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Top tips for SEND families to support children’s next steps after primary school

If your child is starting secondary school in September, we’ve unveiled a new guide to support families with this all-important transition.

Children with SEND will often be anxious and require additional help to manage this change. This guide provides practical steps parents/carers can take to help ease the transition before the new academic year begins.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“We understand that moving to secondary school can be a daunting process for children with SEND and their families. New places and people can be an overwhelming experience.

“This information is designed to support children to thrive in their new environment by equipping families with practical steps they can take. Whether that’s talking to a professional or helping children to try on new uniform, any step, big or small, can make a huge difference when they start in September.”

To help parents/carers understand their next steps, families and professionals have shared their experiences in the form of anonymous case studies. One parent/carer gave a top tip:

“For any SEND parents about to start the process of looking at schools, I would suggest that they start looking in year 5. If you can visit the school to meet the staff and see the environment – that will help. Don’t forget, you know your child best.”

Special educational needs co-ordinators (SENCO) are professionals who provide tailored support for pupils and their families in schools. A SENCO has given advice for parents when making the move to secondary.

“The main worry for parents that I talk to is about their child getting lost – physically and emotionally because the setting is so much bigger and their child will be working with more adults. My advice for parents is always to visit the school during the school day and talk to the SENCO about any worries.”

Get information to support your child’s move to secondary school

If your child is moving from primary to secondary school this September, visit our ‘next steps’ page for information and advice to support your family. Visit portsmouthlocaloffer.org/nextsteps today!

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