Frequently asked questions

How old are children in each stage? 

How can I involve my child in making decisions about school?

How does the school organise support for children with special educational needs?

My early support keyworker finishes when my child starts school. How can I continue to have a person who is my first point of contact?

Do schools get any extra money to help children with special educational needs?

How do schools appoint a teaching assistant to work with my child?

How will a new teacher and a new teaching assistant know how to cater for my child’s needs?

How will I know what my child is learning about and what his/her individual targets are?

How will my child’s progress be reviewed?

How does the school prevent bullying?

What are the arrangements if my child travels to school in a taxi?

What are the arrangements for playtimes and lunchtimes so that the school can ensure my child’s safety?

Will my child be able to attend breakfast clubs and after school clubs?

How will my child’s medical needs be managed? What are the arrangements for medicines and inhalers?

How will my child be supported in developing personal care and independence?

My child has difficulties separating from me. How will the school be able to help?

How and where will physical management routines recommended by the physiotherapist be done?

What about speech and language therapy programmes?

Can parents go into school to help in the classroom?

How will my child access school trips and outings? Can parents go on school trips as helpers?

How do members of staff encourage good behaviour in school?

How big are the classes?

How will I know what is going on in school?

Will my child get homework?

What if my child is not yet fully toilet trained?

What if my child uses symbols to support their communication?

What happens if my child has to spend time in hospital or at home for medical reasons?

Does my child have to wear school uniform?

Any other questions?

 

How old are children in each stage?

Age

School Year

Age 4 

Nursery class

Foundation Stage 1

Age 5

Reception class

Foundation Stage 2

Age 6

Year 1

Key Stage 1

Age 7

Year 2

Key Stage 1

Age 8 - 11

Years 3 – 6

Key Stage 2

How can I involve my child in making decisions about school?

Even if your child has difficulty communicating with speech, you will already know a lot about how he/she learns, which environments suit him/her and what he/she likes and dislikes. When you visit a school, see if you can imagine your child thriving there. The local authority is committed to hearing and responding to the ‘voice of the child’, and has produced a series of booklets entitled ‘Listen to Me’ that may be helpful.

How does the school organise support for children with special educational needs?

The special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) or inclusion coordinator is responsible for the arrangements in school for children withSEN. TheSENCo may act as your key worker, coordinating support for your child. Alternatively, you may choose another professional to support you in this way, such as your child’s social worker, teacher, teaching assistant, specialist teacher or physiotherapist. Some parents prefer to be their own key worker.

All children have their learning planned, coordinated and evaluated by the class teacher, usually with support from teaching assistants (TAs). Some schools have teaching assistants who work with an individual child or group of children for a part of the week e.g. on speech and language development or physical development. Others have teaching assistants who are attached to classes for the whole week.

Other professionals such as the physiotherapist, specialist teacher or speech and language therapist will also work with the school to make sure that any specialist activities are incorporated into the school day. You will be included in target setting and discussing the progress of your child. If your child has special educational needs that can be met within school, they may be placed on the SEN register and have a My Support Plan or if your child has a Statement from September 2014, children will be moved to an Education Health and Care Plan. School staff will provide support and plan for your child’s needs, involving other professionals if needed.

 

My early support keyworker finishes when my child starts school. How can I continue to have a person who is my first point of contact?

The local authority is committed to providing a lead practitioner for every family who needs one. You can ask a professional working with your child if they can take on this role and it can be agreed at the child and family-centred transition planning meeting. In most schools the special educational needs coordinator (SENCo) arranges the support for, and meetings about, children with special educational needs. You should be asked in advance what you would like to talk about at the meetings.  Spend some time thinking about what your priorities are.

Do schools get any extra money to help children with special educational needs?

All schools who have children with special educational needs receive additional funding from the local authority. This is known as ‘delegated funding’. Delegated funding is used by the school in the way that suits their school and the needs of their children best. Schools are accountable for the way this money is used and the local authority has an overall responsibility to ensure that children’s special educational needs are met.  Early years settings can request inclusion funding for individual children, dependent on their level of need.

