Child and parent participation

This section includes information on:

1. Your rights in relation to special educational needs

2. Who has the right to be involved?

3. Participation throughout the education, health and care plan process

4. What (and how much) information, advice and support should you be provided with?

5. How will the local authority assist and promote participation?


Know your rights in relation to Special Educational Needs!

Section 19 of the Children and Families Act 2014 makes clear that Local Authorities, in carrying out their functions under the act in relation to children with special educational needs must have regard to:

  • The views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person, and the child’s parents.
  • The importance of the child or young person, and the child’s parents, participating as fully as possible in decisions, and being provided with the information and support necessary to enable participation in those decisions.
  • The need to support the child or young person, and the child’s parents, in order to facilitate the development of the child or young person and to help them achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, preparing them effectively for adulthood.

Children, young people and their parents have much more choice and control over support and the way you receive it. You have the right to be involved, and participate in decisions about your/ your child’s special educational needs, and must be supported to do this.

Who has the right to be involved?

Young People

Section 1.8 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability code of practice: 0 to 25 years states the following:

When a young person reaches the end of compulsory school age, Local Authorities and other agencies should normally engage directly with the young person rather than their parent, ensuring that as part of the planning process they identify the relevant people who should be involved and how to involve them.

Once a child reaches the end of compulsory school age, parents views must not be taken as proxy for young persons views. Young people have their own perspective and should be engaged with directly.


Children below compulsory school age, should still have their views and opinions taken into consideration.

Articles 12 and 13 of the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child states the following:

Children have a right to receive and impart information, to express an opinion and to have that opinion taken into account in any matters affecting them from the early years. Their views should be given due weight according to their age, maturity and capability.


Parents should feel able to share their knowledge about their child and feel confident that their views, opinions and contributions are valued and will be acted upon.

As such, children, young people and their parents should all be involved in decisions and discussions relating to the child or young person’s special educational needs.

Participation throughout the Education, Health and Care Plan Process

The Local Authority has a responsibility to ensure that children, young people and their parents are:

  • INCLUDED fully in the assessment process from the start
  • AWARE of any opportunities to offer views and information
  • CONSULTED about the content of the plan
  • PROVIDED with any information and advice necessary about matters relating to special educational needs and disability
  • SUPPORTED to participate in decision making

What (and how much) information, advice and support should you be provided with?

  • The information, advice and support must be sufficient to enable you to participate in discussions about your/ your child’s support
  • You should be provided with information on your rights and entitlements in accessible formats.
  • You should be given time to prepare for discussions and meetings
  • You must be provided with support in expressing views, including whether an advocate may be needed.

How will the Local Authority assist and promote participation?

Involve you...

Ensure children, young people and parents are involved in discussions and decisions about individual support and about local provision (for example, they must consult you when developing and reviewing the local offer)

Provide information, advice and support...

They must make arrangements for providing children, young people and parents with advice and information relating to their special educational needs/ disability, including health, social care and personal budgets.

Provide a service to children, young people and parents to provide this information advice and support impartially and confidentially (SENDIASS)...

Information, advice and support should be provided through a dedicated and easily identifiable service (SENDIASS), and the local authority must take steps to make this service known to children, young people and parents in their area.

Consult you...

You must be consulted when the local authority are reviewing educational, training and social care provision. Getting your feedback on this is with the aim of providing a better fit between families needs and the services provided.


Go back to parent home page

For more information please contact:

01904 554312

01904 555698


York Family Information Service and Information Service for Young People

01904 554444 / 01904 555400

Search for Childcare and Services