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Rights in education

In England, Scotland and Wales your child’s rights are protected by the Equality Act 2010, and in Northern Ireland by the Special Educational Needs and Disability (Northern Ireland) Order 2005.

In each part of the UK, there are also laws on how children with special educational needs should be supported. In particular, you have the right to request an assessment of your child’s special educational or additional support needs, which may lead to a statement or plan – legal documents which set out the support that your child needs.

Find out more about your child’s rights in education and how to appeal special educational needs (additional support needs in Scotland) decisions in your nation:

How to make a complaint about your child’s education

Information on how to make a complaint about your child’s school, including complaints about special educational needs support and disability discrimination.

Your right to appeal a school placement decision

If you’re not happy with the school placement your child has been given, you have the right to appeal. Find out more about the appeals procedure for your nation:

Your right to have your child’s school absences recorded appropriately

If you’ve given the school advance notice of your child’s absence for a medical appointment, it should be counted as an authorised absence.

Find out more, including why this is important at Missing school for medical appointments

Your right to send your summer born child to school a year late (England only)

If your child is of pre-school age and their birthday is on or between 1 April and 31 August you have the right to request that they start school a year later than other children.

Find out more at Summer born children in England: Starting school a year late.

What you have a right to expect from your child’s education provider

You have a right to expect certain standards from your child’s school, nursery, further education setting or specialist education service for deaf children. Below are some quality standards guides and resources for education professionals working with deaf children.

Information for parents

Quality Standards for Early Years Services for Deaf Children: What parents need to know (England) 

Information to share with professionals

We produce a range of Quality Standards on topics such as specialist educational services and resource provision.

We also produce a range of resources for teachers and other education professionals working with deaf children called Supporting Achievement. These guides set out simple tips for deaf-friendly teaching and how to make sure deaf pupils are included in all aspects of school life.

Supporting achievement resources are available for:

  • early years settings (including childminders, playgroups, nurseries and pre-schools)
  • primary schools
  • secondary schools
  • further education
  • special schools.

Find out more about Supporting Achievement.