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Choosing a school

Introduction

Parent carers can find choosing a school for a child with SEN or disabilities to be a big decision. You may be choosing your child’s primary school, a change of school or your child’s secondary school. You are likely to be looking for a school that:

  • can meet your child’s special educational needs or disabilities
  • can provide them with the opportunity to make friends
  • enables your child to be involved in a variety of in-school and out-of-school activities
  • is as close to home as possible.

For more information on what to consider when choosing a school, click on the buttons below:

Most children attend their catchment area school. This is the primary or secondary school that is designated as serving the area where you live. It will normally be the nearest school to your home. Information about schools in the East Riding can be found on the council's website:

Schools, colleges and academies - East Riding of Yorkshire Council website (external website)

If your child has significant SEN it is advisable to begin the process of choosing a secondary school for your child 24 months before he/she is due to transfer. You may wish to speak to your child’s primary school and professionals who work with your child for their views about the schools you are considering. 

You can also contact the FISH service for more information about choosing a school.

A maintained mainstream school is a state school that receives its funding from the local authority (LA), follows the National Curriculum and is inspected by Ofsted.

Ofsted website (external website)

Academies

Academies are state-funded independent schools. 

Each academy has a funding agreement (contract) with the Secretary of State for Education. The funding agreement provides the framework within which the academy must operate.  Funding Agreements differ from school to school and are published on the Department for Education website:

Funding allocations for academies - GOV website (external website) 

To find academies in the East Riding visit the council's website to search:

Academies - East Riding of Yorkshire Council website (external website)

Independent (‘private’ or ‘public’) schools

Independent schools do not receive government funding and are reliant on receipt of school fees paid by parents and donations.

Many select pupils on the basis on ability in:

  • academics

or

  • sport, music and artistic talents.

Others are generally non-selective – the only criteria being the parents’ ability to pay the fees. Some independent schools offer bursaries and scholarships to talented students.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council aim to make sure that whenever possible children and young people are educated in East Riding schools. If this is not possible the Council may use approved Independent Schools.

For more information on Independent School placements see:

East Riding of Yorkshire Council Independent School Placements (pdf 45kb, opens in new window)

These schools have been though a quality assurance process, are regularly reviewed and are expected to provide the authority evidence of standards and outcomes each term. This is to ensure a high quality school is chosen.

For information about Independent Schools in the East Riding and surrounding areas visit the Independent Schools Council website.

Independent Schools Council (external website)

Free schools

Free Schools are non-profit making, state-funded independent schools.  They can be set up by a wide range of proposers – including charities, universities, businesses, educational groups, visionary teachers or committed parents.  For information about open free schools or free school applications see:

Free Schools information - GOV website (external website)

For more information on Hub Schools and Specialist Services visit the Hub school page on the Local Offer.

East Riding of Yorkshire has contracts with some schools to provide enhanced education resources which aim to:

  • Provide a specialist enhanced resource that offers a broad and balanced curriculum for children and young people who have an education, health, and care plan.
  • Provide a caring, stimulating and consistent environment in which pupils can learn.


The process for securing placement within an enhanced education resource is:

1.    School confirms during Annual Review they are unable to meet pupil needs

2.    School refer to East Riding of Yorkshire Council Special Educational Needs Panel

3.    Special Educational Needs Panel recommends consultation with enhanced education resource

4.    Enhanced education resource confirms whether they are able to meet pupil needs

5.    Pupil placed at enhanced education resource


The enhanced education resources are:

School                                                                Provision Type

Harland House (Bridlington Sports College)         Social, Emotional, and Mental Health

Harland House Website - Bridlington School website ( external website)

Hornsea School and Language College                 Autistic Spectrum Condition

The Market Weighton School                                  Autistic Spectrum Condition

Keyingham Primary School                                     Autistic Spectrum Condition


Special schools are specifically organised to meet the special educational needs and disabilities of children and young people.  They may have smaller class sizes, specialist facilities and equipment and staff who have received additional training. 

3 Special Schools in East Riding:

Riverside Special School:

Age:  currently 5 and 18 years. However, on completion of Phase 2 of the school’s extension this will increase from 2 to 19 years.

Range of needs supported? On completion of the aforementioned extension the school will be designated as supporting pupils who present with SLD, PMLD and Complex Needs. Currently the great majority of pupils have MLD and Complex Needs. The phased transition to cater for a wider range of additional needs will take place once the building programme is complete. Post-16 provision began in September 2018 and is planned to develop to capacity over the next two years.

Support and interventions available to meet the needs of the children/young: Riverside School currently supports children aged 5 to 18 years who will typically have a variety of moderate learning difficulties, Autistic Spectrum Conditions and medical or sensory impairments that present a barrier to their learning. However, we have recently changed our designation to include pupils with severe learning difficulties and profound needs. Our new seven classroom extension includes a Hydrotherapy pool, a new hall, gym, sensory room, small group rooms and office space. Once refurbishment of our existing building is completed by September 2019, our age range and provision will gradually expand from 2 years old to 19 years old and develop to meet the needs of a wider range of conditions.

