Choosing a school or other setting

Choosing a school or other setting for your child is a very personal decision. You might want to think about some of the following points. Some of the questions clearly have right or wrong answers, but many do not - they depend on your preferences and your wishes for your child.

Plastic bottles - a sensory toy in a classroomMore information about the different types of education provision is also available on this website.

Questions to ask

  • Are staff interested in your child as an individual? Are they interested in your knowledge of your child?
  • How does home-school liaison work? How easily can you visit?
  • How do staff interact with your child on first meeting him or her? How do they end the interaction? Are you happy with their attitude and style of interaction? How does your child react to them?
  • What resources does the provision have? Qualified specialist teachers? Access to medical and therapy staff if appropriate? Other specialist resources?
  • Who will be working with your child? If they don't yet know, how will they decide? What are the staffing ratios (how many children for each member of staff)?
  • How do staff describe the main aims of the provision?
  • How much do staff know about deafblindness? What training have they had in multi-sensory impairment? Does your child's teacher have the mandatory qualification in the education of children who are multi-sensory-impaired?
  • Are there other children with similar needs to your child?

Communication

  • What communication systems are used? Who will your child be able to communicate with? Staff? Peers? Other people?
  • How will information be presented to your child? How much choice will your child get regarding activities?
  • Is the physical environment appropriate? Will your child be helped or hindered in seeing, hearing, moving about? Is appropriate special equipment available?
  • Are there local community links, for example with other schools? Other inclusive activities? Will your child be as fully included in society as is compatible with meeting his or her needs?
  • Do you feel comfortable and welcome?

Related information

Causes and associated conditions

The law and changing schools

Children's Specialist Services

First published: Thursday 31 May 2012
Updated: Tuesday 15 October 2013