Things to consider when visiting a mainstream school open day

Things to consider when visiting a mainstream school open day

If your child is attending a mainstream school, here are some of the most important questions to ask at an open day:

What support is available in the classroom?

  • How many children are in each class?
  • What is the staff/child ratio like and how many support staff are there? Have any members of staff been trained to support children with vision impairment?
  • Will my child have a dedicated teaching assistant?
  • How can I be involved in decisions regarding my child?
  • Is the SENDCO there every day?
  • Does the library have large print or braille books, or access to them?


What support is available outside the classroom?

  • What are the options for activities at break time?
  • How do you support children to make friends and play together in the playground?
  • If my child needs it, will there be some support at lunchtime?
  • If my child has to go to meetings of the whole school (for example, assembly), will they be supported, at least to start with?
  • If my child needs support to get changed before and after PE, will that be available?
  • Will my child be able to be included in breakfast clubs/after school clubs? Will there be sufficient staff to ensure they are safe and happy?
  • How will the school support my child’s developing independence, for example, being able to find their own peg to hang their coat on?


What experience does the school have with children with vision impairment?

  • Has the school had any other children with vision impairment attending?
  • If my child needs medication (e.g. eye drops), is there somebody with the appropriate skills and experience available?
  • If my child needs one-to-one support, how will that work?
  • If my child needs support to find me at the end of the school day, will this be available?
  • What are the best things I can do at home in order to prepare my child to settle into school?
  • If there are any questions you forget to ask on the day, having contact phone numbers for the SENDCO and head teacher will allow you to follow up later and arrange an additional meeting, if you feel you need one.
  • You will also want to think about how your child is going to get to school. If you think your child may need help with transport, it’s a good idea to look at your Local Authority’s 'Local Offer’ (which you can find on their website) to see whether there might be help available.

Visit GOV.UK for further information on how to find primary schools and open days near you.

Published: June 2018

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