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Questions to ask Secondary schools about their SEN offering?
http://www2.elevenplusexams.co.uk/forum/11plus/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=54860
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Author:  exam2019 [ Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Questions to ask Secondary schools about their SEN offering?

There’s a sticky post similar to this in the general SEN forum so I thought it might be good to gather questions here specific to SEN. Any suggestions?

My list is starting with:
Is there a full time SENCO?
How many children are typically on the SEN/inclusion register each year?
What pastoral support staff/systems exist?
What differentiations do they typically make? eg keyboards for written work, flexibility regarding PE, homework clubs, quiet rooms for unstructured times etc.
What specific actions are taken to support SEN kids to participate in wider activities which often have unspoken social barriers limiting their access? Eg school council, trips away, etc

What others do you suggest?

Author:  Guest55 [ Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask Secondary schools about their SEN offer

The SenCo has to be a key person in the school these days. This article might help explain: http://www.sec-ed.co.uk/best-practice/t ... -of-senco/

The SEN policy should be on their website so look for that and this page also gives some pointers: https://childlawadvice.org.uk/informati ... nal-needs/

The 'old' School action etc type register has gone.

Author:  loobylou [ Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask Secondary schools about their SEN offer

Realistically I don't know how possible this is but, having discussed this recently with a friend who has just had to unexpectedly use the SEN system in two schools, it would be useful to discuss the system with someone who has experienced it from the other side (ie parents or student).
School #1 looked amazing on paper and there was a very clear policy with what appeared to be a very navigable pathway. In reality when they needed it, the system was completely inaccessible to them.
School #2 was much more low key about it - obviously their policy was in place and looked fine etc but was much less structured and they felt it inspired less confidence - yet the experience on the ground was that they felt the support they received was phenomenal.
It probably also fits with the overall feel and perception of both those schools where #1 is quite corporate and their policies reflect that whereas #2 is more personal (and ditto).
I don't know about other schools but I would have thought that most schools would say the "right things".
I appreciate it's not always possible to speak to someone who's used the SEN system in a particular school though.

Author:  exam2019 [ Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask Secondary schools about their SEN offer

Guest55 wrote:
The 'old' School action etc type register has gone.


Thanks Guest - school action doesn’t exist but there is a list - I think schools can choose their own name - for kids on “SEN Support” and EHCPs. Our school calls it the SEN Register. Others the Inclusion Register. Our school has a part time senco combined with an above average number of SEN kids on the register.... not a good combination....

Author:  exam2019 [ Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Questions to ask Secondary schools about their SEN offer

loobylou wrote:
Realistically I don't know how possible this is but ..... it would be useful to discuss the system with someone who has experienced it from the other side (ie parents or student).

I don't know about other schools but I would have thought that most schools would say the "right things".


This is absolutely essential! Thanks to this forum I’ve been able to contact those with experience of our nearest grammar options. No idea how I would have managed it otherwise. Our immediate local area has only comps and we have a very active forum for parents of children with SEND - who are a fount of knowledge!

What’s interesting about the school policies is seeing who simply cuts and pasted the SEN COP to “tick the boxes” for legal requirements and which ones actually seem to know what they are talking about. Corporate policy that says “all the right things” is a bit of a red flag for me based on past experience.

Our schools policy looks great - but very few of the things listed are readily accessible. The support on our EHCP still isn’t in place over a year after it was finalised and we are somewhat fobbed off by getting more and more internal school reports which allow them to obfuscate (while collecting significant top up funding). It’s very wearing and I’m keen to find better service at secondary level

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