Cookie Consent by State funded special schools - Norfolk County Council

State funded special schools

What is a state funded special school?

A school which is specifically organised to make special educational provision for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN). These children and young people require SEN provision over and above what is available in a mainstream school. Read more about the special educational provision we expect from education providers.

Special schools are generally smaller than mainstream schools. They provide specialist provision for a range of very complex learning needs and disabilities.

There are currently thirteen state funded special schools in Norfolk. Ninety percent are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and the demand for places is very high.

Who attends special schools?

Most children with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan attend their local mainstream school, not a special school. A much smaller number of children with complex learning needs and disabilities, will need a special school place.

Can my child attend a special school?

All admissions to a special school are processed through us. Read more about the specialist schools admissions process. All pupils who attend a special school will have an EHC plan and are referred by an EHC coordinator. 

If you feel your child may need a special school place, ask at your child’s current school or setting for an early review of their EHC plan. This will give you the opportunity to explore how your child’s needs are currently met and if any changes are needed.

If you would like your child to go to a special school, talk to your EHC coordinator. Their contact details will be in the letters we have sent to you about your child’s EHC plan. If you don’t have your EHC plan coordinator’s details, contact the SEN operational support team at

Thinking of coming to Norfolk?

Please contact the SEN operational support team at for an initial discussion and to find out about our current capacity. Demand for special school places is very high. You should also tell your child’s current school or setting and your local authority.

State funded special schools in Norfolk

Complex needs specialism

Chapel Green School
Attleborough Road, Old Buckenham, Norfolk, NR17 1RF 
A growing complex needs school for pupils age 3-19. The school has recently moved to a brand-new purpose-built site, located at the edge of Old Buckenham village, 3.5 miles south of Attleborough. Over the coming years numbers on roll (NoR) will increase to 110 pupils. 

Churchill Park Academy
Winston Churchill Drive, King’s Lynn, PE30 4RP
A purpose-built school with fantastic facilities to meet a wide variety of individual needs.The provision is Early Years through to Year 14. 

The Clare School
South Park Avenue, Norwich, NR4 7AU 
A specialist ‘physical and sensory’ complex needs school. It is a mixed, day Foundation School for pupils age 3-19, with physical and/or sensory needs. Many pupils also have complex medical and learning needs. 

Fred Nicholson School
Westfield Road, Dereham, Norfolk, NR19 1JB   
A well-established special school that meets the needs of 143 pupils. Nineteen pupils are on roll for specialist autistic spectrum condition provision in Orchard House. 

Hall School
St Faith's Road, Old Catton, Norwich, NR6 7AD  
A specialist college for communication and interaction. Caters for pupils age 3-19. 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 school for children and young people with complex needs, age 3-19. 

John Grant School
St. George’s Drive, Caister-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 5QW  
Caters for pupils with complex needs, including severe learning difficulties, autistic spectrum disorder and profound and multiple learning difficulties. Age range is from 3-19. 

The Parkside School 
College Road, Norwich, NR2 3JA 
A specialist communication and interaction school for Years 3-11. Supports pupils who have cognition and learning needs and other associated difficulties. 

Pathways College 
The Base, The Hewett Academy, Cecil Road, Norwich, NR1 2JT 
A complex needs sixth form, based on the site of the Hewett Academy in Norwich. Students learn skills to enable their transition from school into Further Education, employment or training to be as successful as possible. Affiliated to Parkside Complex Needs School, College Road, Norwich. 

Sidestrand Hall School
Cromer Road, Sidestrand, Cromer, Norfolk, NR27 0NH 
A special school for a wide range of complex needs including for pupils with speech, language and communication needs. Working towards accreditation to become a Communication Friendly Setting, validated by ELKLAN. 

Sheringham Woodfields School
Holt Road, Sheringham, NR26 8ND
A complex needs school catering for pupils between the ages of 3-19.  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.  Built on one level and is accessible for all.

Social, emotional and mental health specialism

Eaton Hall Specialist Academy
Pettus Road, Eaton, Norwich, NR4 7BU 
For students with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. The school offers a 24-hour curriculum. There are 54 places at the school, with classes ranging from Year 3 to Year 11. 

Fen Rivers Academy

School House, Kilhams Way, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE30 2HU 
A special school that, when completed, will offer full-time education and therapeutic support to 96 children age 4-16 years. Phase one of the Academy is now open, offering primary places only. Phase two will offer places for secondary pupils in autumn 2020.

Autism specialism

The Wherry School
280 Hall Road, Norwich, NR1 2GB
Opened September 2017, an all-through day, special school for pupils age 4-19 with a diagnosis of autism and a wide range of ability. The school intends a phased admission over three years to meet it full complement of 100 pupils, including 16 students in the sixth form.

Was this webpage helpful?