Finding your next provider can be really daunting when you know that your son/daughter’s education is coming to an end. Hopefully you will know this early on into their final year (this is quite obvious if in Year 11, however, may not be so obvious if attending a college). Here are some handy tips to help you through this daunting time. I can only suggest the earlier you start the better, as these things all take time! BUT more importantly it will allow you maximum time to prepare your son/daughter for the changes to come.
What do you do first?
There are a few things you must do when finding your next provider!
Arrange visits to potential provisions
It is now the responsibility of parents to arrange visits to ALL potential next step education providers! Sometimes schools/colleges will automatically arrange these. However here are some things to consider:
- Attend as many transition events available to gather some initial information on the possibilities that are out there.
- Conduct some research into each provider to see what they offer and where they are etc.
- Make contact with each/every provider and either attend any open events the provider is running OR arrange a 1:1 visit/meet and greet. This is a great way to see what your son/daughter thinks e.g how they react/interact, how they feel about the environment as well as what is on offer in terms of curriculum and progression.
Choose your preferred next steps/education provider
When making decisions to take your next steps or even changing from your current education provider, the first thing you need to do is contact your Careers South West advisor. These are independent and impartial advisors who are available in most schools/colleges who provide information, advice and guidance. These will be your best friend during any transitions between school/college/other education providers.
You also need to have an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHCP) review meeting with your current provider. This is to review your outcomes with your current school/college/provider and then name where you wish to go the following September (or sooner if you are transferring early).
Both of these things will result in a report being sent to County and then they will consult with your preferred next placement and a decision will be made. This is in the hands of the SEN team at Cornwall Council and you may want to find out who your caseworker is in order to chase/ask questions/clarify etc.
Hopefully that will give you a great head start into what you need to do to take your next steps. Whether you are due to leave naturally or you are unhappy and want to leave early, the process is exactly the same. Let us know if you need help.