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Moving to Plymouth with a child that has special needs

Moving To Plymouth With A Child That Has Special Needs Panel

If you're moving to Plymouth and your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan of special educational needs (or is currently undergoing assessment) email or call 01752 307409 to discuss arrangements with us.

We will need

  • details of your child's Education, Health and Care Plan
  • the date you'll arrive in Plymouth
  • your new address
  • your family details
  • the name and contact details of your previous local authority.

If your preference is a mainstream school you need to get in touch with school admissions to discuss your child's new school. You need to tell them that your child has special educational needs and give them details about the school your child was previously attending.

If your preference is a special school we can't guarantee your child will get an equivalent school in Plymouth and this type of admission would have to go through an assessment panel.

Quick guides

Researching your new town

When relocating with a child with special needs, finding the right area is crucial. What key factors should you research to ensure your child has access to adequate support and resources?

Check for Special Needs Schools

  • Search for schools with robust special education programs.
  • Arrange to meet teachers and tour facilities.
  • Inquire about therapies and services offered on-site.

Look into community resources

  • Are there recreation centres with adaptive programs?
  • What special needs parental support groups are active nearby?
  • Note enrichment opportunities like art studios and nature parks.

Evaluate accessibility

  • How wheelchair friendly is the housing and infrastructure?
  • Are public transit and community buildings accessible?
  • Drive around town and check ease of navigability.

Find healthcare providers

  • Search for pediatricians experienced with your child's needs.
  • Look into therapists - OTs, speech, behavioural, etc.
  • Locate nearby hospitals/clinics, urgent cares.


Managing transitions smoothly

Moving can be challenging for any child, but especially for little ones with special needs who thrive on stability. Use these tips to ease transitions when relocating:

Prepare your child

  • Read stories and show pictures of your new house/town.
  • Drive by and walk around the neighbourhood together.
  • Reassure them their favourite toys and blankets will come too.

Set-up your new home

  • Unpack and arrange familiar furniture first.
  • Decorate their room to match old the space.
  • Install equipment, accessibility features ahead of the move.

Coordinate handover of care

  • Request records be transferred from the old providers.
  • Have your child meet any new doctors/teachers.
  • Confirm future therapy schedules.

Explore together

  • Visit playgrounds, libraries, recreation spots.
  • Introduce to neighbours with pets or kids to play with.
  • Frequently reaffirm this is their new home.


Updating benefits in your new area

Relocating to a new town requires transferring and re-applying for your child's disability benefits and assistance programs. Here's how to ensure continued support:

Notify about an address change

  • Contact DLA/PIP, social services, and other benefit providers.
  • Update the address on any membership portals.
  • Change school meal vouchers and transportation passes.

Re-apply for local programs

  • Research benefits and grants available in your new area.
  • Submit applications well in advance of the move.
  • Ask for carryover of existing benefits.

Transfer equipment coverage

  • Contact mobility company to transfer wheelchair warranties.
  • Have the new home inspected for ramp/lift installation.
  • Update medical equipment insurance with the new address.

Find new respite services

  • Look into in-home nursing care and facility-based respite.
  • Meet potential new respite providers.
  • Confirm they can accommodate your child's needs.


Safely moving equipment

When relocating to a new town with a child who uses specialised equipment, proper transport and setup are vital.

Create a detailed inventory

  • Carefully catalogue all medical and assistive devices.
  • Note brand, model, and serial numbers.
  • Include wheelchairs, standers, hospital beds, and lifts.

Handle fragile items with care

  • Disassemble equipment if possible before transport.
  • Wrap padded covers around delicate electronic displays.
  • Use straps to secure moving parts.

Confirm accessibility upfront

  • Will doorways accommodate hospital beds or large wheelchairs?
  • Are ramps needed for home entry and transitions between floors?
  • Make any accessibility modifications before moving day.

Schedule professional movers

  • Hire movers experienced in specialised equipment.
  • Ensure lift-gate truck access and climate control.
  • Get setup help so devices are operational quickly.



Plymouth's Local Offer is organised into four main categories covering the following age ranges:

 Plymouth Local Offer homepage



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