Monthly Parenting Magazine

Special Educational Needs: Choosing the Right Scho...

Special Educational Needs: Choosing the Right School

Use Moat School


Finding the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions you can make as a parent. But when you have a child with special educational needs (SEN), it can sometimes feel as if choice is limited. The wrong placement for a child with special educational needs can be detrimental to both the child and their parents. However, by undertaking these few simple steps from Cavendish Education, you can help ensure that your child enjoys a happier and more productive education.

Teaching Qualifications

Before you start, understanding your child’s educational requirements will make the search for a school far simpler. You will know which school is best equipped to allow your child to reach their full potential and this in turn with help you filter schooling options.

Once you’ve narrowed down your school search, look at the teachers. Different qualifications are required depending on the learning difficulty, so it is important to know which to look for in teaching staff. Specialist teachers will also know what is the best environment for your child to learn in. For example, when teaching pupils with impaired processing skills, a specialist teacher will always give pupils thinking time before inviting a response, rather than a ‘first hand up’ approach. This reduces stress and maximises thinking time, allowing students to process and reach their conclusion.

Classroom Policies

Aside from teaching qualifications, it is also essential to understand the school’s policy on things such as copying from the board, hand outs and assistive technology.

Copying from the board, for example, is hugely problematic for children with dyslexia, as it makes it difficult for them to absorb any of the information on display while they are distracted from copying-down. Research whether the schools available to you make simple adjustments in the classroom. This can be something as small as using contrasting colours on posters, as yellow and blue are reportedly the best contrast for many dyslexics.

Assistive Technology

Another good tip would be to ask about the school’s policy on assistive technology, as some schools refuse to allow SEN students to use a laptop or tablet in class, while others insist on it. If your child finds technology useful when learning, there are some fantastic assistive technology programmes that can help them tremendously in the classroom.

Finding a school that will facilitate your child’s use of assistive technology can make an enormous difference in their education experience. It’s important to ask how schools implement the use of technology, and asking granular questions can help guide your decision. For example, even asking what fonts schools use can be beneficial for children. Traditional fonts such as Times New Roman can confuse children due to the curly form of the letter ‘a’.

Cavendish Education Schools Fair

If you, or anyone you know, are trying to find your way through the SEN ‘maze’, please join us at the Cavendish Education Schools Fair on Saturday 6th October, from 10am to 2pm at 23-31 Beavor Lane, Ravenscourt Park, W6 9AR.

Headteachers, Senior Leaders and Admissions staff from all the Cavendish Schools will be together under one roof, along with a number of other selected professionals, including Speech & Language Therapists and School Placement Consultants, to help you make sense of your individual journey and to think about what route may be best for your child and family.

Children are very welcome to attend the Open Day. There will be activities and workshops on offer to keep them busy while you explore the world of Cavendish Education

Spaces are limited so please complete the form on the website to register your attendance: