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Applying for a school place for a child with EHCP or a SSEN

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

Most children with a statement of special education needs (SSEN) or an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), can be taught 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 school with a special centre.


When to apply

Reception

Date of birthApply Start from
1 September 2013 - 31 August 2014 1 September 2017 - 15 January 2018 September 2018
1 September 2014 - 31 August 2015 1 September 2018 - 15 January 2019 September 2019
1 September 2015 - 31 August 2016 1 September 2019 - 15 January 2020 September 2020

Junior school

Date of birthApply Start from
1 September 2010 - 31 August 2011 1 September 2017 - 31 October 2017 September 2018
1 September 2011 - 31 August 2012 1 September 2018 - 31 October 2018 September 2019
1 September 2012 - 31 August 2013 1 September 2019 - 31 October 2019 September 2020

Secondary school

Date of birthApply Start from
1 September 2006 - 31 August 2007 1 September 2017 - 31 October 2017 September 2018
1 September 2007 - 31 August 2008 1 September 2018 - 31 October 2018 September 2019
1 September 2008 - 31 August 2009 1 September 2019 - 31 October 2019 September 2020

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Before applying

You should consider which schools you think would be suitable to meet your child's needs and find out as much as you can about them.

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.

Junior or secondary school

You can discuss your child's needs with the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO) at your child's current school at their progress meetings, and then again at the annual review of their EHCP or SSEN. This is usually during the summer term of Year 1 (junior applicants) or Year 5 (secondary applicants).

Your child's case is then put forward to the local authority's New Round Forums (NRFs). The purpose of the forum is to make a recommendation to you about the type of school or centre that can best meet your child's needs in the next key stage. The NRFs are chaired by a manager from the local authority, with a range of members providing representation from education, health and care. The recommendation of the NRF is intended as guidance, and does not affect your parental right to request the school of your preference.

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Applying for a school place

Reception applications for a child with a statement of SSEN or EHCP

You must apply for reception between September and January before your child is due to start school.

You should complete the online school application form by 15 January.

Alternatively, you can request a form from your case worker and return it to them by post by the same deadline.

Junior or secondary applications for a child with a statement of SSEN or EHCP

You must apply for junior school in the September and October that your child enters Year 2, or for secondary school you must apply in the September and October that your child enters Year 6.

You can apply online if your child has a statement of SSEN or EHCP which is maintained by Surrey County Council.

Please submit your completed school application form by 31 October

You can apply online:

Apply for junior/secondary school

Alternatively, you can request a form from your case worker and return it to them by post.

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Completing the application form

Your application will ask you to list three mainstream school preferences and, if appropriate to your child, one special school or specialist provision preference.

Mainstream schools

It is important that you name up to three mainstream preferences on your school application. This is so that we can, where possible, offer an alternative placement if, by exception, we are not able offer your first preference.

If you are seeking a place at a special school or specialist provision for your child, you must still submit a preference for a mainstream school place.

Preferences for mainstream schools will not affect any decision regarding special school or specialist provision. However, if you do not include a request for a mainstream school, we will automatically consult with your nearest maintained mainstream school until a special school or specialist provision place has been confirmed for your child.

Special school or specialist centre provision

Your child's case is put forward to the local authority's New Round Forums (NRFs). The purpose of the forum is to make a recommendation to you about the type of school or centre that can best meet your child's needs in the next key stage. The NRFs are chaired by a manager from the local authority, with a range of members providing representation from education, health and care.

After the closing date, the local authority will allocate places at appropriate state funded specialist provision with reference to the oversubscription criteria, which are:

1. Looked After Children
2. Exceptional circumstances and siblings
3. Children for whom this is the closest appropriate provision to their home*
4. Distance from home to school

*Children whose applications are considered under category 3 or 4 will be sub-ranked by home to school distance, with the nearest being given priority. The home address used will be the one where the child resides the majority of the time. We cannot use a childminder's or relative's address. Where a child divides their time equally between addresses it is up to the parents to decide which address to use.

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Outcome of your application

You will receive a letter confirming the offer of a place for your child. If your child has not been allocated a place at your preferred school, the reason why will be explained to you and we will suggest an appropriate alternative school placement which will be able to meet your child’s needs and which you will be invited to visit.

You should contact your SEN case worker in the first instance, who will be able to discuss your options and advise you.

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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 be provided to you with the school place offer and you can then contact your case worker 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.

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Applying after the closing date

If you have a child with SSEN or EHCP, you should contact your case worker or relevant area office if any of the following apply:

  • you are applying after the closing date, for reception after 15 January and for junior or secondary school after 31 October, or
  • you are applying 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 SSEN or 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 SSEN / EHCP. We will have six weeks to decide whether to review the SSEN / 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 SSEN/EHCP to attend it and we will need to name a new school, but 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 SSEN or EHCP and you can express a preference for a school.

Files available to download

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