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SENDIASS: Choosing a School for a Child With Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (Factsheet) - WNC

SENDIASS: Choosing a School for a Child With Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (Factsheet) - WNC logo


Choosing a school for your child can be a difficult process for parents, especially if your child has special educational needs. You may wish to consider the following list of questions when visiting a school.

Examples of questions you might want to ask:

School Organisation

  • How is the school organised? Into departments? By age? By ability? Subject Groups?
  • How might this change, as my child gets older?
  • How often would my child change class or move around the school?
  • How many children would be in my child's class?
  • When and how often are children taught outside the classroom?
  • How does the school arrange extra support for children who need it?
  • Is the extra support usually provided in the classroom, individually or in small groups?
  • What health or medical facilities does the school have?
  • (If your child has difficulty walking) Are all areas of the school accessible to my child, or would adaptations be necessary? 

Staff Knowledge & Experience

  • Does the school have any experience of helping children who have similar difficulties to mine
  • How many other children in the school have special educational needs? What kinds of needs do they have?
  • How many staff are there in school? Teaching and Non-teaching special needs support staff?
  • What training have staff had about special educational needs?
  • What does the school do to make sure that all the staff would know about my child's individual needs?

Pastoral Care / Extra Curricular Activities

  • How would the other children be helped to understand my child's special needs?
  • How would my child be helped to make friends?
  • How does the school help children to learn how to make the school a happy place? Does the behaviour system reward effort as well as success?
  • What is the schools experience of bullying? How would the school prevent my child from being bullied?
  • How would the school make sure my child has the chance to take part in all areas of the curriculum?
  • How do you make sure all children have equal opportunities to take part in school trips?
  • How would my child be encouraged to take part in out of school activities such as clubs and sports events?

Assessment and Progress

  • How is children's progress monitored and recorded?
  • How regularly would my child's progress be reviewed? Who is involved in this?
  • What happens if school staff feel my child is not making progress?
  • What would happen if I feel my child is not making progress or if I have any concerns?
  • What special arrangements are there for internal exams, tests and SATs? (Older children) What public exams are children able to take & what is the success rate?

Communication / Support for Parents 

  • How would I be involved in the individual planning for my child's special educational needs?
  • How often are written reports sent home?
  • How would I be kept up to date about what is happening in school?
  • How are parents involved in school life?
  • Does the school produce newsletters for parents?
  • What sort of support and guidance does the school offer for parents?
  • Is there a parent’s group?
  • What arrangements are usually made for transport to and from school?
  • How would you get to know my child before they start at your school?
  • How would my child get to know your school especially in the first few days after starting?

This information can be made available in other languages and formats upon request.


  • Brackley Area
  • Corby Area
  • Daventry Area
  • East Northants Area
  • Kettering Area
  • Northampton Area
  • Towcester Area
  • Wellingborough Area
  • North Northamptonshire
  • West Northamptonshire
  • Northamptonshire
Additional languages
Translation and/or Interpreting Available on Request
Age range
Suitable for ages from 5 years to 18 years
Referral route
No Referral Needed
For people with
  • Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND)
  • Caring Responsibilities
Eligibility criteria
  • Age Range - School
  • Carer / Family / Parent / Relative
  • Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND)
Provider category
  • Targeted Services - Additional Support Needs
  • Specialist Services - For those who require longer-term support


c/o SENDIASS, West Northamptonshire Council, One Angel Square, Angel Street
United Kingdom


Publication on the Local Offer does not endorse a provider, so please take reasonable steps to ensure that any service found on the Local Offer is suitable for your family member. For more information, please read our disclaimer.

Last updated 10 June 2024