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Pupil participation

Children's right to participate

The SEN Code of Practice emphasises the right of children with special educational needs to be involved in making decisions and exercising choices.

Schools and local authorities must encourage the participation of pupils in decision-making about their education:


  • in the setting of learning targets in Individual Education Plans;

  • with regard to the choice of school; and

  • at Annual Review meetings.

It is acknowledged that not all children will be able to participate fully or communicate their wishes, but it is essential for all those involved in education to try to ascertain pupils’ views.

All those involved in decision-making need to:

  • provide clear and accurate information about the child’s needs and the purpose of any provision;

  • help the pupil understand the agreed outcomes of any intervention;

  • explain clearly what additional support or assessment arrangements are being made and how the pupil can contribute to them;

  • recognise the potential stress of assessment and review arrangements; and

  • ensure that a pupil has access to a designated member of staff with whom they can discuss any difficulties or concerns.