Starting secondary school

When can your child start a state-maintained school?

Your choices:

  • to apply for a place to start secondary school in the September of the school year in which he reaches the age of 12.
  • to apply for a place to start middle school if that provision is available locally. These schools take children from 8-12 or 9-13, in some local authorities, after which the pupils go on to upper school at the age of 12 or 13.

When can your child start an independent school?

Independent school offer entry at 11 in some cases or at 13 for the major public schools. Many independent schools have tests, interviews and assessments that can be very stressful for all pupils so when your child stammers it is important to try to reduce any worries he may have. Advice from a speech and language therapist could be very helpful and information and support is available from the BSA:Helpline.

Your child's therapist should also be informed about your final choice of school and may be able to provide information and/or advice that you can pass on to staff there. BSA:Education provides training for secondary teachers to support children who stammer and can be accessed by your child's teachers.

Home education

Children of secondary school age, who have been home educated since they were 5, are likely to be ready to continue with home learning but for a child who has been attending a primary school the transition to home schooling can be more difficult. Parents need to take advice from the local authority and any professionals involved with the child, such as the therapist, and ensure that the child himself supports the decision.

If you wish to educate him at home for his secondary education you must contact your local authority 18 months before he would start to inform the education officer, with responsibility for home schooling, of your intentions. Then you will need to follow the advice supplied to ensure that you are complying with the law.

Your child's therapist should also be informed and may be able to provide you with information and/or advice. BSA:Education provides training for secondary teachers to support children who stammer and you may find some of these simple strategies useful, when you are working with your child.

School leaving date

This is currently set at the last Friday in June in the school year in which the pupil reaches the age of 16. Until that date parents must ensure their child's participation in education in school or otherwise. Employers may not employ a child full-time and training providers may not provide full-time Government sponsored training. Of course this may be reviewed and parents will receive the current information on this from their child's school or the local authority.

Some pupils will continue their education at their secondary school for the two years of the Sixth Form, or may choose other options such as a sixth form college, a further education college, or employment.


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