By law, statutory school age is 5-16 and legally the Local Authority must provide full time education to children from the beginning of the term following their 5th birthday.
Deciding which school you would like your child to attend is an important decision for any parent. If your child has special educational needs (SEN), there are extra things you may want to think about.
Where can I get information about local schools?
Norfolk’s school finder website provides details of schools in your local area and can be found on Norfolk Local Offer website www.norfolk.gov.uk/send.
How do I arrange a visit?
Once you have a list of possible schools, you should contact them to make an appointment. Many schools also hold open evenings for parents.
Ask who you will meet at the school and how much time they will be able to spend with you.
Think carefully about whether you want to take children with you on the first visit (you could discuss this with the school)
Decide if you want to take someone along with you. This may be a friend, relative or volunteer. They can help in discussing your impressions afterwards
Consider whether you would like to have a guided tour. You will get a better feel for the school if you do this in school hours when the children are there.
It can be beneficial to speak to the schools Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) about your child and his/her needs and what support they can offer
Where can I find information about the admissions process?
Without an EHCP
Contact the Admissions Team at Norfolk County Council or look on the Local Authority website. You will find information about when and how to apply for a place, and the appeals procedure for children without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
Contact - Norfolk County Council
0344 800 8020
With an EHCP
For children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) the admission process is different. You can contact your EHCP Coordinator, us at Norfolk SEND Partnership or visit Norfolk’s Local Offer at www.norfolk.gov.uk/send for more information.
Can I get any information before visiting a school?
All schools should make available their:
School prospectus or brochure
The most recent Governors’ Annual Report to parents
Their Special Educational Needs (SEN) Policy and Information Report
Other policies, such as their Behaviour or Anti-Bullying Policy
Their Home-School Agreement
The OFSTED Inspectors report on the school. This is also available on the OFSTED website: www.ofsted.gov.uk
Often this information will be available on the school website, you can also ask the school for a hard copy. Reading through this information will give you an idea of what the school is like and identify any questions you may have.
You could also speak to other parents about the school. However it is important to keep an open mind as schools change and information can be out of date.
Different things are important to different parents. You know your child best and what is likely to suit him or her.
What should I ask during the visit?
Before you visit it is useful to prepare some questions you want to ask, for example:
How many pupils would be in my child’s class?
What will the school do to make sure that all the staff know about my child’s individual needs?
How does the school arrange extra support for children who need it?
How would I be involved in planning for my child’s needs?
How would the other children be helped to understand my child’s needs?
How would my child be helped to settle in school and to make friends?
How would I be kept up to date about what is happening in school?
How does the school help children to learn how to behave appropriately?
How does the school deal with bullying?
How would the school make sure my child has the chance to take part in all areas of the curriculum?
You may think of other things too that are important to you and your family. If you are going to visit more than one school, you might want to note down some things to help.
How can I find out about transport to school?
For more information on transport to school and to read Norfolk’s transport policy visit www.norfolk.gov.uk or call below number
Contact Norfolk County Council Helpline 0344 800 8020