A special school is a school catering for children who have special educational needs. Special educational needs is a term referring to children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn than most children of the same age.
These may be in the form of learning difficulties, physical disabilities or behavioural problems. Special schools are generally specifically designed, staffed and resourced to provide appropriate special education for children with specific needs.
Most special schools follow the national curriculum, adapted to meet the needs of the individual children. Many offer a range of therapies and additional support including occupational therapy and speech and language therapy.
Special schools have small class sizes and a high teacher-pupil ration. And teaching and work will generally be tailored to the individual’s ability and needs.
Pupils at a special school have usually been assessed and given An Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or statement of special educational needs (SEN). Some special schools are funded by the local education authority. These could be community, voluntary-aided or controlled, or foundation special schools. Some special schools are independent.