Checklist when visiting schools

Halton SEND Partnership have produced a handy pocket sized guide to help to guide you through choosing a secondary school for your child. The guide can be used to record visits and compare schools. There are lots of question ideas that you can ask schools, and there is also a section that you can share with your child.  Please fill out our moving up form If you wish to receive a paper copy please contact us on 0151 511 7733.

Before arranging a visit

  • Ask the school for their school prospectus and read it
  • Carefully think about and write a list of questions that you would like to ask the school
  • When would you like to visit? (It is best 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?

Questions to ask when at the school

  • What is the structure and timetable for the school day?
  • How many children 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?
  • Have the school ever taught any other children with the same disability?
  • Are all areas of the school accessible to your child? (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? (Uniform/stationary/money for trips, events, extra activities, etc.)
  • How does the school communicate with parents?
  • When can the 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? (PTA, 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?