If you decided to tell the school or nursery about your child’s disability then you have every right to ask what ‘reasonable adjustments’ they are making for your child.
The law insists that schools and nurseries (as well as employers and other places) make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for children with disabilities (under the Equality Act 2010). The law defines a reasonable adjustment as a reasonable step taken to prevent a disabled person suffering a substantial disadvantage compared with people who are not disabled.
Schools and nurseries must have a procedure for parents to complain. Before it gets more serious, all complaints should start informally and see if they can be resolved by a chat, e.g. with the class teacher or head teacher. You could ask for a copy of the complaints procedure to inform the head and chair of governors of your concerns, and request a meeting.
You are the expert on your child, and you and the school/nursery should work as partners to find out what changes they can make. However, if you have talked through what you feel would be reasonable and you are still not happy with the way in which your school/nursery is behaving towards your child - in relation to inclusion and educational provision - there are ways in which you can complain.
It is important that you understand the best way to complain before you think of taking your case to a tribunal. However, a Tribunal Service is there to make sure that your claim is dealt with fairly and justly.
The tribunal process for schools/nurseries starts when a parent of a disabled child believes that the school/nursery has discriminated against their child because of the child’s disability. More information for parents wishing to bring about a claim of disability discrimination in schools/nurseries can be found in the ‘Answers from the web’ section, to the right of this page.
You can ask for support from the Parent Partnership Network when trying to talk to school/nursery about your complaint. It is a good idea to take someone with you if you are going to have a meeting to discuss a complaint as it can be hard to stay focused on what is being said to you if you feel emotional (as we often can when it comes to talking about our children).
If you do decide to bring a claim against a school/nursery, preparing your claim may involve you gathering evidence to support your tribunal case which might consist of documents supporting your claim and possibly witnesses. There are organisations that can guide and help you through the tribunal process, such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA).
One of the most important things that you can refer to is a copy of the ‘Special Educational Needs Code of Practice’ as this has information that you can share with the school/nursery before you think about taking your case to the Tribunal Service.