School placements

school children working at desks in a classroom

Most children with special educational needs go to their local mainstream school. Details of local schools and colleges, including special schools and specialist provision can be found by searching on this site.

All mainstream schools and academies must publish on their website, their local offer outlining how they support children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Choosing a school

Deciding which schools you would prefer your child to attend is a very important decision. You are able to express a preference when applying for a school place. This preference may be based on a range of factors individual to your child and family.

The Parents’ School Preference Adviser offers advice and information on choosing a school, how to apply and the appeals process.

You can find out about school placements on Cambridgeshire County Council's website.

School Placements

Applying for a place at secondary school

Admission to all Cambridgeshire mainstream schools and academies is managed centrally. If your child has extra help at school but does not have a Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, you will apply for a school place following the admissions process for all children.

If your child has a Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, their move to secondary school will be discussed at their Annual Review meeting in Year 5. You will be asked to think about what school you would like your child to go to. You may want to visit the schools you are considering and attend open evenings. 

Your SEN Casework Officer from the Statutory Assessment and Resources Team (START) will be able to explain the application process for your child if they have an EHC Plan.

Concerns about progress and development

The council expects all mainstream schools to offer consistent support to children with special educational needs and to ensure that they have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. 

If you are worried about your child’s progress at school, talk in the first instance to their class teacher or the  Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo). You can also talk to your doctor, school nurse or any of the people who are working with you and your child.

If you feel that you would like to talk to someone outside school, you can contact the Parent Partnership Service providing Cambridgeshire's Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS). They offer independent, impartial advice on support for children and young people with special educational needs.

Depending on your child's and family needs, an assessment called an Early Help Assessment (EHA) may be completed with you. This helps to begin to identify the support your family needs and other professionals who need to be involved. They may request help from a range of services from the council or health services.

Pathway for Children moving into Cambridgeshire from outside England

If you have a child who is moving or has moved to Cambridgeshire from outside England, with complex special educational needs or who had the equivalent support of an Education Health and Care Plan in the last school they attended the Admissions out of country pathway could identify the right support to find a school place.

Related Pages

  1. Education transitions
  2. Expectations of Schools and Academies
  3. SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)
  4. What is Targeted Support (Early Help)?


  1. Deferral: Educating Children out of Year Group things to consider

External Links

  1. School Placements
  2. School Preference Adviser
  3. SEND Out of Country Cambridgeshire Pathway


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