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Going to school

Starting school
 
Starting school is a big step in any child’s life. If your child finds it difficult to learn he or she may already be known to the educational psychology team in your local authority education department. The team will work with you to recommend the best school for your child and the best ways of supporting your child at school.
 
If there is a range of schools in your area you will need to decide which school will best meet your child’s needs. Previously, many children who have disabilities were educated in special schools. Now the policy is to educate children in their local schools as far as possible. This means that the local authority education department will want to consider first if the local school can meet your child’s needs - possibly with some extra classroom support. This is not always suitable for all children and sometimes a special school can be the best option.
 
“It was hard deciding on the right school for my daughter. I wanted her to go the local school like her sister but I wasn’t sure if she would cope. But the head teacher was very encouraging and it’s worked out fine.”
 
Some parents and children prefer the local school as it offers the chance for disabled and non-disabled children to learn together, to share the same curriculum and activities, and for natural friendships to develop. Other children and their parents prefer the smaller classes, specialised teaching and more sheltered environment offered by special schools.

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