In addition to ‘delegated funding’, schools may receive further funding for children who have a Statement of Special Educational Needs. From September 2014 those children who have a Statement of special educational needs will start to be moved to an Education Health and Care Plan.The first 15 hours of support for any child with special educational needs is already delegated to schools. If your child needs more than 15 hours of support, the local authority will provide the additional resources needed. The local authority monitors provision and arrangements for children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs/Education Health and Care Plans. If your child has a statement or Education Health and Care Plan, this will be reviewed every year in the annual review. Your child will be supported to participate in this meeting, and you will be asked what you would like to discuss and for your views.

 

Top tip: Any questions about how additional support would be provided for your child? Ask York SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (formerly Parent Partnership Service).

How do schools appoint a teaching assistant to work with my child?

Your child’s school may already have a member of staff in mind, who has the skills and experience to support your child. Alternatively the school may decide to advertise for a new member of staff.

The headteacher will use all the information available to them to ensure that they appoint the right person to complement their existing team of staff and to work with your child.

How will a new teacher and a new teaching assistant know how to cater for my child’s needs?

The first priority for your child’s teacher will be getting your child settled and ensuring that he/she is happy and safe. The teacher uses all the information from the early years setting and other professionals to plan for your child’s learning. He/she will include any therapy targets into the plans for the school day.

How will I know what my child is learning about and what his/her individual targets are?

Schools are required by the code of practice for special educational needs to include parent/carers in setting targets for their child’s learning. Children at Early Years Action Plus or with Statements of Special Educational Need have individual educational plans (IEPs), which are discussed and agreed with you.

Your child will be involved in the process of setting and reviewing their targets. This will be organised in different ways in different schools.

How will my child’s progress be reviewed?

Your child’s teacher and the SENCo will invite you to go into school to discuss your child’s progress and to agree the next steps or targets.

If your child has a statement, this will be reviewed every year in the annual review. Your son or daughter will be supported to participate in this meeting, and you will be asked what you would like to discuss and for your views. For more information about how we can support your child to participate and how you can contribute to the review, please see the ‘Listen to Me’ series of booklets.

How does the school prevent bullying?

All schools want to ensure your child will be safe and happy at school. Bullying is not tolerated and every school will have agreed strategies for dealing with bullying. It is important that you work in partnership with the school and let school know if you have any concerns. Schools have an anti-bullying policy.

What are the arrangements if my child travels to school in a taxi?

The school that your child is joining will complete an application for home school transport with you. You need to know that drivers and escorts are not allowed to give any medicines. However, it is important that they are able to recognise an emergency for your child. You will be asked to help the school write an individual travel plan, which will tell the driver and/or escort about how to support your child. This will then be passed to the transport provider. The transport provider will contact you before your child starts school and offer a home visit to discuss your child’s travel plan. You can explain about your child’s communication needs and their impairment or condition. An escort or a member of staff from school will make sure your child is taken to their classroom and escorted into their taxi at the end of the day. All drivers and escorts have undertaken the disability equality training level 1 and received further training on communication and autism.

Contact: Streamline Taxis

T: 01904 615288

E: transport@streamlinetaxisyork.co.uk

What are the arrangements for playtimes and lunchtimes so that the school can ensure my child’s safety?

All schools have systems in place to ensure that members of staff know  which children require closer supervision or additional help at playtime and lunchtimes. This might be done in different ways in different schools.

Will my child be able to attend breakfast clubs and after school clubs?

Many schools have before and after school clubs. Some are managed by the school but most are managed by independent organisations. There may be charges for attending extended school activities. Staff from many extended services have received training about working with children with special education needs and disabled children. You will still need to tell them about your own child. Taster sessions are available for families of disabled children and children with additional needs.

Top tip: Talk to the headteacher if you have difficulty paying for out of school clubs. There may be funding opportunities available.

 

How will my child’s medical needs be managed? What are the arrangements for medicines and inhalers?

All schools require any medicines to be handed in and stored securely. Schools may be happy to administer prescription medicines. However, most schools ask parent/carers not to bring in over the counter medicines, such as calpol. Many family doctors will prescribe medicines that can be taken before and after school. All schools make arrangements for managing inhalers. These arrangements will be different according to the age of the child. If a child has ongoing medical needs the school should have a healthcare plan in place. All schools must have a managing medicines policy.

