What's the best choice for my child with special educational needs?
Special schools usually accept a range of special needs but some are more specialised. Special schools are specifically designed, resourced and staffed to provide individualised education for children with special needs. Student: teacher ratios are kept low. Many have specialised facilities such as sensory rooms or swimming pools. There are residential special needs schools, some of which operate 52 weeks in a year and others just take day pupils. Many offer therapeutic input for SEBD pupils.
Mainstream school with an SEN unit
Children are taught in a separate room or rooms (within a mainstream school) dedicated solely to the education of students with special needs. These classrooms are typically staffed by specially trained teachers who provide specific and specialised instruction to individuals and small groups of students with special needs. Students may remain in the self-contained classroom full-time or may be included in some general education classes.
Mainstream schools with individual SEN provision
Children with special needs are fully integrated into mainstream classrooms but may have a specially qualified member of staff who assists them one-to-one or supports them as part of a group. Students may occasionally leave the regular classroom to attend smaller, more intensive sessions outside the general classroom.
Children can be registered at both a special school and a mainstream school with dual registration. You can also home educate your child if you are able to provide efficient full-time education and can sometimes agree flexi-schooling arrangements whereby you agree that your child spends part of the day or week in school and the rest being home educated. You can find help with home educating on www.gov.uk/home-education