SEND and transferring from primary to secondary school

Find out about transferring your child from primary to secondary school.

If your child has a statement, or education, health and care plan, the annual review meeting in Year 5 is a good time to talk about plans for moving to secondary school and to discuss transport arrangements.

In October of Year 6, you will need to decide which secondary or special school you would prefer your child to go to.

Your assessment and review officer should then send you an amended education, health and care plan by 15 February to name their year seven placement.

Try to go to the school open days, which are usually in September or October. You can find out the dates on the school's website or by phoning the school's receptionist. 

Each school should have information on their website, including their latest Ofsted report, or you can ask for a copy of the school's prospectus.

You can talk to the special education needs co-ordinator (SENCO) on the open day and, if you wish, make an appointment to discuss your child in more depth in a confidential environment.

You have to apply for your child's place at a mainstream school. You can do this in two ways.

  1. Complete the form on the apply for a secondary school place page. The school admissions section contains lots of information to help you with the process.
  2. Alternatively, you can telephone the admissions team on 01609 533679 for a copy of the admissions form.

These are the only ways you can apply for a school place.

It may be recommended or you may want your child to go to a special school. Places at special schools are given to children with complex needs and have a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan.

You can ask your SENCO or SENDIASS coordinator how to apply for a place at a special school.

You should also apply for a place at the mainstream school you prefer, and explain on the form that your child is being considered for a place at a special school.

If your child is already on role at a special school, it should have been discussed whether the special school is still suitable to meet your child's needs for his or her secondary education. You still have a right to submit an admissions form requesting a change of placement or stating you would like your child to remain at the same special school.

If you are not sure what type of school would be best for your child, arrange to discuss your concerns as early as possible and allow yourself time to visit different schools more than once if necessary. Your SENDIASS coordinator can help you with these arrangements and accompany you on school visits, if you wish.

You can speak to your assessment and review officer or your SENDIASS coordinator if you wish to appeal the placement.

There is also information about the appeals process on the school admissions appeals page.

If your child has a statement of special educational needs or an education health and care plan, most secondary school  SENCOs will visit the primary school to meet your child and talk about your child's needs with their primary school teachers and teaching assistants.

If your child has particular difficulties and you feel extra visits to the secondary school will help prepare him or her, you should talk to your primary school SENCO about this. Sometimes a teaching assistant can be released to accompany your child to reassure him or her and to pass relevant tips and information to the secondary school staff. Additional visits can often help to reassure you and your child that steps will be taken to ensure support is in place before your child starts the secondary school.

The head of Year 7 or the SENCO will be happy to meet with you. Your SENDIASS coordinator can also support you in preparing for meetings with school staff.

Copies of the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (2014) are available from the GOV.UK Special educational needs and disability (SEND) web page.

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