Top tip: If you are sending medicine into school make sure your child’s name and class is written on it.

How will my child be supported in developing personal care and independence?

All children are encouraged to develop independence skills at school e.g. using the toilet (if appropriate), eating lunch, putting on their coats and shoes and changing for physical education (PE). Some children will require more help than others. You will be asked to help staff develop a plan for your child. If your child has complex difficulties they may be given support by a teaching assistant or, at lunchtimes, by a midday supervisor assistant (MSA).

My child has difficulties separating from me. How will the school be able to help?

You will be able to discuss this with the class teacher at your pre-admission visit. The teacher will make suggestions about how he/she has managed this with other children. You will be able to agree a plan for the beginning of the school term, which will help your child settle into school.

How and where will physical management routines recommended by the physiotherapist be done?

If your child needs exercises during the day the physiotherapist will speak to you and the school about where would be the best place to do this. If it needs to be done in school the physiotherapist will arrange to train the relevant member(s) of staff and give the school a written programme to follow.

What about speech and language therapy programmes?

If your child needs help with communication and language development, the speech and language therapist will suggest activities to school that will help. The speech and language therapist will monitor your child’s progress in liaison with you.

Can parents go into school to help in the classroom?

Schools generally welcome parents to help in the school, but not necessarily in your child’s class. Ask the school about this if you would like to offer to help. It may be necessary to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check - formerly CRB - done before volunteering in a school for safety reasons.

How will my child access school trips and outings? Can parents go on school trips as helpers?

All schools plan in advance for school trips using a web-based planning tool. This includes specific questions about disabled children and children with additional needs. Members of staff will plan the practical aspects of trips and outings to ensure your child is involved. Your school may be pleased to have your help on school trips. They may give you a group of children which does not include your child so that he/she can be as independent as possible. It may be necessary to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for you to join a school outing.

How do members of staff encourage good behaviour in school?

All schools encourage positive behaviour and reward appropriate behaviour. How this is done will vary from school to school.

How big are the classes?

Foundation Stage 2 (Reception) classes can have up to 30 children to one teacher. Usually there is also a teaching assistant for all or part of the time. Some schools have a Foundation Stage Unit where the nursery and reception classes are integrated and in these there may be more than one teacher as well as other practitioners, such as teaching assistants.

There may be more than 30 children in a class after the Foundation Stage.

How will I know what is going on in school?

Most schools send/e-mail newsletters home, update their website and have a texting service. This will be done differently in each school. Some children with complex needs have an individual ‘Home-School’ book to help with communication. You can talk to your school about this.

Top tip: Keep your school updated with your mobile telephone number.

Will my child get homework?

Each school will have its own policy on homework. You will be encouraged to help your child’s learning in different ways.

What if my child is not yet fully toilet trained?

The school will make appropriate changing provision and, when your child is developmentally ready for a toilet training programme, they will work on this in partnership with you. Parent/carers are usually responsible for providing nappies/pull-ups as required and you may also need to supply wipes and disposal bags. It is useful to clarify with the school what you will need to provide.

What if my child uses symbols to support their communication?

A large number of organisations are now using the same symbols to provide consistent communication for children in schools, children’s centres, leisure centres, short break centres, out of school clubs etc. These symbols are called Communicate in Print. You can access Communicate in Print software in the children’s centres. You can talk to your child’s teacher about using symbols and ways to support communication at home.

 

What happens if my child has to spend time in hospital or at home for medical reasons?

Teaching is provided every morning during term time for children who are in-patients at York Hospital. Children who are at home but unable to attend school due to medical reasons may be entitled to home tuition. You will need to contact your SENCo to discuss this or telephone: 01904 554204.

Does my child have to wear school uniform?

Each school will have its own policy about school uniform and you will need to follow the policy. If you have difficulties paying for school uniform, talk to your headteacher.

Any other questions?

Talk to your child’s teacher or headteacher at any time, if you have further concerns. They will be pleased to help you.

 

Local Area Teams Information Service (formerly York FIS)

01904 554444

fis@york.gov.uk