Choosing and applying for a school for children and young people with SEND

See advice about choosing a school for a child or young person with special educational needs and disabilities and browse schools near you.

Starting school for the first time

Children usually start school in the September following their fourth birthday. It may be possible to defer your child's entry into reception if he or she is not quite ready to start school.


There are many different types of schools and many things to think about when choosing the right education provider for your child. Most children’s needs can be met in a mainstream school or enhanced mainstream provision. This means that children can go to school with their friends from their community. When making your choice it is also important to consider how your child will travel to school. You can find out more about transport to school and college here

Our school admissions pages have lots of information to help you choose a school including preferencing, catchment areas and admissions policies. You can also find out more about special circumstances including SEND and social or medical reasons for preferencing a particular school.

If you're considering home educating your child, you can read more information here.

Schools SEN policies

When you’re considering a particular school for your child, it’s a good idea to look at the school’s SEN information report, as this explains their ethos and approach to meeting the needs of children with SEN. You can find this on the school’s own website, where you will also find lots of other useful information. You may then wish to contact the schools you are interested in to have a look around and meet the headteacher and special educational needs coordinator (SENCO). Try and prepare a few questions so that you make sure you cover these issues during your visit.

Children with an education, health and care plan (EHCP) or statement

If your child has a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan, the professionals involved in writing it will help you decide on the most appropriate type of school for your child. You will then need to follow our normal admissions process

If your child has an EHCP you might want to consider a special school. Bear in mind that it may not be in their local area and they will inevitably have a different friendship group, and may not be mixing with other children in the locality. You will also need to think about how they will travel to school and whether you are eligible for transport assistance. If you decide to think about special schools, you can find out more about the special schools in North Yorkshire and how to apply for a place, here.

Children with an EHCP have a nominated assessment and review officer who will help you with transitions to start school, change school or transfer to secondary school. They will discuss changes in school placements with you at your review meeting.

You can also contact us on 01609 535002 or sen@northyorks.gov.uk for more information.

It also may be useful to contact the SEND information, advice and support service (SENDIASS) if your child will be starting school in North Yorkshire. They provide free and impartial information, advice and support for children, young people and young adults (up to 25 year old) with SEND as well as their parents or carers.