Skip to main content

Types of school places for children with SEND

Most children and young people go to mainstream schools. This includes those who receive support through Education, Health and Care Plans.


Many children and young people with additional needs make better progress in education and socially with friendships if they are able to attend a local mainstream school.


Schools get funding to provide additional support and seek advice about support for students with SEND. They must use their "best endeavours" and make "reasonable adjustment" to support children with additional needs and disabilities.


Legally all local authorities must have an Accessibility Strategy that explains how we support schools and educational settings to make sure that all pupils can access the curriculum, physical environment and activities on offer to all students. You can find Hackney's Accessibility Strategy in the Document's Library here.


Find information about support in schools and specialist education provision...


Page last moderated: 17/08/20

Support for pupils in Mainstream Schools

As well as a the local authority Accessibility Strategy every school MUST publish their own accessibility strategy to explain how they are improving access to their setting over time. Find these can on the school's website in the polices section. 


Mainstream schools have funding in their budgets to support children with SEND. This is  called "element 2" funding.

Element 2 also referred to as SEN Support (Special Educational Needs Support) is used for students who need more helpFind out more about SEN support in mainstream schools and Hackney's SEN Funding for schools.


Since September 2014 schools have been required to give parents clear information about they support for children and young people with SEN in their setting. This is called the school SEN information report. These reports are available on the schools website or on request from the school. They must be kept up to date and show how support is developing over time. 

Additionally resourced provision at schools

An additionally resourced school is an ordinary mainstream school that has extra support and sometimes physical space for children who need more support but do not need to attend a special school.


Autism provision resourced provision at schools

Some children with higher needs may access mainstream education in specialist autism provisions if they have:

  • Autism as their primary need
  • an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan

Here is a list of all schools in Hackney with additional autism provision:

A multi agency decision panel agrees who is a priority for the available places.


Language Resourced Provision

A Language Resourced School (LRS) has extra speech and language therapy support for those children who need it. Children who go to Language Resourced Schools join their class for lessons and activities, but also get a high level of extra help from Speech and Language Therapists who are based in the school.
There are two Language Resourced schools in Hackney

A multi agency decision panel agrees who is a priority for the available places.


Petchey Academy Deaf and Hearing Impaired Resource Base

The Petchy DHI Resource Base supports for children with an education health and care plan. All deaf and hearing-impaired students at Petchey's Deaf and Hearing – Impaired (DHI) Resource Base have equal opportunity to learn, socialise and thrive in their learning environment. Find out more about the Petchey Academy here.

Local authority maintained special schools in Hackney...

The Garden School

The Garden School is an Ofsted outstanding maintained Special School for children 4-16 years of age. A sixth form class is due to open in 2021. The Garden School offers highly specialist provision suitable for children and young people with a diagnosis of Autism and severe learning difficulties who are physically mobile. Find out more about The Garden School here.


Ickburgh School

Ickburgh School is a Special School that caters for pupils between the ages of 3 to 19 years of age. The schools provides highly specialised support for children and young people who have profound and multiple learning disabilities, sensory impairment and or severe learning disabilities. All students attending the school have Education, Health and Care Plans in place. The school’s provision is divided into three Pathways designed to meet a range of needs. Classes in each Pathway run across Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Sixth Form. Find out more about Ickbrugh School here.


Stormont House School

Stormont House School is an Ofsted outstanding mixed maintained special school for pupils aged 11-17 who have:

  • complex and inter-related social and emotional needs.
  • moderate learning difficulties and significant speech & language difficulties 
  • high functioning autism, atypical autism or Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Specific learning difficulties compounded by significant emotional issues
  • Significant emotional and mental health needs

Find out more about Stormont House School here.

Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)

A PRU is a local authority funded school set up specifically for pupils that otherwise would not receive a suitable education. Reasons for this could include illness or exclusion. PRUs are sometimes referred to as ‘alternative provision’ or AP for short.


The aim of the PRU is to help learners overcome their barriers to learning. These may be about improving their behaviour or another aspects of their learning.
Most student who attend a PRU are there for a short period of time and return to mainstream school or start at a new school.


New Regent’s College is a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) for Hackney schools. It is a mixed age provision for children and young people in primary and or secondary education. Primary and secondary aged learners work separately. Find out more about New Regents School here


There is a strong focus on literacy and numeracy especially for younger students. All students are offered small classes and intensive levels of support.
Students, in Years 10 and 11, are not educated on site and attend a range of specialist vocational education providers. 

Alternative Pathways or Alternative Provision (AP)...

Alternative Pathways

Alternative provision offers a different educational pathway for young people. Alternative options provide access a curriculum that may not be on offer in mainstream school. This can be an option that better meets the needs of some young people and gives them different progression opportunities. Access to a varied curriculum and accreditation's can offer a 'next step' in education, training or employment.

Most providers offer vocational rather than academic pathways. These are based around a core of English and Maths and personal and social education. Find out more about altentative pathways in Hackney here

Independent and Non-maintained Special Schools

Non-maintained schools are usually managed by charitable organisations and are not profit-making. Independent schools are usually privately run for profit. Neither are maintained (managed) by local authorities.
Most children with SEND will be able to have their need met in local mainstream schools or local maintained special school. It is a key aim in Hackney that wherever possible, children with SEND have their needs locally and remain living with their families.

Local school will always be considered before an independent, or non- maintained special school placement outside of the local authority.
Only in exceptional circumstances will the local authority agree to place children with SEND in a local independent or non-maintained special school. These reasons for this would be

  • if there are no suitable places in a local maintained special school
  • if the school is suitable for the child’s special educational needs,
  • if the head teacher agrees to offer a place 
  • if the placement is an efficient use of public money

If all these reasons apply, the school is named on the child’s EHC plan and the local authority fund the placement.

Find a list of Independent and Non-maintained Special Schools

What are section 41 approved schools?

In 2014 the Children and Families Act created a new category of school. A “Section 41 school”.  These schools have met certain government requirements and continue to meet them to remain listedSection 41 approved settings can be an independent school or post-16 institution specially organised to make provision for pupils with SENFind Section 41 approved independent educational institutions, independent special schools and post-16 institutions.   


Parents or young people may request a section 41 approved school or college to be named in an EHC Plan for their child but in borough options will also be explored. 

Back to top