Choosing and applying for a school for a child with special educational needs or disability (SEND)

All children are entitled to a mainstream education, there are three main types of school in Leicestershire.

Apply for a school

You don’t need to apply for a school through our admissions team if your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, we (SENA) will contact you to find out which school you would like to request.

If your child has a Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) but doesn't have an EHC Plan, you will need to apply for a school through school admissions.

If your child does have additional needs, but not an EHC Plan, you may want to read the school's SEND Information Report, which is updated every year and explains what the school does to meet the needs of children with Disabilities and/or Special Needs. It also tells you who to talk to in the school if you have more questions. You should find this on every school's website.

If your child is being assessed

You’ll need to apply for a school place if your child is undergoing an Education Health and Care Needs assessment. Your child may miss out on a place at your preferred school if you don’t apply and they don’t get an EHC Plan.

Apply for a school place

Choosing a school

Every school has to publish SEN information about how they teach and meet the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities. They should publish the information on their school website. You can find links to each school's website in our school finder.

To view all schools in Leicester and Leicestershire use our school finder tool:

Find a school  

If you're just interested in special schools in Leicester and Leicestershire use our special school finder tool:

Find a special school  

Types of school

There are 3 main types of school:

  • Mainstream schools are all-ability schools. Each must have a qualified Senco who coordinates support for pupils with additional needs across the school. All schools must also publish a SEN Information Report on their school website. This report will tell you how pupils with additional needs are supported in the school.
  • Enhanced resource schools are mainstream schools with additional resources for particular children with an Education, Health and Care Plan, where there is more specialist support and staff. Pupils are not generally taught separately and are included in the mainstream classes.

  • Special schools are attended by children with an Education, Health and Care Plan. Special schools provide for pupils whose degree of disability requires a more comprehensive specialist approach than a mainstream school or enhanced resource school can provide. Some experience of mainstream school may be possible. The Council is the admissions authority for all special schools.


To be on the list they must:

  • “have regard” to the SEN (Special Educational Needs) Code of Practice
  • have a reciprocal duty to co-operate with the local authority on arrangements for children and young people with SEN
  • have specific duties and rights relating to admissions, in line with maintained schools, academies, FE (Further Education) colleges and non-maintained special schools


You’ll have to pay for transport if you choose a school that is further away from your home than the nearest school that can meet your child's needs.

School transport for special educational needs and disability