Westminster volunteers SEND supporters (VSS) may be able to help in a variety of ways:
- By listening to what you have to say
- Helping you think about options and talk through decisions
- Helping you to understand the timetable for an EHC Needs Assessment
- Helping you to write letters or reports, for example for your child’s annual review, or as part of the EHC Needs Assessment process
- Finding out information on your behalf, with your permission
- Helping you to prepare for school meetings and attending meetings with you
- Going on school visits with you, to help you identify a suitable school for your child
- Taking notes in meetings so you can concentrate on what is being said and on putting your point across
- At all times, our VSS can refer to the Westminster IASS staff for advice and support.
Who are the Westminster VSS?
The Westminster VSS volunteers may be parents themselves, or they may have experience of working in schools, or they may just be interested individuals who have an empathy with parents of children with special educational needs.
They should possess the following skills and personal attributes:
- Willingness to listen and an empathy with parents
- An understanding of the types of issues parents face
- A working knowledge of special educational needs
- Good writing skills
What Westminster VSS volunteers will not do
Westminster VSS will not make professional judgements about you or your child, or make decisions for you.
Our VSS are there to support you and they will not work directly with professionals. They will only communicate with professionals with your permission.
Westminster VSS' role is to assist you with specific issues concerning your child’s special educational needs. They are not able to get involved in other ways with your family, though they can refer to the Westminster IASS staff to help you to locate other sources of support.