Make a log of EVERYTHING.  It will be worth it…. trust me.

Make a log of EVERYTHING. It will be worth it…. trust me.

Just a quick one building on Rosie and Jo’s mum’s post ‘what to record and how to store it’

One of those things I wish I had started years ago.

Use a table to keep a log.  That is it.  A little bit of effort now and I promise you, you will be so glad you did you will soon be annoyingly evangelical about it!

Two things have triggered this, firstly, a few weeks ago I helped a dear friend to create one of these.  Since then it has proved to be useful over and over again.  Secondly, I have been chatting ‘online’ to a number of parents who are a few years behind us in terms of their passage through the wondrous world of SEND in education.  The latter has reminded me just how much I have learned and not to take it for granted.  So here it is, it’s pretty self-explanatory.  A completely made up example:

Screen Shot 2017-06-24 at 22.02.41

When it gets too long you can start ‘Table 2″ but continue the numbering from table one. That way, if you ever need to include is as evidence (for an appeal, tribunal etc) you can easily refer to the evidence.  Bear in mind – we all started out thinking “That won’t happen to me”.

Here is are alternatives that may be useful:

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 20.02.43

Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 15.00.21


Don’t make it complicated!  It needs to be easy so it requires as little effort as possible.  If all you do is create one of these tables and then (as I do) bury all paperwork in a huge draw that will now barely open, at least this way you will know what to look for!!!

Keeping information this way can be helpful for lots of reasons.  For example, straight away you can demonstrate that you don’t do stuff we get accused of: like ambushing school with too many emails and requests, being aggressive, not communicating, not working with school and so on.

We would love to hear your views:

  • Newbies – read ‘what to record and how to store it’….. and if you give this table a go, then please get back to us and let us know how it goes, how it can be improved, how it has been useful and then consider sharing this with your thoughts – as widely as possible, to help as many others as possible.
  • ‘Oldtimers’ – please do share your thoughts – share this blog with extra tips from you, add comments to the bottom and so on.

Don’t forget to sign up to follow our blog if you wish the receive notice each time a new one is published.

If you have found this post helpful and you think others may too, please click one of the share buttons below

Like this blog?  To see more of our blog posts please click here

12 thoughts on “Make a log of EVERYTHING. It will be worth it…. trust me.

  1. Yes. So true. Sadly it takes years IME to get to the situation whereby you realise you need to log everything, no matter how seemingly insignificant at the time. This has to be the way forward. The problem is that official records (regardless of whether they are retrospectively fabricated or not – yes IME they are, and I can prove it) are still regarded – on the basis of probability – as being more reliable (especially if other ‘official’ records exist in complicity).
    Sincere thanks to everyone involved with this website

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Because I have so many issues/projects/topics going on at the one time, I need a separate sheet (or folder in my case) for each one so I can clearly see the timelines and status for each, so that might be worth considering too.


  3. Your post is spot on. Being a person who relies heavily on lists to remember stuff, I started one of these for my son long ago and continue it to tidy. I have it all in one excel (backed up) and I Group the entries by month and year so I can ro them up to see what i need or open a year or month as required. I also have a column for Subject which is less detailed than column, just one word describing content e.g Tribunal, S&LT etc so i can sort
    the whole sheet by a relevant point more quickly.


  4. I kept my own extensive diary for when I had to deal with school and I regularly photographed my childs home school diary that they half-heartedly agreed to. Officialdom of any kind is a slippery fish and not to be trusted.


  5. Oh goodness I wish I had for my youngest, not for the LA but for a school complaint. He’s now home educated but wading through everything trying to piece together dates…then when you need to write reports etc. etc I’d have saved myself an awful lot of time keeping it from the outset. There are so many reasons to keep a log – it’s a great article as always.


  6. This is just what I’ve been looking for and desperately need. A bit of a chore typing it up but I’m sure will save a lot of time in the long run. Also helps to stop it all swimming around my head and I feel a bit more in control. I’m putting the subject title like’ EHCP’ in bold in the content column. I’m also adding a column for hours spent as I intend to issue invoices for my unpaid work at £35/hr, which I think is the going rate for SEN advocates these days. I can then site how much I’ve lost in earnings. The Open Nest charity has a very good resource:


    1. so so sorry I missed your comment last week 😦 Looks like you weren’t the only one there were a few i missed! thank you, you made me smile and that link is good!!! I might be tempted to use it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s