On this page you will find our checklist of helpful prompts and questions for visiting potential new schools or settings.

You can print the page and take it with you, or contact us to request a copy. You may also want to add some additional questions of your own.

You might also find our transitions advice page helpful.

Things to consider

  • Did it feel welcoming?
  • Were you given clear and useful information?
  • Were you given the chance to see or speak to other pupils about their experiences?
  • Were there any good facilities for individual subjects or to meet specific needs?
  • Was it easy to move around? Would your child be able to access everything?
  • Did it provide an appropriate sensory environment, e.g., lighting, smells, sounds, visually?
  • Have you read the settings policies on things such as SEND, bullying and behaviour?

Questions to ask a school or setting

  • How will the school or setting get to know your child before they start?
  • How can your child get to know the school or setting and key staff?
  • How are the peer groups organised, e.g., age, ability, SEND, subject?
  • How many pupils will be in your child’s class?
  • How will your child change classes, move around school?
  • What are the start and finish times?
  • Are there any before or after school clubs?
  • What support and supervision is available in social times, e.g., playtimes and lunch?
  • Is there a buddy or peer support system?
  • How is progress assessed and monitored?
  • How often will your child’s progress be reviewed?
  • What are the home/ school contact arrangements?
  • Do they have experience with your child’s SEND?
  • How might additional support be provided to your child?
  • How will staff be informed of your child’s SEND and support plan?
  • How do they plan activities to be inclusive?
  • Is there an appropriate area for your child to access when needed?
  • Who is the key SEND contact?
  • Would appropriate staff members be available to your child?

Additional questions to ask a secondary school or setting

  • What reasonable adjustments can be made regarding homework?
  • What reasonable adjustments can be made regarding homework?
  • What SEMH support is available?
  • Will your child have a personalised timetable?
  • Do they offer an alternative to GCSE’s?
  • Do they support vocational learning?
  • Do they link to any local colleges or settings?

Questions to ask your young person after the school visit

  • Did you like anything about it?
  • Did you dislike anything about it?
  • Is there anything that you feel worried about?
  • Do you think you would like to attend there?
  • Is there anything else you would like to know or want to find out about?