One of the key issues in being a parent is considering and managing the child’s education. This can become more complicated when their child has any physical or mental disadvantages or other special educational needs. Conditions such as cerebral palsy have a wide range of severity and it will not always be easy to determine what is right for these children in terms of their education. Experts have recommended early support and help which will provide the child with CP the base to develop.

Children who have severe cases will need more therapeutic input and full support. Specialist schools like Treloar, teachers, equipment and additional staff will also be needed. There are some children with milder forms of CP who are able to move through the mainstream curriculum with little support or intervention.

A Statement of Special Education Needs

A Statement of Special Educational Needs may be required for children who have severe or complex needs which will not be met by the resources available in the mainstream state schools to ensure that they receive the appropriate education. This could be additional support within the mainstream school setting such as a teaching assistant. It could also be the placement of the child in a special school.

A Statement is a legally binding document which will be issued by the Local Authority. It should describe the special educational needs of the child and detail the necessary educational provisions which will meet these needs. The Statement should also name any appropriate schools where the educational provisions can be delivered.

The Statement is a 6 part document which is needed to ensure the child receives an acceptable level of education which meets their needs. The provisions which are laid out in the Statement will need to be delivered to the child. The Local Authority will be held responsible for ensuring that these provisions are delivered.

Options for Education

No schools are allowed to refuse admission to a child on the grounds that they feel they will not be able to meet their special educational needs. This approach will foster a more inclusive society within the schools. Children who do not have a Statement will need to go through the normal school admissions procedure and they must be treated in the same manner as other children.

There is a different system for children who do have a Statement. It is possible for parents to express a preference for the state maintained school which is named in the Statement. The Local Authority must comply with the parent’s preference unless the Authority believes that the educational needs of the child will not be met by the mainstream school or will be incompatible with the education of other pupils. Children who require more specialised educational provisions may need to attend a specialist school.

Parental Choice

All parents of children with special education needs have the right to state which school they would prefer their child to attend and to present their reasons for this. This does not mean that they have the absolute right to choose the school or that their child must be provided with a place in their preferred school. There are times when it is clear that the child will need a specialist school and the care team working with the child will generally be able to help the parents determine which school would be appropriate. There are also occasions where there is disagreement between the care team and the parents regarding whether or not a specialist school is needed.

Children who have mid or mild CP will be presented with a variety of options. This can create a significant challenge for the parents and care team attempt to navigate the best and most appropriate educational route. The majority of children with special education needs will be accepted into the school of choice.