All parents want to feel confident that their child is happy and well-provided for at school. If your child has an Education Health and Care Plan, you will probably have been in contact with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child's school and he or she should be your first point of contact if you feel things are not right.
You should arrange to meet with the SENCO to talk things through. If matters cannot easily be resolved, you may wish to make a formal complaint through the school's complaints procedure. This will then be dealt with by the Headteacher and a member of the school's governing body.
For many reasons, including the disruption to a child's education, it is better that children do not move school other than for normal primary/secondary transfers.
If, however, you feel that a move is the best way forward, you should think carefully about which school you wish to apply to and whether you will be able to get your child to that school easily if it is some distance from your home as you will be responsible for any transport costs and arrangements. You should then make an appointment to meet with the SENCO at the school of your choice and discuss with him/her how the school can meet your child's needs. It is helpful if you take a copy of your child's EHC Plan to this meeting.
Once you have decided, you will need to complete a School Admissions form and will be asked if your child has an EHC Plan. The application will then be passed to the 0-25 SEND Team who have, by law, to consult with the school you have chosen to see if they are able to admit your child. The school has 15 working days to consider the request and let the Local Authority know what its decision is.
The 0-25 SEND Team will then contact you to inform you of the school's response and to try to help sort out any issues that might arise. It is important that you bear in mind the time that the above procedures will take and you should not withdraw your child from his or her existing school before you have a place in another as this could make you liable to involvement by the Education Welfare Service who will follow up any non-attendance issues.
Plymouth's Local Offer is organised into four main categories covering the following age ranges:
- Early years (0 to 5 years old)
- Primary (5 to 11 years old)
- Secondary (11 to 18 years old)
- Preparing for adulthood
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