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Types of school places for children with SEND

All children are entitled to an education. Different school options suit different children with different needs but all schools should be welcoming to students with SEND.

Schools should use their best endeavours to make sure students with SEND are appropriately supported and make reasonable adjustments to accommodate their needs.  

Below are the school options for pupils and students in Hackney.

Page last updated 07/08/18

Mainstream School

Most children and young people are educated in mainstream schools and this includes those who recive support through Education, Health and Care Plans.

Many children and young people with additional learning needs can make better, more sustained progress academically and socially if they are able to attend mainstream schools with their peers.

Legally, all Local Authorities have to have an Accessibility Strategy.  Hackney’s Accessibility Strategy outlines how we work with and support schools and educational settings to make sure that pupils with SEND can access the curriculum, the physical environment, and all the activities on offer to all their students where at all possible. 

How does Hackney assist pupils with SEND to access schools and the National Curriculum? 

Mainstream schools have money to support children with SEND in their budgets this is called element 2 funding. Element 2 funding is used for students requiring more help at "SEN Support" level (previously called "school action" and "action plus"). 

Since September 2014 schools have been required to provide information for parents about how they provide support for children and young people with Special Educational Needs in their setting. This is called the school's SEN Information Report.

Find out more:

Additionally resourced provision at schools

Autism provision resourced provision at schools

Some children with higher levels of need may be able to access specialist autism provision at the schools below.

Children may be able to access this provision if they have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is their primary need.

In the past the addtional autism resource provision in schools were known as "autism bases":

Languaged Resourced Provision

A Language Resourced School (LRS) is an ordinary mainstream school that has extra speech and language therapy support for those children who need it.

There are two schools in Hackney with Language Resourced Provision:

Children who go to Language Resourced Schools join their peers for all their class lessons and activities, but also get a high level of extra help from Speech and Language Therapists working in the school.

Petchey Deaf and Hearing – Impaired Resource Base

The DHI Resource Base caters for children with an education health and care plan or statement of special educational needs. 

Petchey Deaf and Hearing – Impaired Resource Base is a new base that is part of The Petchey Academy.

At the Petchey's Deaf and Hearing – Impaired (DHI) Resource Base all deaf and hearing-impaired students have equal opportunity to learn, to socialise, thrive and influence their learning environment and world around them. 

The Petchey Academy

Local authority maintained special schools

The Garden School

The Garden School is a Special School taking children 4-16 years. 

Pupils at The Garden all have a diagnosis of autism (ASD). The school is suitable for robust and mobile children and young people with a diagnosis of Autism who have severe learning difficulties. Pupils with needs suitable for admission to The Garden are able to benefit from the highly specialist provision.

Ickburgh School

Ickburgh School is a Special Needs School for children and young people aged 3 to 19 years.

Pupils and students attending the school have been assessed as having profound and multiple learning disabilities / PMLD, sensory impairment / SI and or severe learning disabilities.

Stormont House School 

Stormont House School is a mixed day community special school for pupils aged 11-17 who have:

  • complex and inter-related social and emotional needs.
  • moderate learning difficulties with additional significant speech & language difficulties and/or social/emotional difficulties 
  • Speech, language and communication needs along with significant emotional or social communication difficulties
  • A diagnosis of high functioning autism, atypical autism or Asperger’s Syndrome with underlying difficulties in social communication and flexible thinking
  • Specific learning difficulties, often compounded by significant emotional issues
  • Significant emotional vulnerability and/or mental health needs


Pupil Referral Unit (PRU)

New Regent’s College is a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) for Hackney schools.

The PRU is a mixed age provision for children and young people in primary and/or secondary education.

Primary aged learners are kept separate from their secondary school counterparts.

Older students, in Years 10 and 11, are not educated on the  Ickburgh Road site and attend a range of specialist providers of vocational education.

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.

The majority of student attending a PRU are there for a limited period of time before returning to mainstream school or starting at a new school.

The PRU aims to help learners overcome their barriers to learning, this may be about improving their behaviour or some other aspects of their learning.

There is a strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy especially for younger students. 

All students are offered small classes and intensive levels of support.

PRUs are sometimes referred to as ‘alternative provision’ or AP for short. 

Alternative Pathways or Alternative Provision / AP

Alternative Pathways

Alternative Pathways offers a different educational route for young people, allowing them to access a broad curriculum which better meets their needs and gives them appropriate progression opportunities.

Access to the broader curriculum and accreditation that many alternative providers offer can create wider opportunities for young people to succeed and progress on to their next steps in education, training or employment.

In most cases the provision will offer vocational pathways based around a core of English and Maths and personal and social education.

Independent and Non-maintained Special Schools

Independent and Non-maintained Special Schools 

Independent schools are usually privately run for profit. Non-maintained schools are usually managed by charitable organisations and are not profit-making. Neither are maintained by local authorities.

Most children with an education health and care plan or a statement of special educational needs will be suitably placed in local mainstream schools or special schools maintained by the local authority.

Where children or young people have an Education, Health and Care Plan (previously called a Statement of Special Educational Needs) it is a key aim of Hackney Local Authority that wherever possible, their needs are met locally, thereby enabling the majority to remain with their families.

Local school placements will always be investigated as a matter of course, prior to the consideration of an independent, or non- maintained special school that is outside of the local authority.

The local authority will therefore only in exceptional circumstances agree to offer to place in a local independent or non-maintained special school if there are no suitable places in a local maintained special school and:

• 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 so, the school is named on the child’s edication health and care plan or statement and the local authority will fund the placement.

Independent and Non-maintained Special Schools 


Section 41 approved schools

The Children and Families Act 2014 brings in a new category of school, a “Section 41 school” where the school have chosen this status and met the requirements for it.

Section 41 approved settings can be; independent school or post-16 institutions specially organised to make provision for pupils with SEN.

Parents or young people may request that a section 41 approved school or college is named in an EHC Plan.

Section 41 approved independent educational institutions, independent special schools and post-16 institutions are listed on GOV.UK:

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