It is okay for students and parents to ask for a meeting.
Meetings to discuss adjustments should be arranged promptly as it can take time to organise people to attend, which might make matters worse for the student.
A student with disability, the student's parents, guardians or carers, a school staff member, or a consultant with specialist expertise can request a meeting to discuss adjustments. The request can be made by a telephone call, email, letter or in person.
A request for a meeting should be addressed to the person who is responsible for making decisions, such as the student’s teacher, the school principal or another member of staff.
When a meeting is proposed, everyone has the right to know the purpose of the meeting and who else will be there.
Meetings should involve active discussion. If the purpose is simply to give information, there may be more efficient ways to do this, such as email or telephone.
Students with disability often struggle to speak up for themselves, or don’t have the ability to do so. They may need support from an advocate.
Requesting a meeting: In practice
Here is an example of an email requesting a meeting to discuss adjustments:
Dear Mr Di Masi
I am writing to request a meeting with you to discuss the learning needs of our son, Jack, who will be enrolled in your school next year.
Jack currently loves attending his local pre-school and is looking forward to coming to school with his friends. He has a great sense of humour and loves being the centre of attention. Jack also has cerebral palsy, so I am writing to request a meeting with you to work out what he needs so he can participate on the same basis as other students.
Jack is working with a speech therapist to improve his communication, and also with a physiotherapist. I think it would be useful to invite them to this meeting too, so I have copied them into this email.
We would prefer to have a meeting with you between the hours of 12 and 2 pm or after 5 pm on weekdays.
Jane Walsh and Simon Walsh
What information should be provided when requesting a meeting?
Describe the person and their disability and include any other relevant information.
Why the meeting is needed
Be specific about the purpose of the meeting and what you need to discuss, for example, to ‘discuss an excursion’ or ‘to review a learning plan’.
Who should be invited
Nominate people, such as specialists, who would contribute different perspectives to the discussion.
When the meeting should be held
Indicate if the meeting is urgent and propose times that would suit you to attend.