Issue 2.4: Support: Parent's views
Many children indicated that they would not welcome the direct support offered to some pupils in the classroom or in a support base since they felt that this would single them out as being different. They wanted to try to cope on their own first to see how they progressed. The support that they were looking for was more subtle. For example they would welcome teachers providing handouts instead of having to take notes. They would also appreciate more time being given for tasks that involved reading and writing. They also wanted to be able to ask teachers for help when they were stuck, in the knowledge that their requests would be dealt with sensitively. Some children did say that they wanted help. Much depends on the child's individual personality and the appropriateness of the support available. Decisions should be made on an individual basis, which takes into account the child's wishes.
Some pupils have been supported in primary by being withdrawn to base for either one to one or small group support. This form of support is not used quite so often in secondary but this does not mean there is no support available. Often support, which parents are not aware of, is in place in subject classes. This may take the form of differentiated work, additional support teachers or learning assistants. It is important that pupils are aware of the support on offer and are comfortable with it. Some pupils reported that although support was in place in subject classes officially for any pupil who needed it, they nevertheless felt that support teachers 'hovered around' them.
Some parents, who were used to their children having one to one or small group support, were not aware that in-class support was available for their children in some classes.
Communication with the school is very important and you do have the right to be involved in decisions and plans that directly affect your child. Without exception all parents interviewed for Dyslexia at Transition found the Pupil Support/Support for Learning departments a valuable source of support to them and to their children.
If you are unsure about the support which may be provided for your child then it would be best to ask to discuss this with the secondary school in advance of the transition to S1 or immediately following the transition. Please make sure that you also consult your child as children have their own ideas about the form that support should take.