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Independent special schools

Children and young people with very complex special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities, might need specialist education over and above what is available in a mainstream school.

These children might go to a state funded special school. Read admissions to specialist schools

In a very small number of cases, we will need to place children or young people in a different type of school in the independent (private) sector. 

Decisions about independent school places

If we are unable to place a child or young person in a local maintained special school or academy, we will place them in an appropriate independent school that will meet their needs. This will be in Norfolk, or as close to Norfolk as possible.

We only place children and young people in independent schools which have been through a quality assurance process and that are reviewed regularly. We expect these independent schools to provide us with evidence of their standards and outcomes each term. We want to ensure they offer a high quality of education.

Independent schools have their own admissions criteria. They do not have to admit any child or young person. Some independent schools may apply to be on the Department for Education Section 41 register. These schools have the same admission expectations as state schools.

If a parent or a young person expresses a preference for an independent school during the education, health and care plan process, we may consult with the independent school.

If we are offered a place, we will decide whether to place the child or young person at the school based on its suitability and costs compared to other schools.

Find an independent school

Independent schools for pupils with special educational needsThis includes approved schools under Section 41 of the Children and Families Act. There is only one approved school under Section 41 in Norfolk.

There is a register of all independent schools and colleges in England on GOV.UK website. You can use these quick links to help you find:

Information for private education providers and other local authorities

Private education providers and local authorities who require any information about contractual arrangements, must complete and sign an access agreement.

Email sourcingteam@norfolk.gov.uk for a form and a copy of the user guide. Further details can be found at tenders, contracts and procurement.

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