Education in the independent (private) sector

Most children and young people with an EHC plan will have their educational needs met in a maintained school, academy or college. A small number of young people will require support from a Specialist Resource Base or from a state funded special school. In a very small number of cases children will need to attend a different type of school in the independent (private) sector.

We aim to make sure that whenever possible children and young people are educated in Norfolk, or in a county that is close to Norfolk. We have some existing contractual arrangements with approved independent (private), independent special schools, non-maintained special schools and special/alternative provision free schools.

These schools have been though a quality assurance process, are regularly reviewed and are expected to provide the authority evidence of standards and outcomes each term.  This is to ensure a high quality school is chosen. Information on the individual schools is available on: 

Information and Reports published by Ofsted are available at and by the Independent Schools Inspectorate are available at

Schools we have contractual arrangements with are not required to admit any particular child or young person, but they would be approached before other schools.  Where parents or a young person have expressed a preference for a school that is not signed up to our contractual arrangements, the County Council would also approach this school to see if they could meet the child or young person’s needs and our quality assurance.

For an explanation on the different types of independent schools’ please visit the types of school page.

How do I make a request?

Read this page if you are considering requesting a school for a child with an EHC Plan.

Then requests are made by contacting your EHCP Co-ordinator

You can get impartial and confidential advice from:

The Norfolk SEND Partnership, Telephone Norwich (01603) 704070


What if a parent doesn’t agree with the placement provision for their child or young person?

In the first instance, they should discuss this with their EHCP Co-ordinator

If they are still not happy, they can use the disagreement resolution service. In Norfolk disagreement resolution is delivered by KIDS SEN Mediation Service which is an independent organisation. To contact KIDS SEN Mediation Service telephone 03330 062 835 or email

They will be happy to talk through any issues and let the parent/carer know if disagreement resolution may help.

How can private education providers and other LAs find out more about the contractual arrangements?

Providers and Local Authorities who require any information are required to complete and sign an ‘Access Agreement’.

This form and a copy of the User Guide can be obtained by contacting the Sourcing Team at NCC Procurement by emailing

Full details are available on the Doing Business with County Council section of the website, under the section ‘Tenders, contracts and procurement’.

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