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Advicenow guide - choosing a school

ScopeHelpline Member Posts: 208 Courageous
edited June 2014 in Education
Posted by Forums Moderator on behalf of Advicenow.

Hello. I work for a law and rights charity called Advicenow. We are producing a guide for parents of disabled children about how to choose a school. It will cover what the process is, how you apply, and where you can get help. I'd really like to speak to parents who have been in this position, or are about to be, to find out about the problems you have experienced or things you are confused about, or things you wanted information about but couldn't find, and anything else that would tell me what I should try and include in this guide.

I'm also looking for people who might be willing to give comments on a draft of the guide.

If you have any thoughts that could help me please post them or if you'd prefer, email me at [email protected]
Many thanks.


  • samanddavid
    samanddavid Member Posts: 1
    My daughter is due to start school sept 2011,I am now in the process of looking at 'special schools',and have been told the statementing process should start after the summer hols.I already know that the school I prefer is 'out of catchment' so I will have a battle on my hands...yet the school seems best suited for Amelias' needs...this seems crazy,as it is still only 30 mins away!!!I would be happy to help you out if I can.Cheers,Sam.
  • linds
    linds Member Posts: 7

    t get the most appropriate school for your daughter you need to be vigilant about the reports you gather during the statementing process.

    Request the blue disc on inclusion from Scope Early Years (it is free to parents so make sure you request a free parent copy) don't worry that you want a special school the advice on getting a statement is the same for all schools.

    [email protected]

    Look at the how to get a good statement guidance. thysi guidance is cnsidered apprpariate by both parents and Local Authorities many of whome send it out to parents of children with disabilities as they think it helps parents to keep control of what can be a scary process. it is being revamped to ensure it uses the right language about the tribunals but the advice on getting the best out of the statementing process is the same. also look in the ealry years parent pack on the same disc as it has a section on assessing needs this has been taken up by some local authorities as they see it as a fair and honest way to assess what needs are and also how they should be met. it does not replace any assessments done by professioanls but is a good steer for whether a school can or cannot meet needs.

    you need to remember that although the school you have chosen may be best for your daughter the law does not require that it requires ADEQUATE education. i have successfully reminded several tribuanl panels that adequate means sufficient to meet needs so once you have filled inthe assessment of needs checklist with your daughter's current provision take it to ALL the schools that are likely to be offered and see if they can reassure you that they are able to meet the needs stated. keep records of your conversations and write back to each scool following you rvisits reminding them of the plusses and gaps in the provision they are offereing - this gives them a chance to put you right if you might have misunderstood their responses. it is all good evidence for the statmment.

    length of travel to school can be considered in looking at what is adquate so if this is you rnearest school even though it is out of catchment you may be able to use this to support your evidence.

    get in touch with a local parent partnership scheme straight away don't wait for statemting to start and see what they have to offer. most are excellent and know local provsion and local ways very well. some continue to be very closely controlled by the local authority and you need to discover how independent the advice they give is.

    if you live in the south of the country Scope is having a stand at Kidz South at the Rivermead Leisure Centre Reading on the 24th June we will be happy to advise and will have copies of the information avaialble to take away.


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