Finding a school and applying for a place

Things to consider/ask on a school visit

Most children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will get a school place in the same way as children without SEND but there is a different system for children with an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan

When exploring options of schools it is often useful to;

  • Read through information on the school’s websites – including their SEN Information Report and Policies (Behaviour, SEN and Supporting pupils medical needs for example)
  • Arrange visits to schools to get both get first-hand experience of what they have to offer and to provide an opportunity to ask questions.

Things to consider/ask on a school visit

First impressions:

  • On your first contact with the school and during the visit do you feel welcomed?
  • How big is the site? Is it safe and secure?
  • Would you like your child to spend their school days there?


  • How does the school prepare for a child’s admission to the school?
  • What extra activities does the school provide at lunch time/ after school? What are the supervision arrangements?
  • How does the school’s discipline system adapt to take account of the specific needs and difficulties of children? Is positive behaviour praised?
  • How does the school help children socialise and make friends?
  • Are there any particular areas of expertise/provision in school?


  • How is information on a child’s needs shared with school staff?
  • How does the school communicate relevant information to parents and encourage parents to communicate with them?
  • What arrangements there are for you, as a parent, to discuss your child’s progress and contribute to target setting and planning, learning opportunities, including homework.
  • Whether there are opportunities to meet with parents of other children at school, perhaps through organised meetings, e.g. PTA


  • What teaching methods and strategies are used to aid children’s learning?
  • How many children would be in your child’s class?
  • How many members of staff (i.e. teachers, learning support assistants) would be in your child’s class?
  • How is the school day/week structured and how will the teaching and learning in class meet your child’s needs?
  • What the school’s expectations are of their children and parents


  • It may be helpful to explore the school’s behaviour and anti-bullying policies. Do they match your expectations of your child?
  • If your child has a medical condition/disability you may also way to share information regarding what help your child requires as a result of their medical condition/disability – including what equipment they need access to and any staff training required.
  • If your child has an EHC plan and you are exploring a special school;
    • What area(s) of need do the school cater for – is there a suitable peer group for your child?
    • Are there any therapies offered on site?
    • What communication methods (e.g. Makaton) are used?
    • Are there any specialist facilities (e.g. sensory room) on site?
    • Does the school have links with other schools? If so what opportunities does this provide for children?

Contact Case Co-ordinator

Contact your child’s allocated EHC plan Case Co-ordinator

Telephone: 01709 822660