Whether you need advice on the right school to support your child’s learning needs or have an urgent problem that you’d like to talk through, our team of SEN education consultants are here to help.
Who are our SEN education consultants?
With over 20 years’ experience of working with families, our team of SEN education consultants are both sympathetic and highly knowledgeable. Uniquely, we review both mainstream and special schools for The Good Schools Guide. We spend a lot of time in schools talking to pupils, parents and school leaders. This means that, as a team, we offer unrivalled, up-to-date insights into a large number of schools.
And because we have first-hand experience as parents of children with SEN – or as qualified specialist teachers, therapists or advocates – we also know how hard it can be to navigate the complex SEN system and understand your rights.
If you decide to contact us, you will speak to one of our admin team – Shari, Amanda, Kathryn or Marijke – who will listen with understanding and care, and collaborate with the SEN team to ensure you are matched with the right consultant for your needs.
How can our SEN education consultants help?
‘I want my child to go to an independent school but have been told they can’t support her. What can I do?’
‘My child is refusing to go to school. I am worried about her mental health and don’t know what to do next as the school seems to have lost interest.’
‘My local authority says that my child doesn’t qualify for extra support despite a diagnosis of autism as he is doing too well at school.’
'We are relocating to the UK and have a child with SEN. What do we need to know?’
Our SEN education consultants work with families whose children range from pre-schoolers to college leavers to help identify the best educational path so that they can flourish, make progress and be happy. The range of needs we work with is also very wide, including specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia; autism and ADHD/ADD; medical conditions; mobility and sensory impairment, and complex needs.
We can offer advice where there’s an urgent problem requiring immediate action, as well as help you think further ahead - eg, what to do if a child needs more support than they are currently getting, or your rights if a school is threatening suspension or other sanctions; we can advise on how to access SEN support and how to overcome any challenges that might be involved, or discuss whether your child’s current school is right for them or if it is time to move on.
If you have several children, neurotypical or with additional needs, we can identify mainstream and special schools, talk through pros and cons of the different approaches and help you understand what the next step might be.
Whatever your reason for getting in touch, we will give you the time, space and freedom to talk everything through and explore possible ways forward. Our consultants will look for solutions that work for you.
What is involved?
Step 1: SEN Advice and Guidance Meeting
Almost every family starts off with an SEN Advice and Guidance Meeting.
Lasting up to 75 minutes, this is an invaluable way of talking through an issue or a starting point for a bespoke Schools Search Service. Once the meeting has been arranged, we will ask you to send through the latest school report and a recent assessment from specialists such as an educational psychologist and speech and language therapist. If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan, we will also ask you to send us the latest version.
For families considering a bespoke Schools Search Service, your consultant will discuss your child’s interests and ambitions and their progress at their current school. We will identify what future schools should offer, from the number of pupils to the type of support and from academic goals to work experience - and anything else that matters to you. We will also discuss how our bespoke schools search would work and answer any other questions you may have.
We are always realistic about what can be achieved and where compromise may be needed but where there is a solution to be found, we will find it.
After the meeting, you should have a clear idea of what the future holds and what we can achieve for you. You will be sent a detailed summary outlining what your bespoke Schools Search Service would involve so that you have everything you need to know before deciding whether to go ahead. And we will deduct the cost of the meeting from the bespoke Schools Search Service, should you decide to go ahead.
Virtual SEN Advice and Guidance Meetings cost £460 for up to 75 minutes online or by phone.
Contact us to find out more about our bespoke schools search services.
Step 2: SEN bespoke Schools Search Service
All our SEN schools search services are bespoke and tailored to each family that we work with. There is no ‘cut and paste’ SEN service or a standard list of schools or colleges. Our research involves speaking to schools not only to ensure a good fit, but also to check that the information we provide is accurate and up-to-date
We will look at how involved and complex the research is likely to be and how much time we estimate that the research will take.
Factors we take into account include:
- the type and level of support that your child needs
- whether you would like us to research schools for other children in the family and what this would involve
- the number of schools we would need to contact during our research
- the type of school involved – mainstream or special; day or boarding; independent (fee-paying) or maintained (state)
- academic goals and the curriculum; the co-curricular programme
- whether your family is UK based or based overseas and relocating/returning to the UK
- what matters to you as a family, from road and rail connections to sense of community
- the number of areas that you would like us to research
- whether you would like us to arrange visits to schools or accompany you to them
- your timescale
Your consultant will keep in touch with you and update you regularly during the research process and will:
- provide feedback throughout the process so you feel confident that you have the information you need to narrow down your options.
- prepare a report with details of the schools we have contacted, their response and next steps
- talk the report through with you and discuss next steps
Each bespoke Schools Search Service will be costed on an individual basis but in most cases will be between £1,900 and £7,500.
Contact us to find out more about our SEN bespoke Schools Search Service.