School visits

We can help you to prepare for school meetings or visits to potential new schools or settings.

When you are visiting a potential school or setting it is helpful to:

  • have questions prepared that you want to ask
  • ask for the views of your child or young person (if possible)

We have created a list of some helpful prompts and suggested questions you could ask on a school visit.

Find our visiting schools checklist

You can print the page and take it with you, or call our helpline to request a copy of our visiting schools advice booklet.

You might also find our transitions advice page helpful when planning to visit a new setting.

School support meetings

Sometimes the best way to solve an issue and raise any concerns is to ask for a meeting with your child's school or setting.

Meetings about SEND are often with the school SENCo, but you may want to ask the class teacher or a support assistant to attend too (if you think their input would be helpful).

You can ask someone to attend the meeting with you for support, so that they can take notes while you concentrate on what is being discussed or to speak on your behalf if you find the situation difficult.

Read our advice on what steps to take before, during and after a school support meeting.

You might also find our transitions advice page helpful if you are going to be asking for or attend a meeting to discuss transition planning.

Before the meeting

  • Talk to your child to get their views about school and the support they think they might need.
  • Read the schools SEND policies on equality and behaviour so that you know how the school plans to support pupils in these areas. This can be found on their website.
  • Make a list of what you think your child is finding difficult and provide evidence including copies of any communication you’ve had with the school.
  • Make a list of your concerns, questions and the things that you want to make sure are talked about in the meeting. This can include progress, physical skills, behaviour, mood and support.
  • You might also find it helpful to watch this video about person-centred planning, provided by the Council for disabled children (CDC)

During the meeting

  • Ask for introductions in the meeting to make sure that you know who everyone is and how they are involved with your child.
  • Ask for notes to be taken during the meeting so that you can refer back to them afterwards. You can also make your own notes.
  • Ask for things to be explained properly if you are unsure of anything.
  • Ask for a break if you feel you need one, especially if you are feeling tearful or angry.
  • Keep using your list as a prompt to help stay focused on what you want to cover in the meeting.

After the meeting

  • Consider if you have said everything you wanted to say and try not to leave the meeting with unanswered questions.
  • Make sure that you and the school have agreed what will happen next and ask for this to be put in writing.
  • Agree a future date for another meeting to check progress.
  • Make sure that you know who will be making any future decisions and how you’re going to be told about these.