Choosing primary schools for children with disability

Decisions about the best primary schools for children with disability can seem daunting. Visiting schools you’re interested in and talking with principals about how schools can meet your child’s needs will help you find the right school for your child.
Decisions about primary schools for children with disability
Decisions about where your child goes to school are very personal and can be difficult. It’s common and normal to feel anxious about getting this decision right.
All families have a lot to think about when they’re choosing schools, including distance, finances and availability of before and after school care. When your child has a disability, you’re likely to have extra considerations – for example, accessibility or learning support.
It’s a good idea to start thinking about school options at least two years before your child is due to start school.
First steps to choosing a primary school
The first step is to find out about the primary school options near you.
You could talk to your child’s preschool teacher, professionals at your child’s early childhood intervention service, friends, and a disability advocacy service to get information and ideas.
If you already have another child at primary school, that school could be a good place to start as you’ll have already explored its benefits and have a relationship with the school.
Visiting primary schools
Once you’ve made a list of schools you’re interested in, you can explore them in more detail.
School open days and tours will give you a general feel for a school. It can help to take a friend or a disability advocate with you, so you can both gather information and discuss it afterwards.
You’ll get some sense of whether the school is right for your child from the:
welcome you and your child get
principal’s approach to supporting children with additional needs
principal’s responses to your questions
school’s approach to education, diversity and inclusion
experiences of other families
extent to which inclusion is a focus in school policy documents.