Parents are the primary care givers of their children and therefore experts on their children. They have invaluable knowledge and experience. Professionals need their perspective to effect a meaningful educational programme. We regard ourselves as partners in the education of their children. All decisions are made in the best interest of the children.
Parents are intimately involved in the formulation of Individualised Educational and Devlopment Programmes (IEDPs) for their children. They are welcome to observe and experience curriculum delivery to their children in the classroom from time to time. This happens by prior arrangement with the appropriate teacher. Parents are not allowed to serve as tutors or volunteers in classrooms because of the emotional burden on all parties. Attendance of parents at parent-teacher meetings every six to discuss their child’s education is expected and compulsory. Parents are welcome to offer ideas for school improvement via the principal or school governing body. There is a suggestion box in the school’s reception area.
When relevant, parents are invited to attend formal staff training projects. Sometimes it is preferable to arrange separate training for parents. Parents are encouraged to make use of training in autism specific approaches that the school offers. The importance of implementing Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and Makaton (a form of sign language) in the family context for example, is stressed, bearing in mind that parents need training and support to do so. The ABC workshop is highly recommended to parents, siblings and other relatives to get greater insight into the children’s way of thinking.
The school psychologist is available to parents for guidance and counselling directly related to the child who attend the school. Extended family members and other significant role players are often involved in sessions.
A policy of informed parental consent is adhered to when implementing interventions. This is done by explanation, demonstration of approaches and techniques used. A grievance procedure is in place. The grievance policy encourages parents to attempt to resolve a concern at the lowest level first. If this attempt is unsuccessful the matter can be escalated to a higher level. The school is a secular school and does not advance the beliefs of any particular religion but parents’ wishes for their children with regard to cultural differences are respected.
Parents, who are divorced or seperated, are supported in their ongoing co-parenting roles. Both parties are entitled to and receive all correspondence from the school.
Involvement in fundraising efforts is appreciated.