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Apply for a school place: children with special educational needs

Children with a statement of SEN or an EHC plan

If your child has a statement of special educational needs (SEN) or an education, health and care (EHC) plan the school named in it must offer them a place.

The professionals involved in creating or reviewing your child's statement or plan should tell you about naming a school and when and how you can give your preference for a particular school.

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Children without a statement of SEN or an EHC plan

If your child does not have a statement of SEN or an EHC plan you should follow the standard school application process.

Please note: if your child is in the process of being assessed for special educational needs you should still apply following the standard school application process. If you don't apply for a place and your child doesn't get an EHC plan, you may miss out on a place at one of your preferred schools.

Applying for a particular school on the grounds of special needs

All schools and academies can make provision for special educational needs, and can manage common conditions like asthma, epilepsy and diabetes. 

However, if you think your child has needs that support admission to a particular school, you'll have the opportunity to include these needs in your application as long as the school you are applying to has a medical, social and welfare criterion in their admission policy.

You will need to provide evidence that your child meets this criterion from an appropriate professional like a doctor, health visitor or social worker and should send this separately before the closing date.

Please note: all community and voluntary controlled schools include a medical, social and welfare criterion in their admission policy. For voluntary aided, foundation, free schools, academies and independent schools you will need to check their individual admission criteria.

If you want to know more about admissions criteria and social, medical and welfare applications, please read the information for parents booklets for primary applications and secondary applications.

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