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Choosing a school

Education can take many forms including school, home education, forest schools and tutoring. The pages on this website will concentrate on schools but please do contact us if you require thoughts or information on other areas of education.

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Things to remember when choosing a school

There is no right or wrong way to go about choosing a school place for your child but here are some tips to help you get started. 


  • Remember that the majority of children with a diagnosis of Autism and/or ADHD will be educated in a mainstream school, so a diagnosis doesn’t automatically mean that your child will need to attend a specialist provision. ​


  • This may sound obvious but look carefully at the school and bare it in mind for your child. Don’t take into account the views of other parents in the first instance because schools are such a personal choice. 


  • If you are looking at a specialist provision make sure that the school you choose caters for children with your child’s diagnosis. Even if your child is about the be diagnosed with a condition, you will probably not be offered a place at a school that has a diagnosis as an entry criteria until that diagnosis has been confirmed. 

  • Make sure that you choose a school that shares similar values to you and has an ethos you agree with. There is no point if you are against a specific intervention or therapy, sending your child to a school that practices that intervention because it will cause negative feelings

  • Look at the practical elements of a school choice and consider the needs of the entire family. If your child is attending specialist provision for example you may be eligible for transport but consider how you would get them to school following an appointment or collect them if they were ill in the middle of the school day. 

  • Visit lots of schools so that you can make a balanced view. 

  • Don’t read too much into school inspection reports, these are a small snippet of how a school performs with very specific aims and goals. 

  • Try to always look at the school as a whole. For example, don’t choose a school on the fact that you like a specific member of staff because teachers don’t stay forever!


  • If appropriate (usually with secondary schools), involve your child in the decision where possible so that they have a voice that is valued and feel a level of ownership on the school they go to. 

  • Don’t look too far in the future. A lot can happen to a child and a school in a short space of time so try not to think about a school being suitable or not for an 11 year old child that you haven’t met, when you are actually looking for a school for a 5 year old that you do know!

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