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School places for children with special educational needs

Follow this process to apply for a primary or secondary school place only if your child has an education, health and care (EHC) plan. If your child doesn't have an EHC plan, view the process for applying for a school place

Apply for a school place for a child with an EHC plan

Follow the 4 step process to apply for a school place for a child with an EHC plan.

Step 1 - consider your preferred schools

We encourage you to look at a number of different schools and ask each one how they'll meet your child's specific special education needs.

The support your child requires is listed in section F of their EHC plan. Schools will work closely with you to ensure your child's needs are met.

Will my child go to a special school? 
Only a small number of children with an EHC plan will be placed in a special school. Places for special schools are limited and will be allocated to children with the most severe learning difficulties first.

If you choose a specialist school as your preferred school, we recommend you also choose a mainstream school as a second preference.

Step 1 - consider your preferred schools

Step 2 - discuss your preferred schools with us

You've the option to speak to us about your preferred school choices.

If you're not sure which schools meet the needs of your child the best or if you'd like some reassurance about the options available for your child, please do get in touch.

Step 2 - contact us using the details on this page

Step 3 - apply for a school place

Follow the relevant link below to apply for a school place for your child.

Please note: the application form for applying for a school place for a child with an EHC plan is the same as those applying for a child without an EHC plan.

Step 3 - Apply for a primary school place

Step 3 - Apply for secondary school place

Step 4 - what happens after you apply for a school place

Once you've completed your application:

  1. We'll talk with your preferred schools to confirm they can meet your child's needs.
  2. We'll let you know if your preferred schools said they could meet the needs of your child. If they can't, we'll discuss some other options with you and agree on a different school.
  3. Once we've agreed a school, we'll update your child's EHC plan so it names the school we've agreed as your child's education provider. We'll do this by Friday, 14 February 2020.

Why the process is different for children with an EHC plan

To make sure the special educational needs of your child can be provided for, we'll work with you to make a decision together on the best school to support your child. ​

You can still choose a preferred school. But before offering you a place at the school of your choice, we'll check the school has the facilities and support available to help your child succeed.

Appeal a school place decision for children with an EHC plan

If you're not happy with the school listed on your amended EHC plan:

  1. Please contact us to discuss other options for your child.
  2. If you're still not happy, you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs Disability Tribunal. Appeal a decision to not allocate your child a place at your preferred school


01706 925981

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-4.45pm.

Education, Health and Care Team
Early Help and Schools
Floor 4
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU