I know children from special school who have gone into catering, building trade, gardening, cleaning, refuse collection, stacking shelves at the supermarket, hair dressing, beauty theraphist to name a few jobs. A child with moderate special needs is not doomed to be on the dole for life.
A lot of children at special school do entry level certificates instead of GCSE or they do foundation GCSE. They then spend an extra year at college to get their qualifications up to a better standard before doing a level 1 vocational course.
I think it would be to your daughter's advantage to go to the secondary special school. It is quite common in special schools to have mixed age teaching.
Even though your daughter is academically behind, she is physically maturing and will becoming a teen. It will be better for her to be at secondary school than stuck at primary. (Year 6 is grim and if she misses out on the SATs obcession that most mainstream primaries have it will be a good thing.) Children's bodies change a lot in year 7.
"Or do special needs children have to leave secondary school at a certain age, in which case she just has a set amount of time left in school? "
A lot depends on what she wants to do and how severe her special needs are. (Clearly a child with profound learning difficulites cannot make such decisions, but a child with moderate/severe learning difficulties can make decisions.)
Many children in the special needs school system go to college and do stay on at school beyond 18. However some children choose to leave education as soon as legally possible. Sometimes parents don't like the decisions their children make.
thanks colleysmill. At least as she's a summer born, she'll get a full final year then, so in that sense it will even itself out a bit (that's if other pupils leave at the end of the term they turn 19, rather than at the end of the academic year they turn 19)
If a child starts school a year late due to their special needs (i.e. during reception year she went from age 5/6 rather than 4/5) does she have to skip a year later on so that she leaves secondary school at the 'right' age?
Because she's in the special school system, we're being told that work is differentiated to her ability so it doesn't matter if she goes up to secondary school when she hasn't actually completed up to end of year 6 (although she will be the 'correct' age.)
I understand that levels are all over the place, and she is way behind, but surely that's all the more reason not to effectively skip a year of time in school? (It's the amount of years in school she'll be getting, rather than covering the curriculum that I'm really thinking of.)
Or do special needs children have to leave secondary school at a certain age, in which case she just has a set amount of time left in school?