Admissions for special schools

Special free schools are able to admit both children who have a statement of SEN/ Education, Health and Care Plan, and children who have the SEN for which the school is designated, but who do not have a statement/ EHC Plan. 

Pupils with a Statement or EHC Plan

For children with an EHC Plan, admissions to the special free school occur in the usual way: by the school being named by the Local Authority in the pupil's EHC Plan. The parent of the child will also have a say in which school is named. 

In section D of the application, you will need to discuss how you will ensure effective transition into and out of your school. This will invovle reference to your admissions procedures. 

Pupils without a Statement/ EHC Plan

For children who have the SEN that your school caters for, but do not have a statement, and are not waiting for assessment, the admissions process is more in line with that of a mainstream school.

Firstly, you must decide how many places within the school will be allocated to pupils without a statement. For these places you must follow the Schools Admissions Code, and therefore need to define very carefully how you will determine that these children have an appropriate type and level of need for your provision. This would involve the support of professional advice, for example from an educational psychologist.

You will also need to consider the situation where your school is over-subscribed for non-Statemented places. In this case the Schools Admissions Code and the Schools Admissions Appeals Code will apply as they do to pupils applying to mainstream schools. You will need to prioritise non-statemented applicants to your school, up to your stated admissions number, in a fair and transparent way. 

Financial viability

An important consideration for puipls without an EHC Plan is that they will not come with the additional funding that comes with these pupils. They will only attract the funding of a mainstream pupil. You will therefore need to think carefully about how many places you will offer for these pupils to ensure your school remains financially viable.

Other useful resources: