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Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Local Offer

Education & Schools

Children can start school in the September before their fifth birthday and attend up until they are aged 11.  In the September before their 12th birthday they transfer to secondary school and can attend up until they are aged 18. Some special schools offer places for young people up to 19 years. 

Parents of children and young people who do not have an Education, Health and Care plan must apply for a school place.  It is not an automatic process..  Details on when and how to apply, and information on our schools and how admissions decisions are made are available at  

Image of children leaving school

Nearly all children with special educational needs and disability (SEND) go to a 'mainstream' early years setting or school. Many children and young people may need some extra help or support at some time. Very few children will have special educational needs (SEN) that are long-term or a disability or medical condition that significantly affects their learning. It is important to identify children who do have special educational needs and disability (SEND) as early as possible. This is known as early intervention and makes sure they get the help they need.

If you are worried about your child you should talk to their class teacher, school SENCO or early years setting. You could talk to another professional such as a health visitor, GP or childminder. They will be able to help find out whether your child may have special educational needs and disability. 


For further information please contact:  

School Admissions

Telephone: 020 8921 8043


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Future planning for Special Educational Provision

The new free school at Hargood Road will provide 240 specialist school places for children and young people diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with complex educational needs.

The new 240 place all-through special school will be established over two separate sites within the borough and delivered in two stages:

  • Stage one will incorporate a new secondary and sixth form campus to be built on the former primary school site on Hargood Road, SE3 and is planned to open from September 2025.  
  • Stage two will develop the primary phase provision to be located at an alternative site within the borough and is planned to open from September 2026.

Selecting an academy trust 

As the strategic commissioner of special school places in the local area, we are launching a competition process to appoint a suitably qualified academy trust to run the new special free school.

This is following the council's Cabinet decision in November 2022 to delegate to the Director of Children's Services the authority to undertake a competition process to appoint a suitable academy sponsor to run the new all-through special free school. It also follows a recently completed consultation process showing an overwhelming support from local residents and relevant stakeholders for the new school.


Summary of parent responses re future developments in Special Educational Provision 

Special Educational Needs Banding Funding Formula

 Send Admissions Policy  

Summary of professional responses re future developments in Special Educational provision