School recommendations needed


My son is 2 years old now. We are starting to consider schools for him. I have made a list of possible schools, will be calling and emailing to schedule a tour over the next few weeks. I prefer to have a behind the scenes look at the classrooms rather than visit on the open days. I find that it helps me have a better overall impression about the school. I have a lot of concerns and questions to ask. Please share your experiences and stories of finding a school.

What questions should I be asking them? Since he has no learning difficulty, we are also considering mainstream schools that are close by as well. The closest school that is supposedly got experience with physically disabled children according to a website I found (though I am sceptical about the site) is in Guildford somewhere. How did you guys find a school? We are living in Surrey near London. My original plan was to home school them both. If I cannot find a good school in the area, I’ll certainly be considering that option again. How do I ask about support for him? Where do I read and print out school inspection reports? I am starting to do proper research and narrow down the list of schools to visit.

Logan is almost 3 now. He is a bright yet easily bored boy. Both he and his twin sister will be 3 in November. He does not qualify for a EHCP. Should I talk to current and former parents of kids who went to school and see what they say? Logan has serious bowel and bladder issues and is paralyzed from the waist down thus he is a full time wheelchair user too. Any advice will be gratefully received thank you! I have no clue where to start looking either.

How do I find out about other good special needs schools that are out of the borough? Do I contact the council or ring the school directly? I plan on taking him next week to see a school. What made you pick the school? Can you tell me five good and five bad things about the school you chose? What was your impression of the school? I have downloaded school prospectuses and looked at old copies of the school newsletters as well.

This is confusing me.

Hi Leah.

The following web site will probably be know to you … if it isn’t , will be useful :

Surrey County Council - Schools That Cater For Special Educational Needs

If SEND are involved at any stage , another thread will also be of assistance :

( Already known to you. )

Homework is essential … in some cases , mutton dressed as lamb ?

Thank you. I didn’t expect a reply so fast!

I monitor the forum as I work elsewhere on the Internet … daily.

And yes I knew that already. I hate homework however!

A Government site may also be of assistance here … 456 school revews :

Performance isn’t everything but … a relative good guide.

( For example … schoool uniform … maybe a compulsory outlet with the costs beyond a lot of parents ? Very topic on my manor , Worksop.)

HI Leah,
I will answer properly over the weekend/on Monday.


Can anyone else recommend schools?

Hi Leah,
He does sound like he should be in a mainstream school, but you need to know they are definitely going to meet his health needs and this can be a challenge, particularly in the current financial climate.

Personally, I would be fighting for an EHCP, at least for his first few years at school. He is going to need support managing his toileting needs, supporting him to be as independent as possible negotiating the building and with perhaps with transfers - if he wants/needs to get in and out of his chair. An EHCP is a legal way of ensuring he has the support he needs and the funding to provide the support. If he gets to the stage where he no longer needs this support, then the EHCP can always be discontinued. IPSEA are an excellent source of support at fighting for this sort of thing.

Does your son and his sister go to mainstream nursery school? This is another way for staff to realise the extent of his needs and to initiate the process for an EHCP.

Re selecting the right school, nothing beats visiting the schools yourself (more than once) and definitely not just on open day.

I would contact the parent partnership or whatever it is called in your area and ask them which schools have experience of supporting children with physical disabilities. I know all schools are meant to be geared up to this, but if the support and systems are already in place, so much the better.

Are you on emailing lists for organisations such as Contact a Family and Cerebra these will detail events going on locally, the best way to learn about the quality of support is by talking to other parents and children.

Some areas also have excellent schools for children with physical difficulties where the pupils access GCSE’s (or whatever they are now called!) so its worth visiting these too so that you have broad and balanced view of what is available.

Hope this helps, as a starting point.


PS as we are all based across the UK, we can’t really recommend actual schools, unless you lived in the same area as us.

It’s a hugely important decision, but please do NOT home school him. You need a break, and he needs to learn to interact with young people of his own age, so that he can grow up as normally as possible. When I was at school, 50 years ago now, we had a girl who had childhood arthritis, used sticks or a chair. Penny was well integrated, and got on well with all of us. Be sure to let your son have this opportunity. There might be a special nursery group near you, which deals with children with physical disabilities. The sooner you get in touch with the council’s education department the better.

Yes they both attend a local mainstream nursery. I’ll phone CAF tomorrow for advice, thanks! Who do I speak to about a EHCP for Logan? Unlikely, unless you live in Surrey, do you? And I fully agree with you on that point. My plan is to get a comprehensive behind the scenes look at all areas of the school as well. They are still called GCSEs… the name has not changed.

Advice appreciated. Are there events in Surrey I can attend or not?

I don’t know what events are happening in Surrey, as it’s not my area. Try out the various links and sign up.

Ask at the nursery re starting an application for an EHCP and for contact info of the local child development centre. The IPSEA website will give you info on the process.


I will. Thanks for the helpful links.

I’d forgotten about IPSEA, they were absolutely brilliant when helping me get the education my brain damaged son needed. (His brain damaged only affected some areas of his brain. He couldn’t read or write, but he taught me how to use a petrol lawnmower when he was 6, and learned to swim and ride a bike before my older “normal” son).

We toured a school today with Logan in tow.

He was in his wheelchair. I asked a lot of questions and met with staff too. But this is only the first school on my list. I asked what sort of support would be put into place for his bowel and bladder issues. I am going to see two more schools in Epsom before deciding either way. The school I visited was in Guildford several miles away from home.

This is a lot harder than I originally expected. Honestly if I don’t find a local school, I will consider other ones. What do you want from a school? Should I use inspection reports as the basis of my decision making or not?