Sheffield City Council has written a letter to parents of children in Y5 who have an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan about applying for secondary school place.
A similar letter will shortly to go out to parents of children with an EHC plan who are due to move from nursery to primary school, or from infant to junior school next year.
These parents are in a difficult position, as many open days and visits to secondary schools were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The letter states: “All our schools are working hard to put in place routes for parents to find out more about how their schools can meet the needs of children with SEND. This includes virtual tours, Q&A’s and other information about how the school operates. Please do look at individual school websites for these and contact details for if you want to discuss your child and how the school can meet their needs. In addition, all schools will be looking at possible options for September, dependent on government guidance on social distancing, which may include further information on their website, interactive sessions or visits. Please continue to check school websites for information.”
School admissions for children with EHC plans are handled separately from general admissions. Parents of children with an EHC plan have to submit their preferences for schools well before everyone else has to get their applications in. This is because local authorities have to finalise EHC plans naming the school the child will transfer to by 15 February. In order to make that deadline happen, Sheffield City Council is working to the following timetable:
- 30 September 2020: deadline for parents to return their preferences to the Council
- October 2020 to January 2021: the Council works with schools to decide/commission places
- 15 February 2021: the last date by which the Council will issue a final EHC plan naming the allocated school
The Council will finalise the EHC plan as soon as they can, and no later than 15 February 2021. If parents have requested a mainstream placement, it is likely that they will able to finalise this decision much sooner.
For children without an EHC plan, parents must apply via the normal admissions process by 31 October 2020 (for secondary schools) or by 15 January 2021 (for children starting in Reception or moving from infant to junior school). More information
- Talk to your child’s SENCO
- Contact SSENDIAS on 0114 2736009 / firstname.lastname@example.org for free and impartial advice and support
- Ask other parents for feedback on the schools you are considering, e.g. via our closed Facebook group
Sheffield City Council guidance on secondary transfers for pupils with EHC plans
IPSEA: Choosing a school or college
Sheffield Local Offer: School admissions of children with special educational needs and disabilities