When children are about to start school, it can be an anxious time for parents. In Haringey, specialist teams work with you and your child, for example the Early Years Inclusion team or Autism team, to support the transition for your child when he/she moves from an early years setting to reception class in school.
You can find out more about starting primary school on our school admissions pages and also reading the frequently asked questions for parents of children with SEND at the bottom of the page.
Choosing a school for your child can be a difficult process for parents, especially if your child has special educational needs. Here are a few examples of questions you may want to ask when visiting a school:
- How would you get to know my child before they start school
- Does the school have experience of supporting children who have similar difficulties to my child?
- How does the school arrange extra support for children who need it?
- What equipment and resources are available?
- What health and other professionals work with the school and how will they work with parents?
- How many non-teaching staff do you have for supporting children with special needs?
- What training have staff had about special educational needs?
- How will you make sure my child’s opinion is heard
- How do you make sure he/she is learning to the best of their advantage?
- How do you encourage children to be independent?
- How would my child be supported to make friends?
- How do you make sure all children are able to take part in school trips and other activities?
- How would I be involved in planning for my child’s needs?
- How will my child’s progress be monitored and recorded and how regularly will it be reviewed?
- What will happen if you do not feel my child is making sufficient progress?
- What support and guidance does the school offer parents?
Supporting Children with Medical Needs in School
On 1 September 2014 a new duty came into force for governing bodies of schools to make arrangements to support pupils at school with medical conditions.
- Pupils at school with medical conditions should be properly supported so that they have full access to education, including school trips and physical education.
- Governing bodies must ensure that arrangements are in place in schools to support pupils at school with medical conditions.
- Governing bodies should ensure that school leaders consult health and social care professionals, pupils and parents to ensure that the needs of children with medical conditions are effectively supported.
You and your child may be worried about attending school if they have a complex medical condition. When you speak to your child’s school, you can ask them who has the responsibility for ensuring child’s medical needs are met. This may be the school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator.
You can ask:
- Who is responsible for ensuring that staff are suitably trained? This might be the school nurse or specialist nurse from your child’s hospital
- How staff in school will be made aware of your child’s condition? This is likely to be through sharing of a health care plan and training to staff. It should include conversations with yourself and your child
- Who will ensure cover arrangements in case of staff absence to make sure someone is always available? Check that you know who will be aware of your child’s needs if their teacher is away
- How will trips and holidays, and after school activities be risk assessed? The school will be able to tell you how staff who are less familiar with your child will be trained
- Who will monitoring the individual healthcare plans?. This is likely to be the trained school staff in consultation with the school nursing team
Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
If your child has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), or is in the process of having an EHCP assessment, you may have some questions about the admissions process.
- See the Starting school with an EHC - FAQs document (PDF, 75KB), which may help you.
- Also please see the presentation given at the latest 'Choosing Positive Futures' reception event: Choosing Positive Futures reception transfer event (PDF, 889KB)
- More about EHCPs
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