Structured conversations

Structured conversations is a positive ‘outcome focused’ communication tool that encourages teachers and parent carers to work together effectively.

Structured conversations is a positive ‘outcome focused’ tool that encourages teachers and parent carers to work together. Developing a better relationship with parents enables them to be more engaged in their child’s learning and increases confidence in the education system.

Structured conversations enable

  • An effective relationship to be established.
  • Parent carers to express their aspirations.
  • The teacher and parent carer to share concerns and successes.
  • Clear targets to be set as well as clear plans on how to achieve them.
  • Responsibilities of all parties to be clarified.     

Structured conversation can help to establish a wider school culture of listening to the thoughts and aspirations of parents of children and young people with SEND. In short, this allows for the ‘receiving’ as well as ‘transmitting’ of information.

The Structured conversation was part of an ‘Achievement for All’ which concluded in September 2011. Although the pilot was carried out a while ago, structured conversation is still seen as a tool that can support positive ‘outcome focused’ conversations, encouraging teacher and parent to work together.  

Structured conversations facilitates a relationship that develops around the shared purpose of improving the educational achievement of the child or young people with SEND. This is achieved by allowing the free exchange of information and views; the evolution of supportive teaching and learning strategies and clarity of learning objectives.  

Key findings from the evaluation showed that by using the structured conversation tool this enabled better engagement with parents and teachers. Recommendations from the report included regular, scheduled conversations on educational outcomes between parents and teachers, with teachers given extra training in managing these relationships. To find out more visit Achievement for All.

Further information on person centred tools to support you with the content of conversations, you may also want to look at the person centred planning page.

If you are interested in this training, please email: and address your email to Heather McIntosh (SENDIAS Team Manager).