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Submitting a preference for a school place for a child with EHCP or a SSEN

Please note: If your child does not have an education health and care plan (EHCP), even if they are being assessed for special educational needs or an EHCP, you should submit a preference for a school place via our mainstream admissions page.

Most children with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), can be appropriately supported in mainstream schools. However, if your child has more complex needs it may have been agreed that they require a place at a special school or a mainstream school with a specialist centre.

When to submit a preference

Please note: These dates apply for those children who have an EHCP. If your child does not currently have an EHCP, even if they are under assessment, you should submit a preference for a place between the dates outlined on our mainstream admissions page.

If your child is approaching Key Stage Transfer in September 2020 but is not issued with an EHCP until after the preference form has closed, please contact your SEND Case Officer to discuss how the SEND Admissions process will work for them, You will have an opportunity to state your preferred school placement for September following issuance of the draft EHCP.

Submit your preference form now

Reception

Date of birthSubmit a preferenceStart from
1 September 2014 - 31 August 2015June 2018 - 30 September 2018September 2019
1 September 2015 - 31 August 2016June 2019 - 30 September 2019September 2020
1 September 2016 - 31 August 2017June 2020 - 30 September 2020September 2021

Junior school (only applicable if your child is attending an infant school)

Date of birthSubmit a preferenceStart from
1 September 2011 - 31 August 2012June 2018 - 30 September 2018September 2019
1 September 2012 - 31 August 2013June 2019 - 30 September 2019September 2020
1 September 2013 - 31 August 2014June 2020 - 30 September 2020September 2021

Secondary school

Date of birthSubmit a preference Start from
1 September 2007 - 31 August 2008 June 2018 - 30 September 2018 September 2019
1 September 2008 - 31 August 2009 June 2019 - 30 September 2019

September 2020

1 September 2009 - 31 August 2010June 2020 - 30 September 2020September 2021

Post-16 (not applicable if you will be attending college after year 11)

Date of birthSubmit a preference Start from
1 September 2002 - 31 August 2003 June 2018 - 30 September 2018 September 2019
1 September 2003 - 31 August 2004 June 2019 - 30 September 2019 September 2020
1 September 2004 - 31 August 2005June 2020 - 30 September 2020September 2021

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Before submitting a preference

Please read our SEND Admissions guidance booklet for further information on the application process for reception, junior and secondary school, or the SEND Post-16 Admissions Guidance.

Other important sources of information include:

Reception

You can discuss your child's needs with their current educational provision (nursery school etc), their SEND case worker and any other professionals involved in their case. As mentioned above, most children with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) can be appropriately supported in mainstream schools. However, if your child has more complex needs it may have been agreed that they require a place at a special school or a mainstream school with a specialist centre. There is more information about the types f placement available within the 'Finding the Right School' booklets (links at the bottom of this web page).

If your child has an EHCP by 30 September in the year before they start school then you should submit a preference using the SEN School Admissions online form below.

If your child does not have an EHCP by 30 September then you should apply through the mainstream process. If your child receives an EHCP after 30 September then their reception placement will be considered as part of the process for issuing the EHCP.

It is expected that most children who start Reception with an EHCP will not already have one in the September before they start school. The Local Authority has different statutory obligations to children who have already been issued with an EHCP, which is why different process applies for these children.

Junior school

The SEND Admissions process only applies to children approaching junior transfer if they are attending an infant school. If your child will be Year 2 in September 2019 and they are attending a primary school, you do not need to submit a preference online and the SEND Admissions timescales will not apply.

If there are any concerns in relation to a placement of a Year 1 or 2 child in a primary school, these should be raised as part of the annual review process. Any changes required to the provision and placement identified within the EHCP will be considered following the review.

If your child is attending an infant school, you can discuss their needs with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at their progress meetings, and then again at the annual review of their EHCP. This is usually during the summer term of Year 1. As mentioned above, most children with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) can be appropriately supported in mainstream schools. However, if your child has more complex needs it may have been agreed that they require a place at a special school or a mainstream school with a specialist centre. There is more information about the types of placement available within the 'Finding the Right School' booklets (links at the bottom of this webpage).

Secondary school

You can discuss you child's needs with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at their progress meetings, and then again at the annual review of their EHCP. This is usually during the summer term of Year 5.

As mentioned above, most children with an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) can be appropriately supported in mainstream schools. However, if your child has more complex needs it may have been agreed that they require a place at a special school or a mainstream school with a specialist centre. There is more information about the types of placement available within the 'Finding the Right School' booklets (links at the bottom of this webpage).

Post-16

There are lots of different options available after Year 11, you can find information about these on our 'When your child with SEND leaves school' page. Different timescales apply for young people in Year 11 depending on what type of placement they require for September.

If you are planning to attend college after Year 11, then you do not need to submit a preference form online. You will be issued with a draft EHCP in January and we will consult with your preferred college at that point. You will also need to apply directly to them as each college has their own admissions process - most applications need to be submitted before Christmas.

If you plan to attend a school sixth form, or if you continue to require the provision of a specialist placement, please submit your preferred school placement using the online form (closing 30 September). The statutory deadline for confirming these placements is earlier (15 February) which is why a different process applies.

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Submitting a preference for a school place

You can submit a preference for a school place online if your child has an EHCP which is maintained by Surrey County Council.

Submit your preference form now

For information on how to complete the form and how places are allocated, please read the School Admissions guidance for children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) (PDF) or the SEND Post 16 Admissions Guidance (PDF).

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Appeals

If you disagree with the school placement given to your child and named in your child's final EHCP, you have the right of appeal to the SEND tribunal. Details of this process will accompany the school place offer and you can then contact your Case Officer for further information and advice on this process.

We will first advise you on how to contact the mediation service in order to try to resolve the situation without the need for a tribunal.

Please note the decision of the SEND tribunal is final and binding upon the authority, the parents and the school. Further appeals within the same academic year can only be considered on a point of law and not on the decision of the tribunal.

Submitting a preference after the closing date

If you have a child with an EHCP, you should contact your Case Officer or relevant area office if any of the following apply:

- you are submitting a preference after the closing date

- you are submitting a preference for an in-year admission, or

- you are moving to Surrey.

Area offices

South West Area Office covers Guildford and Waverley Telephone: 01483 517890 or email: swsen@surreycc.gov.uk

North West Area Office covers Woking, Runnymede and Surrey Heath Telephone: 01483 518110 or email: nwsen@surreycc.gov.uk

South East Area Office covers Mole Valley, Tandridge, and Reigate and Banstead Telephone: 01737 737990 or email: sesen@surreycc.gov.uk

North East Area Office covers Spelthorne, Elmbridge, and Epsom and Ewell Telephone: 01737 737940 or email: nesen@surreycc.gov.uk

Moving into Surrey

When you move, your child's EHCP (along with all other documents relevant to your child's SEND, for example your child's individual education plan) will be transferred to us from the local education authority where you live. We then become responsible for making sure your child receives the support outlined in the EHCP. We will have six weeks to decide whether to review the EHCP and/or make any new assessment. It may be that the move means your child is now too far away from the school named in the EHCP to attend it and we will need to name a new school. In this instance, we may need your child to go to a school of our choice temporarily, to allow enough time for you to visit schools and discuss your options.

We will always consult with you over changes to your child's EHCP and you can express a preference for a school.

Files available to download

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