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Finding the right school for your child

For mainstream schools your child will follow the normal admissions process. You can find more information and apply for a school place online by visiting the School Admissions webpage or ring the School Admissions Team on 01752 307481.

To compare schools in Plymouth just click on one of the categories, above, then onto the school and then the blue compare schools button. 

Special schools in Plymouth

Places at special centres or special schools are more complex. To attend a special school or centre your child will need a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan.

If you want your child to attend a special school or centre you should talk about your school preference at your child’s Annual Review.

Getting your child to school

As a parent, it's your responsibility to make sure your child gets to and from school, however in some cases we can assist with transport.

Your child may be able to get free transport to school if:

  • they aren't in walking distance of their nearest school
  • you're on a low income
  • they've a special need or medical condition
  • you've moved house

Find out more about School Transport

Once your child is in a school

If you want to discuss your child’s needs and support, your child’s class teacher or form tutor will be your first point of contact.

The school will also have a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO). The SENCO oversees the provision for pupils with SEND and takes responsibility for the implementation of the school's SEND policy. They also provide guidance and training for staff and may liaise with parents and carers to ensure that a child’s support is coordinated and targeted appropriately.

Your child’s teacher and the SENCO work together. When you discuss concerns with your child’s teacher, they may ask for advice from the SENCO. If needed, the teacher will write a plan, which will be used to support your child’s learning; the teacher may work with the SENCO to write this. The plan is sometimes known as an Individual Education Plan (IEP) and it will describe strategies to support your child in class or in small groups. The school will always focus on ensuring your child is enabled to work independently, as it is vital to make sure that they do not become dependent on adult support.

There are a number of specialist support teams to help learners with specific needs and the SENCO can ask for advice or support from any of these teams. The links below will take you to more detailed information on each of the areas of support they offer:

As a parent you may want to speak to someone outside of the school about your concerns and ask for some information or advice. The Plymouth Information and Advice for SEND Support Service is a support service for all parents and carers in the Plymouth area. This includes a specialist service to parents and carers of children with additional needs or special needs and disabilities. The service can provide you with impartial and confidential information and support about additional or special educational needs.

Education, Health and Care Assessments and Plans

An education, health and care assessment is a process where information is collected from schools and professionals to give us a clear picture of your child's or young person's education health and care needs.

Most mainstream schools/settings and colleges will be able to meet your child's special educational needs. However, if your child needs more support than the school can provide they may need an education, health and care plan.

Find out more about education, health and assessment plans

Further information

Working together with the school or setting is important

You can find out more about the EHC Assessment process by visiting the 0-25 SEN Statutory Assessment team’s web pages or you can contact your child’s SENCo in schools for more information about the EHC Plan Assessment process. 

If your child has a statement of special educational needs or is being assessed for an Education Health and Care plan the 0-25 SEND Statutory Assessment team will monitor the progress of this work.

Independent Supporters are a new service to support families going through the new Education Health and Care assessment process to help with understanding this process and their role within it. The service is not run by the council but provides impartial advice and information to help parents make decisions about their child’s plan.

The service can be contacted on 01752 258933 or by email at 

Information for parents and carers from year 7 to year 12

View all services and organisations in the education category »

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