View the lists of special needs that a school or college can meet with a certain amount of scepticism: make sure the school addresses the difficulties of the conditions, and doesn't just contain them - or think they can cope as "we had a student with this diagnosis a year or so back". Check that staff receive training in their students' particular difficulties. Go for a college or school which offers the right range of special needs; be wary of those which profess to cover many. Nothing is as important as making a personal visit, on a normal working day, to a shortlist of several schools. Try not to take your child with you on these preliminary informal trips - they may become excited, confused and agitated, especially if they visit several in a short space of time.
There are a number of different types of schools available:
Maintained Special School - schools that cater soley for special needs and are provided and funded by the Local Authority.
Non-Maintained Special School - approved as a special school under section 342 of the Education Act 1996. Non-profit making schools run by charitable trusts. NMSS schools are funded primarily through pupil fees charged to Local Authorities which place children there.
Approved Independent Special School - usually owned by an individual or limited company or group of companies but can be a charity. Approved by the Secretary of State to take children with Statements of SEN, majority of placements funded by LEAs. Wholly funded by pupil fees and can be run on a profit making basis.
Independent Special School - owned by an individual or limited company or group of companies. Can take childen with special needs without Statements or with Statements if individual approval is obtained from the Secretary of State. Wholly funded by pupil fees and can be run on a profit making basis.
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For more information or advice, contact us here, or call 0800 138 1184.