Choosing a school for a child with SEND
Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have the right to attend a mainstream school. Schools must put arrangements in place to support your child's individual needs.
Children who do not have an education, health and care (EHC) plan should apply for a mainstream school place. We recommend that if an EHC needs assessment has started but is yet to be completed, then you should still apply for a school place as you may miss out on a place at one of your preferred schools.
Before you choose a mainstream school
We recommend before choosing a school you:
- read their OFSTED report
- read the school’s SEND policy and SEND information report, both should be available on their website
- check out their Facebook and Twitter pages to get a feel for the school and how they communicate with parents
- attend open days or evenings or contact the school directly to arrange a visit.
You may find it helpful to think about questions to ask the education setting before choosing them.
Apply for a mainstream school
You should apply for a mainstream school place, even if your child is being assessed for one.
Visit our School admissions pages for more information about how and when to apply.
Special schools or schools with specialist resource provision
Normally only children and young people with the most complex or severe needs attend a special school, as their needs should be met by a mainstream school.
All children and young people who attend special schools or special resourced provisions have an EHC plan.