Choose a school for your child with SEND

Most 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
  • 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 has an EHC plan or is being assessed for one.

Apply for a mainstream school

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.

Find out more about:

Working with schools to support your child

We want to make sure that your child can be supported. Read how mainstream schools can support your child whilst in education: