Tips for parents looking at school provision (Friday Questions)
Every Friday, we ask a random question on our Instagram and Facebook pages.
These are often generated by questions we get asked regularly or have been asked that week. Sometimes it is because a parent has asked us to ask that question.
If you have a question you would like to suggest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via social media.
The idea is to bring together people’s knowledge and ideas and share them with everyone.
If you missed the post on social media, feel free to add your comment on this post.
We asked parents to share with us their top tips for new parents who are just starting in the school system.
Again, we had a great response and we have grouped these together to help make it easier. We had many of the same or similar tips so we have tried to avoid duplication.
Questions to ask schools:
- How many children are there in your school with SEND?
- How many children do you have with EHC Plans?
- What experience does the SENCO have as a SENCO?
- Do you have a Governor with overall responsibilty for SEND?
- Is your website up to date?
- What experience do you have with my child’s particular SEND?
- What experience of my child’s SEND do any teachers have?
- What experience of my child’s SEND do any teaching assistants have?
- What progress do the children with SEND make in your school?
- Do you have many children with SEND leave your school due to families being concerned about the provision?
- Do you use person centred practices? Ie. do you know what a One Page Profile is and how it can be used by staff?
- Would you include my child on any school trips, residentials without me having to come along?
- How do you involve parents in any assessment, reviewing or planning?
- How do you communicate with parents?
- Who would be my primary contact should I need to ask a question or make you aware of a situation?
- Do you have any restrictions on communication with parents?
- Can I meet some other parents, could you perhaps help to organise that?
- Do you work with outside agencies, such as Speech and Language?
- If yes, how frequently do they come into the school and how is their advice passed on to the relevant teaching staff?
- If my child gets home to school transport, where are the drop off and pick up areas?
- Don’t be afraid to contact the school if you are worried. Don’t let worries fester.
- If you have concerns about the provision, always put them in writing
- Make sure you know how the complaints system works
- Get informed ahead of an issue arising. Make sure you know what the school should be doing and what to do if they are not. Or if you are not confident in doing this, make sure you know of organisations such as IPSEA or SOS-SEN who can help.
- Create a One Page Profile and send that in before they start so the staff have chance to look at it.
- Become a Governor and help make change happen.
Do you have any additional tips for new parents going into the school system. We all know how daunting it can be so any little tip is useful. Just add them in the comments below.
Debs is one of the co-founders and Directors of Bringing Us Together. She is mum to three child with a variety of SEND and has a great husband.