My daughter is in year 5 and has severe multiple food and environmental allergies, eczema and asthma. Where can I find more information about how to look at secondary schools? Also I heard that I can ask her primary school for an "action plan" - but I cannot seem to find more information on this online. Could you please point me in the right direction?
Transition to secondary school is often a stressful time for families but more so if your child has particular medical needs, so thinking about it now when your child is in year 5 is a good idea.
Feedback from parents suggests the following points may be helpful:
• Talk to parents of children currently at the secondary school. They can tell you what the overall ethos is and may give you examples of how their child has been treated when additional care/ support was needed. (how the school deals with a range of needs/ problems they may not have medical needs but this will at least give you a view of how they manage adjustments)
• Talk to children attending the school too, they will let you know if staff are approachable and what it feels like if you need help.
• Always visit the school either at open days or via appointment. Request to speak to the member of staff responsible for medical needs. Ask to see their policy on the management of medical needs. All schools should have a policy and a named staff member. This is often the SENCo.
• Ask the current primary school what they know about the local secondary schools.
• Check out the school websites and see if they have copies of school policies. Read an up to date OFsted report, this is unlikely to mention medical needs but will comment on ethos. • When you have identified a school work with the school in drawing up a support plan for your child so that everyone is clear about what is helpful and required to keep your child well.
The following link give good practice advice to schools on medical needs plans:
I'm looking to find a list of alternative education establishments more suited to my daughter's needs. She has recently received a diagnosis of Autism, and even with support is very unhappy in mainstream school.
The simple answer is that there is not a list of alternative education establishments. Your local authority website should have details of all maintained schools in your area, mainstream and special schools and units. Some specialist units will be based in mainstream school. You may have done this already but we would suggest that you talk to the SENCo at your daughter’s school to see if adjustments can be made. There has been a growing demand for specialist provision for children diagnosed with Autistic spectrum disorders some schools now refer to themselves as serving children with complex needs. There are some independents schools such as those run by the National Autistic Society. In most cases your daughter would need an Education Health and Care Plan to be considered for specialist schools/provision.
You may find these links useful.
How do schools help children with cystic fibrosis and what support do they get?