Address: Ainsty St, Goole, East Yorkshire, DN14 5JS

Contact number: (01405) 763925

Contact email:  riverside.special@eastriding.gov.uk
School website:  http://www.riversideschoolgoole.com/

St Anne’s School and Sixth Form College

Age: 2-19

Range of needs supported: St. Anne's School is a day school with residential provision, catering for 2-19 year olds. Our school provides a quality, inclusive education for pupils with learning difficulties and those with MLD, SLD and profound and multiple needs. The school is a specialist in providing education for those with autism spectrum disorder.
Support and interventions available to meet the needs of the children/young people: On site residence providing 24 hour curriculum, autism support through designated communication groups, staffing levels appropriate to the level of need, onsite medical support, fully adaptive curriculum and facilities, sensory curriculum, post 16 provision preparing for adult life and employment, extra-curricular activities through off site provision, inclusion with local primary schools, sensory garden, sensory room, hydrotherapy pool, children’s kitchen, trampolines, soft play playgrounds, horticulture and poly-tunnels, and a small animal care facility.

Address: St Helen’s Drive, Welton, East Yorkshire HU15 1NR

Contact number: (01482) 667379
Contact email: Stannescommunity.specialSchool@eastriding.org

Kings Mill school:

More information to follow

website: http://www.kingsmillschool.co.uk/

For information about special schools in the East Riding visit the council's website.

Special Schools - East Riding of Yorkshire Council website (external website)

Special Schools Admissions Policy:

For information on the application and allocation process for admissions to the three community special schools in East Riding of Yorkshire please view the special schools admissions policy:

Special Schools admissions Policy (pdf, 115kb opens in new window)

For a further summary of Special schools in the near by area please visit Hull's Local Offer website:

Local Special School information- Hull Local Offer website on Connect to Support website (external website)

Does my child need a statement or an Education, Health and Care Plan to attend a special school?

Children must have a statement of SEN or an Education, Health and Care Plan to attend a special school unless the child is accepted on an assessment placement.  Assessment placements might be offered to children under 5 with complex needs or when immediate support is needed for a child following a sudden onset or deterioration of the child’s difficulties.

Can I ask for a special school that is not in the East Riding?

Yes.  You can express a preference for a school in another area.  The SEN Team will consider your preference and talk to you about whether the school is suitable, compare the cost and ask (‘consult’) that Local Authority (e.g. Hull) if they can offer a place for your child.

You can also ask for a non-maintained or independent special school.  You may feel that a particular school has good facilities and would therefore be best for your child.  The SEN Team will listen to your views however the starting point for them will be whether there is suitable provision within local and neighbouring maintained schools. They will take into account what provision your child needs and the cost of the placement.  For information about independent and non-maintained special schools in England visit the The National Association of Independent Schools & Non-Maintained Special Schools website:

National Association of Independent Schools & Non-Maintained Special Schools website (external website)

Can I ask for a residential special school?

A residential school may be considered where there is multi-agency agreement that your child has severe or multiple SEN, or medical needs that cannot be met in local day provision.

List of approved independent special institutions (often known as Section 41)

Section 41 allows the Secretary of State, by order, to publish a list of approved independent special institutions (Independent Special Schools – England and Wales and Special Post-16 institutions). Institutions can only be included on the list with their consent. This list is updated termly and can be viewed on the GOV.UK website:

Section 41 Secretary of State approved list - GOV.UK website (external website)

Before making a decision it is important that you find out more about the schools you are considering.  You can:

  • Ask the school to post or email to you a copy of their prospectus or alternatively look up information about the school (such as pupil numbers, name of headteacher, contact details) on the internet.  Schools in the East Riding have been asked to publish information about how they meet pupils’ special educational needs on their websites.  This is the school’s Local Offer.  Click on the Local Offer button on the school’s website.
  • Download a copy of the school’s latest Ofsted report from the Ofsted website.

Ofsted website (external website)

Other factors to consider might be:

  • how to maintain your child’s friendships
  • the distance from your home/place of work/childcare/other family members
  • the out of school opportunities available, and
  • how different schools describe the arrangements they have for supporting pupils with SEND.

Where can I ask questions?

Some schools will have designated open evenings for parents which may be a suitable opportunity for you or you may need to arrange a separate visit to suit your circumstances.

Before your visit think about the questions you would like to ask the school and who you would like to meet, for example the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO).

Questions you might like to ask include:

  • How many children would be in your child’s class / tutor group?
  • How do the school provide support for children with special educational needs? (You can ask for a copy of the school’s SEN policy and their SEN Information Report)
  • Has the school knowledge or experience of your child’s special educational needs?
  • Are all the areas of the school accessible to your child?
  • How will your child be supported outside the classroom?
  • What extra activities does the school offer at lunchtimes and after school?  Will your child be encouraged and included in these?
  • How do the school manage challenging behaviour?  (You can ask the school for a copy of their discipline policy)
  • How is bullying dealt with at the school?
  • How can the school help your child mix and make friends?
  • How does the school communicate with parents?
  • When are parents invited to talk to their child’s teacher(s)?
  • What arrangements are there for parents to get involved in school life?

After the visit

You can contact the FISH SEND Service to discuss your child's and your own experience of the school. We will help you consider the following:

  • Did you feel welcomed at the school?
  • Do you think your child would be happy at the school?
  • What were the school’s strengths?
  • Did the school answer all your questions?
  • How will my child get to school?

Make sure that you apply in time for places at primary and secondary schools.  You can apply online on the council's website:

School places and admissions - East Riding of Yorkshire Council (external website)

or by completing the paper application form. You can request this by contacting the FISH service.

If you want your child to change schools (in year application) either because you are moving house or change in circumstances you can also apply online or obtain a paper application form from the school admissions team. 

You may be concerned about your chances of being allocated a place for your child at the school of your choice.  You can use the information about numbers of applications contained within the admissions guides or speak to FISH or the school admissions team for information to help you.

If your child has a statement of SEN or an Education, Health and Care Plan the process for expressing a preference for a school place is different from children who are at school action / action plus or SEN support.