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State funded special schools

State funded special schools provide special educational needs (SEN) support for children and young people. Children and young people who attend a special school need SEN support over and above what is available in a mainstream schoolRead how mainstream education providers should support children with SEND

All pupils who attend a special school will have an education, health and care (EHC) plan. (Note, most children with an EHC plan attend their local mainstream school, not a special school.)

Special schools are generally smaller than mainstream schools. The demand for places is very high.

We process all special school admissions. Read admissions to specialist schools.

More special schools are due to open in Norfolk between 2021-23 as part of our SEND transformation programme.

Types of special school

Complex needs special schools

These are for children and young people with a significant learning disability and other needs. These might be communication, emotional, physical or medical needs.

Special schools

These are for children and young people with a specific special educational need. For example, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a social communication disorder, or social, emotional and mental health needs. These special schools do not meet the needs of children and young people with a learning disability. A child or young person would be expected to manage a mainstream curriculum in a special school.

Schools in Norfolk

Complex needs special schools

Chapel Green School Attleborough Road, Old Buckenham, Norfolk, NR17 1RF

A complex needs school that supports neuro-diverse pupils aged 3-19-years-old. All pupils have moderate to profound learning needs. Many require additional support for overlapping health or sensory needs. Chapel Green’s primary purpose is to educate and empower pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable them to forge happy, fulfilling, successful lives.

Churchill Park Academy Winston Churchill Drive, King’s Lynn, PE30 4RP

A complex needs school for pupils from Reception to Year 14, who have moderate and severe learning needs along with physical, sensory and medical needs. The school offers a wide variety of educational experiences both within and beyond the classroom, including access to all areas of the National Curriculum. There is an emphasis on preparing children and young people for life after school and to become as independent as possible.

The Clare School South Park Avenue, Norwich, NR4 7AU

A complex needs school that supports pupils aged 3-19-years-old who have learning difficulties with physical, medical and sensory needs (either hearing, visual or dual/multi-sensory impairment). A large team of highly trained staff can support pupils with physiotherapy and medical routines, with communication needs and with the development of independent living skills as part of their education.

Fred Nicholson School Westfield Road, Dereham, Norfolk, NR19 1JB

A complex needs school that meets the learning needs of pupils aged 7-16-years-old. Pupils may also have communication or emotional needs. There is also a small resource base for pupils with significant needs due to their autism. Pupils' educational needs are met by using a range of approaches supported by a skilled and dedicated team.

Hall School St Faith's Road, Old Catton, Norwich, NR6 7AD

A complex needs special school for pupils aged 3-19-years-old. Pupils have significant and complex needs, including severe learning difficulties, profound and multiple learning difficulties, autistic spectrum disorders and multi-sensory impairments.

Harford Manor School 43 Ipswich Road, Norwich, NR2 2LN

A complex needs school for children and young people aged 3-19-years-old. Many pupils have a diagnosis of autism in addition to their severe learning difficulties, and additional health or sensory processing needs.

John Grant School St. George’s Drive, Caister-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 5QW

A complex needs school for pupils with severe learning difficulties, autistic spectrum disorder and profound and multiple learning difficulties. Pupils are aged 3-19-years-old.

The Parkside School College Road, Norwich, NR2 3JA

A complex needs school for pupils aged 7-16-years-old. The school supports pupils who have cognition and learning needs and other associated difficulties. The school has a focus on communication and interaction.

Pathways College The Base, The Hewett Academy, Cecil Road, Norwich, NR1 2JT

The college is part of The Parkside School post 16 offer. It is for Year 12 only. It prepares students who have attended a complex needs school to transition into further education, employment or training.

Sidestrand Hall School Cromer Road, Sidestrand, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 0NH

A complex needs school for pupils aged 7-19-years-old. Pupils have a wide range of complex needs including, cognition and learning difficulties, speech, language and communication difficulties, autistic spectrum condition and sensory needs. The school has a vast site and vocational areas that support pupils to prepare them for adult life. The school has a charity shop in Cromer which also supports pupils developing skills for work. The sixth form offers accreditation to move students onto work or training.

Sheringham Woodfields School Holt Road, Sheringham, NR26 8ND

A complex needs school for pupils aged 3-19-years-old. The school supports pupils with a wide range of complex learning and health needs. The school runs a charity shop that provides work experience opportunities. It is built on one level and is accessible for all.

Special schools 

Social, emotional and mental health specialism

Bure Park Specialist Academy Caister Road, Great Yarmouth, NR30 4AS

A special school for boys with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Students must be able to access a mainstream curriculum. The school admits boys from Years 1-11. The school requires an element of boarding for all pupils between Years 4-8.

Earthsea School Berrys Lane, Honingham, Norwich NR9 5AX

A special school for children aged 5-11-years-old with social, emotional and mental health needs. It supports children with a therapeutic approach to a wide range of learning difficulties.

Eaton Hall Specialist Academy Pettus Road, Eaton, Norwich, NR4 7BU

A special school for boys with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Students must be able to access a mainstream curriculum. There are 54 places at the school for pupils in Years 3-11. The school requires an element of boarding for all pupils between Years 4-8.

Fen Rivers Academy School House, Kilhams Way, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 2HU

A therapeutic special school for children with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Phase one of the school is open and offers primary places. Phase two will offer places for secondary pupils from the spring term 2022. When completed it will offer full-time education and therapeutic support to 96 children aged 4-16-years-old.

The Pinetree School Staniforth Road, Thetford, Norfolk IP24 3LH

A special school for children aged 11-16-years-old with social, emotional and mental health needs. It admits students from Norfolk and Suffolk. Students are able to gain GCSEs and transition to college.

Autism specialism

The Wherry School 280 Hall Road, Norwich, NR1 2GB

A special school for pupils age 4-17-years-old with a diagnosis of autism. Pupils are expected to manage a mainstream curriculum.

Autism and social communication needs specialism

Duke of Lancaster Academy Highfield Road, Fakenham, NR21 9DQ

Opens January 2022. A special school for pupils aged 5-16-years-old with a diagnosis of autism or significant social communication difficulties. Pupils are expected to manage a mainstream curriculum.

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