Children of compulsory school age

The Education and Early Help (SEND) Team will manage the school admissions process if your child has an education, health and care plan (EHCP). This includes if your child is moving from one stage to another, for example, from an early years setting to starting school, or from a primary to a secondary school. 

We'll write to you a year before your child is due to start or move schools as we need to ask which school you'd like them to go to. 

We'll ask you to inform us by the October before they're due to move. You must name a mainstream school, even if you've requested a place at a special school, resource base or social, emotional, mental health (SEMH) unit. This is because not all children who are considered for special schools or bases are offered places. If your child isn't offered a place we need to make sure they have a place at a mainstream school. 

For example, if your child is moving or starting school in September 2024, you must inform us by October 2023.

Consultation with your preferred school

Once you have informed us of your choice, we will consult with your preferred school. We will send them a copy of your child's EHCP, review paperwork and any recent advice. The school will then have 15 calendar days to tell us if they can meet your child's needs and offer them a place.

Consultation with your nearest school

If your preferred school isn't your nearest we'll also consult with your nearest appropriate school. You may be responsible for providing transport if you name a school that's not your nearest school. Find out if we can help with transport.

What happens next?

What happens next depends on how the school responds to the consultation:

  • if the school confirms that they can offer your child a school place, your child will have a place at that school for the following September
  • if the school does not reply, your child will have a place at that school for the following September 
  • if the school says they cannot meet your child's needs or offer them a place, the SEND team will work with the school to work out what we can do to support them to meet your child's needs. We'll discuss all options with you

Amending the EHCP

Once a school place has been agreed for your child, we'll issue a Final Amended EHCP that names the agreed school for the following September. We have to issue the Final Amended EHCP by 15 February before the school move will take place. 

For example, if your child is starting or moving school in September 2023, we'll issue a Final Amended EHCP naming the new school by 15 February 2023.

What if my child is going through a needs assessment for an EHCP?

If your child is going through a needs assessment for an EHCP you should apply for a school place through the normal admissions process. This is because we won't yet know if your child will get an EHCP. 

Moving schools during the school year

Talk to your school SENCO and/or the SEND team if you want your child to move schools during the school year.

Moving school guide

For children and young people with an EHCP, moving to a new school is a big change. Find advice on switching schools, or moving from one educational setting to the next in our moving school guide for parents and carers of a child with an EHCP

Apply for a school or college place for young people over 16 years with an EHCP

If your child is over compulsory school age (16 years or over) there are people you can talk to who can offer advice and tell you which options are available: