Applying for and choosing a school

Applying for and choosing a school

Most children and young people with special needs go to their local mainstream setting, school or college.

Special schools are for the children and young people with the most severe and complex special educational needs. There are very few unoccupied places in special schools, and it is vital that these are available for the children and young people with the greatest needs.

It is important to consider all the information on this page before you begin the application process, and remember, if your child does not have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), it will be difficult to secure a place at certain specialist settings.

Our home to school transport policy recognises that not all children and young people are able to walk to their educational establishment. Children between 5 and 8 are expected to walk up to 2 miles, and children over 8 are expected to walk up to 3 miles. These are called the “statutory walking distances”. Parents are expected to accompany their children within the statutory walking distance.

If you select a school or setting for your child or young person that is not the nearest school or setting of its kind to where you live, then your child or young person would not receive home to school transport, even if they qualify on the basis of their special needs. This is because there is a closer school or setting to where you live. It will be a parental responsibility to provide appropriate transport to convey their child or young person to and from this setting. The Local Authority will not, at any time, be financially or otherwise responsible for providing transport provision.

Some children or young people are eligible for free home to school transport if they are unable to walk for reasons of severe mobility difficulties or other severe needs that mean a child or young person could not walk the distance, even with parental supervision.

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