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How do you choose a school?

(4 Posts)
Willmum Fri 10-Dec-10 14:11:44

I need to name a school on my sons statement and just wondered how you decide. Its so hard when your looking for achild with SEN as its very difficult to identify which factors you consider the most important.#
Hes currently at pre-school with an outstanding oftsed and I think they are dreadful at catering for him despite ofsted stating that pupils with sen make excellent progress.
For example they refuse to implement specific strategies from therapists as 'they don't do it like that'. His IEP is rubbish, targets are not really targets and are definitly not smart. I suggested new smart targets for his IEP, these have been largely ignored and the same rubbish non smart targets put back in it etc etc.
However, I am also aware that for the vast majority of kids they do provide an excellent education. I feel sure that I would be very happy with their provision if my daughter (NT and very able) was there.

This I feel makes it really hard which choosing a school for him to move on to. On paper his pre-school are fantastic, in practice not so good. So how can you tell?
I feel he really needs to be in a small school with not so many pupils etc.

However his OT suggests a certain school which she has dealt with before who have been good with her having input with other pupils, but this school is probably the last one I would have chosen on the basis of class size/ just general feeling.

However, his OT was the only person who warned me against his current pre-school despite their fabulous reports so I do reallly value her opinion.

On the other hand my mum thinks he may be better in special school. He has been given band 1 statement and whilst I know I would have diffuculties gettin him in I feel it may be possible, but that is not a road I ever thought we'd be going done.

Her basis for this is that my brother went to special school eventually but after trying mainstream for a few years. She thought mainstream was right for him at the time but with hindsight said she wished she'd sent him straight to speacial school as she just felt he had 3 wasted years in mainstream.

So if anyone is still with me, how did/do you decide? I feel like my head will explode before to long. Im not to worried about distance etc, I will find a way to sort that I just really need him to be somewhere where they will work with him to bring out the best in him.

Thanks for any suggestions

justaboutdreamsofsleep Fri 10-Dec-10 14:21:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TotalChaos Fri 10-Dec-10 14:39:24

do you have to decide right now? as when I applied for DS, the special school/unit admissions were run differently to m/s, so you would apply for m/s on the normal timescale, and the LA would decide later in the year on ss/unit placements. I would take OT's recommendation seriously - I found that I was looking for the reverse of the stereotypical "nice, middle-class" school - i.e. somewhere that took plenty of kids who were below average achievers on entry, had at least average amounts of kids with SN. unfortunately ofsted and other people's experiences only go so far - you only really know if it's right for your kid when you see how they deal with your kid iyswim.

good luck.

sugarcandymistletoe Fri 10-Dec-10 15:33:52

When I had to name a school in the statement, I was able to name a few schools 'without prejudice', as I hadn't had time to visit them before I needed to name a school. That gave me a bit more time to make my final decision. I agree that you should visit as many schools as you can.

There is a list I found on the internet of questions to ask when visiting the school, tho I can't seem to find it right now.

There may also be the option of a split placement between SN school and ms, if you're not sure which one is right for him.

The problem with going for ms first, with a view to moving him to SN school if it doesn't work out, is that the SN school will probably be full by then, as children tend not to move once they've got a place.

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