Education - 8 tips for transitioning to secondary school
All parents find searching for the best school for their child difficult. However, as a parent with a child that has SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability) this can be especially challenging. Here are 8 tips to guide parents through the primary to secondary school transition process.
Before your visit
Tip 1: Plan ahead
Thinking about what secondary school you want to send your child in Year 5 or prior to this can help you prepare your child for the transition.
Tip 2: Do your research
Research the schools you might want to send your child to. You can have access to resources that will help you assess whether the school meets the needs of your child such as:
- The school's prospectus
- Special Educational Needs information report
- A copy of the Ofsted report
- A copy of the schools policies and procedures on SEN and bullying
(Most of these can be accessed on the individual schools website)
Tip 3: Planning your Visit
Planning your visit might help know what to expect and who you will be talking to. Plan how are getting to the school (Is the school easy to get to?). Contact the school to find out about the visiting process as every school is different.
During your visit
Tip 4: Make notes
While you’re there make physical or mental notes such as; do the staff and pupils look happy? Is the school accessible? Was it hard to get to the school? What does the school do to support children with SEN? How are the teachers communicating? Do any other children in the school have the same needs as your child?
Tip 5: Don't be afraid to ask questions
Keep an open mind when visiting the schools and make sure to ask any questions you think might be crucial in your decision on whether you would be sending your child there. See how the teachers or pupils respond to your questions.
After your visit
Tip 6: Review
Once you have visited all the secondary schools you have chosen to, you now need to decide which school would be best for your child. Consider which school provided the best support and environment for your child's needs.
Tip 7: Contact
After you've visited all the schools you might realise that you have forgotten to ask a question that might be crucial in deciding what school is best for your child. Contact the school office and ask your query.
Tip 8: Second visit
After you have decided what school you want your child to attend or at least narrowed it down you might want to attend for a second visit. This could help you make a final decision. During this second visit you might want to take your child to get their view.
Read the full surviving SEND secondary school transition guide here