Preparing for Secondary School
We understand that choosing a secondary school for your child can be a challenging experience. The questions below are those the special needs services are often asked by parents of children with special educational needs. It is important that you visit the local schools and speak to the special educational needs co-ordinators before making your choices. The information below may help you think about what to ask and look for during your visits.
- Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
- Do I go through the usual online admissions process if my child has an education health and care plan?
- Can my child attend a special school without an EHCP?
- My child is having an assessment for an EHCP. What happens if my child’s EHCP is not complete before national offer day in February, when all other families receive notification of their offer?
- Selecting a school
- Can I select a school located outside of Haringey for my child?
- Can I select an independent special school at secondary transfer?
- I have heard there is a new special school called The Grove. When is it opening?
- When looking around at schools, what should I expect from them?
- How are other professionals or agencies are involved in transition to secondary school?
- If I move out of borough permanently, or am given temporary accommodation out of borough, can my child still have a place in a Haringey mainstream or special school?
- How do I select a school that I believe is most suited to my child’s needs?
- Support for my child
- What therapy input will my child receive in mainstream or special school?
- Will my child receive one to one support in mainstream or special?
- Will my child receive transport to and from their special school?
- Can a school refuse admission if my child has medical needs?
- Can I choose to use the money identified by the EHCP to fund my own therapist in school, or to fund another type of intervention in the school?
- Can alternative therapies such as cranial osteopathy, music therapy, horse riding be funded through the EHCP?
- Further information
Do I go through the usual online admissions process if my child has an education health and care plan?
If your child has an education health and care plan you apply directly to the special needs department and give the name of your two chosen schools. You need to use the form provided by the SEN department. The form needs to be returned by the 31 October. You can contact the SEN department at:
2nd Floor Alexandra House, 10 Station Road, Wood Green, London, N22 7TR
Tel: 020 8489 3264
Fax: 020 8489 3792
We do sometimes offer special school places for children who have very complex needs on an assessment place, however this does not guarantee a long term place at the school. Their place will depend how on your child’s needs emerge during the time of their assessment at the school.
My child is having an assessment for an EHCP. What happens if my child’s plan is not complete before national offer day in February, when all other families receive notification of their offer?
If your child is not issued with an EHCP before national offer day, a place at a mainstream school will be offered in accordance with the school’s admissions criteria.
You can choose an out of borough mainstream maintained school, however we will also consult in Haringey for places. If your child has an EHCP you can ask us to consult schools using your child’s EHCP so they know how they will need to meet your child’s needs.
If you are interested in an independent special school; one that is not under the local authority and is a private school, you need to be aware that we will always try to place children using our local provision, which is high quality and able to meet a very wide range of children’s needs.
- See details on Haringey Special Schools.
We can consult independent special schools, however we do not have a duty to name them unless we cannot find a special school place to meet your child’s needs locally.
This is the new special school for children with Autism and it opened in September 2019.
You should expect to be able to meet the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (Senco) or speak to the Senco by phone if they are not able to be at an open evening. A representative from the school will be able to talk to you about the school’s ‘SEN Information Offer’, which should include the following information for children with SEND:
- Steps to prevent less favourable treatment / facilities for access/ equipment
- SEND identification and assessment of SEND
- How curriculum is adapted/the additional support provided/ the support to engage children in school activities/ the support for your child’s emotional, mental and social development
- Information on expertise/training of staff
- Consultation with parents
- How pupil voice is ensured
The school may want to talk to you about your child’s needs so that they can start planning for your child. Your child’s primary school will contact the local secondary schools and discuss transition arrangements with them for children who are moving on. All of Haringey’s schools have the necessary skills and ability to meet the needs of children with SEND.
They are not able to give reasons such as resourcing as a reason for not admitting children into school. If a school does express this concern to you, can you direct them to the Haringey Local Offer and also inform your SEN officer of their concerns. If you are concerned about talking to a school on your own, you can also ask for guidance and support from:
Markfield Parent Partnership Service
Tel: 0203 667 5233
Advice line 0208 802 2611
If I move out of borough permanently, or am given temporary accommodation out of borough, can my child still have a place in a Haringey mainstream or special school?
You can stay in the Haringey school, but you may want to discuss with your new borough schools that are nearer to you.
You can discuss your preferences for mainstream school or special school with the professionals involved with your child, such as your SEN officer or School senco’s.
If you are trying to choose between special school and mainstream it is important to think about how your child will feel at school; do they already have friends in the local area? do they join in with social events with children in their local area who might be attending the same schools?
If you are interested in a particular school you should check the school’s ‘SEN offer’ on their website, as this will tell you about the school’s experience and how they are able to meet the needs of children with special educational needs.
You should also ask to discuss this with your Senco and the other professionals working with your child. It is important that you visit the schools with a list of your questions and ask to speak to the school’s Senco at each school.
Both special schools and mainstream schools have access to the full range of therapies. Any changes to your child’s therapies, or other specialist provision will be discussed with you at your child’s annual review. The type and amount of therapy that your child needs will be written into your child’s plan.
Your child’s needs will be supported by the school, and your child’s level of support will be described in their EHCP. All the support your child gets will be to maximise their progress and help them learn to learn independently. This may be through some direct time with an adult, or it may be through teaching time, mentoring from older children, or group work with other children lead by an adult.
This is not automatic. You can apply for transport if your child has complex needs and is going to be attending a special school that is further from your home than you can be expected to travel. We will consider every application in it’s own right.
If successful the travel and transport service will offer you a range of transport options. This might be to pay your mileage, travel training for your child, or pick up from an agreed point at or near your home, if your child is going to travel on a school bus.
If you are concerned about your child going to school, the transport department can offer advice on independent travel training and also run independent travel training sessions over the summer.
- You can apply for these online using the transport application form.
All schools are expected to work with you and your child to make reasonable adjustments to meet your child’s needs - e.g. toileting or medication management. You will need to speak to your chosen school’s Senco to let them know about your child’s needs, and show them a copy of your child’s EHCP or statement.
The Senco will make contact with their school nursing service to help plan for your child’s needs.
Can I choose to use the money identified by the EHCP to fund my own therapist in school, or to fund another type of intervention in the school?
The money in the education health and care plan is usually used by the school, to support your child’s learning through teaching strategies used in school. If services are already available to meet your child’s needs, we will use those to make sure your child has the right level of therapy and support.
If you want to use the money for something else, this needs to be agreed with your child’s school. It may not be practical for the school to give the money to you, as they may need it to help support your child, however we will consider all your requests and discuss them with you.
- Please also refer to our Personal Budgets policy.
Can alternative therapies such as cranial osteopathy, music therapy, horse riding be funded through the EHCP?
These will not usually be funded by education as we do not consider them to be educational therapies.
If you would like more information on preparing yourself and your child for transition to secondary school please see the presentations below: