Choosing a school
Choosing the right school for your child is a big decision for any parent. You will be looking for a school that will give them the best possible education, as well as the chance to make friends and get involved in new activities.
If your child has a learning disability, making the right decision becomes even more important, to make sure their individual special needs are met. This might mean making sure their teachers are able to provide them with the right support, or checking the school has all the facilities your child will need.
We are proud of our son's achievements and continue to be amazed at his development and involvement in school.
These pages have been written for the parents and carers of children with a learning disability to help explain the options that are available when choosing a school for your child. This includes finding out about the schools available in your local area and advice about visiting schools. Throughout the guide you will find links to other useful organisations and websites, as well as advice from parents who have already been through this process.
This guide contains lots of information on action you can take. You can also find a short explanation of important words and phrases in the ‘key words' section, and look for the 'What next?' sign for things you can do.
This information is also available to download as a PDF.
Getting the right education for your child is an important step in helping them to make the most of their abilities and get the most from life.
Read our top five tips for choosing the right school for your child.
Once you have put together a list of the schools that might be suitable for your child you can call each of the school secretaries to arrange a visit to each one.
Our tips will help you and your family prepare for a visit to your child's new school.
Most children with special educational needs will get the support they need from their local school.
Most children with a learning disability will have their needs provided for by their school from its own budget.
Many parents have told Mencap that the move from primary to secondary school brings with it new challenges.
By knowing your rights, you can help to make sure your child has access to the education they need.
Once you have decided which school you would like your child to attend, you should contact the head teacher of the school and your local authority, particularly if your child has a statement of spe
Your next steps will depend on whether your child has a statement or not.
If your child attends a mainstream school and doesn't have a statement it is a good idea to speak to their SENCO and head teacher if you feel they are not receiving enough support.
Appealing can be a very stressful process and if your child has a statement there are tight deadlines, so it's a good idea to seek professional advice at this point.
Get definitions of some of the key words you may hear while looking for a school for your child.