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So how does this project work....?

In my experience parents and carers benefit from talking through issues that they feel that their child is facing in secondary school. This is often during the transition from primary to secondary as secondary schools seem much larger and more forbidding than primaries and vulnerable children often feel concerned about the move to high school. Sometimes a child fails to settle in secondary, becomes challenging at home, doesn't want to go to school or struggles to focus and engage with learning in lessons. Sometimes parents feel that the school isn't listening, or that certain teachers don't "get" their child. Sometimes homework becomes a huge issue, sometimes children don't handle the noise and bustle of a secondary school..... there are any number of possible areas of concern.

It comes down, often, to a tension between seeing the child as an individual and them having to "fit in" to a system. The discussion is often about what adaptations to individual need are possible.... I have spent years trying to resolve these issues for many, many young people and families.

Talking the issues through helps to clarify thinking, hopefully leads to a set of questions or suggestions for the school and a possible plan of action. This often takes the heat out of the situation, which makes effective collaboration between home and school much more likely. Sometimes a conversation can lead to suggestions for external support or suggestions as to who to talk to within the school system - and sometimes it can just act as a reality check and a chance to get the issues out in the open! As a parent, as well as professional, I have found talking issues through to be very beneficial....

So, an email or message to Finding Common Ground - leads to a half hour initial conversation (I had one a couple of hours ago via Teams, for example) which may lead to some advice, may just be a listening ear, or may lead to support at a meeting or further conversations..... it is up to you. We could meet for a coffee, if you are local to me, or communicate by phone or Teams/Zoom/Google Meet or whatever.... whatever suits.

Anecdotal evidence tells me that it is helpful - so it is worth doing! There is a statutory advice service in each authority to give specialist SEND advice, known as SENDIASS - it is not my intention to replace their invaluable work. My intention is to support collaboration between families and schools so that conflict, at various levels, is reduced - many of the conversations that I have involve SEND, but this project is wider than that....


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