What to look for when choosing a school for your child

Think about what’s important for you and your child, and make sure to ask potential schools about these considerations.

Written by
Monique Ziegelaar profile picture
Monique Ziegelaar
Speech Pathologist & How I Learn Contributor
Students feet walking up a staircase at a train station

It’s recommended that you meet with multiple schools. Think about what’s important for you and your child, and make sure to ask potential schools about these considerations. It could be co-curricular opportunities, the layout of the school facilities and grounds, or the curriculum.

Ask potential schools about the supports they have in place for supporting students with unique learning or accessibility needs. The Department of Education website has information on the types of schools available and advice for choosing a school.

Preparing for your child to start high school

Having a child start high school can be a stressful time. The routine of moving rooms each class, large grounds, and the greater number of students and staff means there’s a lot to consider. The more you can plan in advance the less likely there will be issues, or the easier it will be to overcome issues when they arise.

To best prepare for your child starting high school, encourage your child to complete their How I Learn profile in the student portal. This learning profile goes through every functional task your child may face during their school day. There is also space to provide suggestions of adjustments to help your child with completing each task. This profile was created by speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists and educators, so you can be assured it is comprehensive and valid.

Developing a learning profile means you, your child and your child’s school should be prepared for most issues that arise.

Make sure you’re familiar with the below legislation and policies regarding inclusive education:

Advice from other parents

  1. Start planning early
  2. Ask for a tour of the school
  3. Do a walk-through of a typical school day with your child, to identify any physical barriers that might need to be addressed
  4. If your child uses equipment, check with the school if they have any policies or safety requirements for its use on school grounds
  5. Commence and maintain open communication channels with the relevant learning support staff and teachers
  6. Contact your service provider for advice on an assistive technology that may be helpful at high school
  7. It’s inevitable that issues will arise, despite everyone’s best efforts. Try to take a team approach and problem solve with your school to overcome issues.

More resources for parents / caregivers