any questions or concerns at all about your child, contact your local Health Visitor service. Your local Health Visitor service offers support for parents of all children (from pregnancy to age five), whatever their circumstances. 

Visit the Sirona care and health - health visiting service to find out how to contact your local Health Visitor.