Learning difficulties - what to expect from your child's school

Your child's school should help make sure that they can understand and take part in learning on the same basis as their peers.

You can expect your child's school to make reasonable adjustments to their teaching and how the classroom is organised to support your child’s learning difficulty. For example, a teacher may work with your child more closely in small group work or create worksheets with simplified instructions.

To do this, the school needs to describe what your child knows, their strengths, and their needs. This is an opportunity as a parent or guardian to share important information with the school about your child and their experiences with learning.

In general, you can expect your school to:

  • work with you to support your child’s education
  • complete a learning profile for your child
  • prepare and put in place your child’s individual educational plan (IEP)
  • establish a student support group (SSG) that will meet regularly to talk about how your child is learning
  • give feedback about how your child is progressing.

If your child is not making progress

It's likely that your child’s teacher will raise their concerns with you if they believe that your child is not making reasonable progress at school. They may then take the following approach:

If their concern is minor

If the school's concern is minor, they will continue to monitor your child’s progress.

If your child improves, they will continue to learn as normal.

If their concern is significant

If the school's concern is significant, and your child does not show signs of improvement, the teacher may suggest organising a SSG meeting so they can talk about their concerns.

The school will talk to you and then they’ll create an IEP. The IEP will describe short-term and long-term goals and how they will be achieved.

Your child’s teacher will observe your child over an agreed time. During this time they will make changes in their teaching and track how well your child responds.

At the end of this observation time, the teacher will review your child’s progress during a SSG meeting. Together you will decide if your child has improved or not.

If your child improves, they will continue with adjusted teaching. If they do not improve, the school may recommend a formal assessment.

Raising a concern

You can complain if you’re unhappy with the support your child is getting.

Talk to the school or education provider first. You can also contact your closest regional office for assistance in working with the school.

Use our complaints process if you’re unhappy with how the education provider handled your concern.

You can find a local advocacy service(opens in a new window) for more support.