Visiting a school is the best way to determine whether that school is right for your child. It is an opportunity to get a sense of the school environment and get your questions answered. Below are some suggestions to help you get the most out of your visit.
Before arranging a visit
- Ask the school for their School prospectus and read it (you may also want to read the school’s latest OFSTED report www.ofsted.gov.uk/Ofsted-home/Inspection-reports)
- Look at the school’s SEN Information published as a linked document to the Torbay Local Offer
- Carefully think about and write a list of questions that you would like to ask the school.
- When you would like to visit? (it is best to visit during school hours)
- Will you be taking your child?
- Do you want someone else to accompany you?
- Is the school easy to get to? (think about transport arrangements)
- Would you like to talk to the SENCO?
- Do you want a guided tour?
- Will you be able to meet staff who would be involved with your child?
- Will you be able to talk to other parents who have children at the school?
- What is the general structure & timetable for the school day?
- How many children would be in your child’s class?
- How many members of staff would be in your child’s class?
- How do the school support children with Special Educational Needs?
- How do the school feel about providing 1:1 support?
- Do the school know anything about your child’s disability / learning needs?
- Have the school ever taught any other children with the same disability / learning needs?
- Are all areas of the school accessible to your child? (i.e. are adaptations required)
- How will your child be supported outside lesson time?
- How do the school deal with difficult behaviour?
- How is bullying dealt with at the school?
- How does the school help children mix and make friends?
- What extra activities does the school provide at lunchtime and after school?
- What will you have to provide for your child? (i.e. uniform; stationary; money for trips, events, extra activities, etc.)
- How does the school communicate with parents?
- When can parents talk to their child’s teacher?
- What arrangements are there for parents to get involved with the school?
- What opportunities are there to meet other parents? (i.e. P.T.A., organised events, etc.)
After the visit
Discuss your thoughts and feelings about the school with someone else:
- Did you feel welcomed at the school?
- Did the children seem happy, friendly and helpful?
- Do you think your child would be happy at that school?
- Did the school answer all your questions?
- Have you got any other questions that you would like to ask the school?
- Would the school be able to meet your child’s needs?