Questions To Ask When Choosing A Secondary School For A Child With Autism

So, with the new term now upon us I thought those of you with children in year six may like us already be thinking about next year.

This Friday we’ll be starting to visit schools, and trying to work out which one would work best for Number One. So, with a combination of my autism teacher head and my autism mummy head here are the questions we’ll be asking. Some may be applicable to you, and some probably won’t be, but I hope if nothing else they may prove a starting point for your own list of questions.

Morning Time

What happens?
Is there someone available to check in with about any problems?
How does the day start?

Lunch Time

What happens?
How many students have lunch at once?
How busy are the eating areas?
How clean are the eating areas?
Would someone notice if a student didn’t eat?
Is there somewhere quiet available if places get too busy?
What clubs are on offer?
Where can students go when they aren’t eating?
Who is available to help with a problem?
How closely are behaviours monitored?

Lesson Time

How are staff notified of additional needs?
What happens if a student needs some time out?
What happens if a student is struggling to cope in a noisy classroom?
What provision is made for notifying students that the teacher will be a supply teacher?
Is any provision made for students who would find supply teachers difficult?

Transitions

What happens at lesson transition times?
Are there quieter routes around school for students who struggle with crowds?

Security

How secure is the building?
How would staff know if a student left the building during the day?

Home Time

How are parents notified of a problem that has happened during the day?
How can parents get hold of key staff to resolve an issue/ warn them of a problem?
How do staff ensure students are calm enough to begin the journey home?

For those of you further along the line than we are, I’d love to know what questions you would have asked of secondary staff prior to making your school decisions?

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