I have a child with SEN who has a statement and one to one LSA at a state primary - but now I'm considering a move two hours from my current location to a new area ....but am struggling to find out real info about primary schools in my chosen area and which are truly good with SEN.
I worry that the admissions dept and heads will give me their spiel....but I'm interested to know how to find out what's really going on at the schools I'm looking at. Eg How do I find out whether the head is great - or mediocre? How do I know if the school does anything if a child is bullied? How good is the head really with SEN ?
How did those of you who've moved to a new area find out about the school you chose before you moved there please?
I haven't done this, but if I had to, I would put the name of the town into a FB search and see if any support groups for SENs show up, maybe NAS if your child has autism for example. If you don't use FB maybe contact the local childrens centre and see if they can put you in touch with any local groups. Then you can ask amongst the members for their experiences.
Also, make appointments to see the SENCOs of these schools. They may trot out the spiel too, but can still reveal a lot. For example I am choosing secondary school for dyslexic DD this year. Having seen SENCOs of both local schools there is a clear winner and it's not the one who lost my emails, messed me about with dates, kept me waiting for 45 minutes when I arrived and barely glanced through DDs reports.
I have just gone through this - moved to a new area with an autistic boy. I agree it's really difficult to find out any useful info to help you make a decision.
Definitely visit as many schools as possible - they will give you the spiel but I could definitely tell the difference between the good ones and bad. One SENCo said to me "we're doing ok with the SEN children, but we could do better" - that was her way of saying sorry, but I don't think we could provide for your child. Others told me the LSAs only work mornings which is no good if your child needs more support than that. Another was next to a noisy building site which is no good for a child with sensory issues. Ask how many children with a statement/EHCP plan are already in the school - the ones with more of these children are the ones who will have more experience and a more understanding SENCo and experienced staff.
We're only 2 weeks in now but my son's getting on really well so far with what I think was the best choice for us.
Also read the Ofsted reports - they will mention things like how well SEN kids do in the school, also any reports of bullying etc. And like the other poster said, facebook groups, posting on places like mumsnet etc. I didn't get many replies from people but it's worth a try. Good luck!