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Supporting Children in Kent with Special Educational Needs and Disability

Preparing for Transition

Starting school or moving on to secondary can be quite stressful for families.  There's lots of advice around but this guide focuses on questions and decisions which parents of children and young people with physical disability or complex medical needs should consider.  Check the bottom of this page for links and other useful information about Kent schools.

What do you need to consider when choosing a suitable secondary school for PD/CMN students?

  • How far is the school, and how will the pupil travel every day?  Remember that as children turn into teenagers, they will want to be more independent and may want to use public transport with their friends
  • Would they be eligible for home/school transport from KCC?  If transport is considered to be appropriate, it will only be funded to the closest suitable school to meet the pupil’s needs.  Read more about applying for transport here
  • How big is the school site?  How many levels?  How many blocks?  It is a big change to move to secondary school and it can be very tiring so think about what will be manageable. 
  • What facilities are there for pupils with PD/CMN?  Is there a care suite?  Where are the disability toilets and how many of them are there?
  • Has the school previous experience of meeting the needs of pupils with PD/CMN?  Will there be a peer group of other students with mobility/health needs?  It can feel very isolating to be the only one in a big school with PD needs
  • Do you get a good feeling about how the school will welcome you and your child?  There is a lot less face to face contact with staff in secondary schools so find out how they communicate with families