For those of you who have had to go through the process of choosing a school for your child, whether that be a primary or secondary school, I think you will agree it can be very stressful particularly if you have a disabled child.
- You might wonder have you completed everything on the e-form?
- Do you have all the necessary documents needed?
- Did you remember the supplementary information form? (what’s a supplementary information form I hear you ask?)
- Will you get the school of your choice?
- Will they facilitate my child’s disability?
Well, it’s that time of the year, and if you are applying for a primary school place for your child remember that applications must be sent before 12 midnight on 15th January 2018 and the form must be completed online.
Go to the Southwark Council webpage on Applying for a Primary School Place which includes information about help available to children with special educational needs (SEN) and an explains for what a supplementary form is for those schools that require them.
Southwark’s admissions team are holding surgeries to give advice and support to families with school admission queries during term time.
Surgeries are taking place at the One Stop Shop (ground floor),
122 Peckham Hill Street
London, SE15 5JR
More details: Local Offer – School Admissions Drop-In
What does the law say about children with SEN?
The definition of a special educational need is set out in pages 15/16 of The Special Educational Needs and Disability code of practice 0 to 25 years. This document (which can be downloaded as a PDF) is an essential guide for any parent/carer wishing to know what the legal duties are that must be followed by statutory bodies, including schools, educational establishments, local authorities and staff in how your disabled child or young person with learning difficulties is provided for within their educational setting.
Download Special educational needs and disability code of practice:0 to 25 years. Statutory guidance for organisations which work with and support children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities.
Many parents are guided by OfSted reports and academic results when it comes to choosing a school for their child and whilst these can be useful they give little detail about a school’s approach to teaching children with SEN. My advice is to talk to other parent/ carers who have gone through the application process, visit as many schools as you can and speak to the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCos) and pastoral care teams wh. Good luck!
What must a school do for your child?
- a school must admit your child if they have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHC) previously called Statement of Special Educational Need and have named that school. Children with an EHC are not included in oversubscription criteria and are admitted through the EHC process.
- a school must not refuse your child if they have a special educational need but no EHC on the grounds that they feel the child needs an EHC, an assessment or has challenging behaviour (though there are some exceptional circumstances here). If a school refuses to admit your child giving these as reasons, you can appeal through an independent admission appeal panel.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
The Equality Act 2010
The Act sets out that early years providers, schools, post-16 institutions like colleges, local authorities, and other establishments must not directly or indirectly discriminate against, harass or victimise disabled children and young people. Reasonable adjustments must be made to ensure that disabled children and young people are not at a substantial disadvantage compared to their peers and any adjustments should be thought about and planned in advance of when they are required. These establishments must also take steps to stop discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and encourage good relations between disabled and non-disabled children and young people.