Step 1: How do I decide between schools?

Do staff need to know about stammering in my chosen school?

Is my choice of school limited when my child stammers?


While it is helpful if your selected schools have some experience or knowledge of stammering, you do not need to restrict your choice of school in any way when your child stammers, as all teachers (and home educators) can learn the very simple strategies to support your child. Speech and language therapists often provide information or training for staff and specific strategies of support for class teachers are available at BSA:Education.

Planning ahead for secondary education

It is advisable to start thinking about your choice of secondary school at least 18 months before your child would start. You should consider all the options in secondary education available to you before making a list of possible schools for your child.

Follow steps 1 to 4 to make your final choice of school(s) to apply for. You may apply for more than one state school and as many independent schools as you choose.

Step 1

Start with your child and start early

Remember that children who stammer generally have no other learning difficulties. They have the same range of academic abilities and personal qualities as children who do not stammer so that you should base your choice of school on your own child's academic, social and personal needs. You can then discuss the issue of your child's speech needs with the school that your child will attend. Every school should be able to adopt the simple strategies that support a child who stammers and there is considerable training available for staff on children's speech, language and communication needs now, so do not worry if your selected school does not appear to have experience of children who stammer.

It is important that your first thoughts are about your child

Talk to your child about what is important to him. As he probably goes to a primary school find out what is most important to him about his routines there. Are there any special things that your child wants? Does he want a local school because his friends are going there? Children who stammer have the same ability and personality profile as those who do not, but may be rather sensitive to changes of location, teachers and children. You need to work out whether your child would be most helped by a smaller school, with many children he already knows, or a larger one where he may know fewer children but the facilities seem better. Different types of organisation will appeal to different children. Some secondary school parents have told the BSA that their child enjoys going to a large secondary campus where there are excellent facilities and they can more easily follow up their interests. Other parents have said that their child is happily placed in a small secondary school.

Now what is important to you?

All parents want their children to be happy at school. Try to look at all parts of school life. Are there any special things that your child needs? Make a list of the things that you and your child are looking for in a school. Put them in order of importance. Include opportunities to pursue interests like sport and music, the family need for out of hours care and holiday clubs for example. You may wish to include a faith school or an academy as well as other state schools in your list of possible choices. You can apply for more than one school.

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Text for this page: Step 1: How do I decide between schools?
Text for this whole section: Choosing a secondary school