Choosing and moving schools with an EHC plan

Finding the right school

Parents can tell us which school they’d like their child to go to when we create an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. The SEND team will talk to the nearest school to the child's home, and the chosen school if it is different from the nearest one.

The parents' chosen school may not always be named for their child. If parents choose a school farther away from home than the nearest school that can meet the child's needs, and that school is named, they will have to pay for transport

How we decide which school is right for a child

The right school will depend on:

  • its suitability for a child’s age, ability and special educational need
  • whether it has the resources and ability to teach the child alongside others in their school 
  • if there is a school closer to the child's home
  • the cost of the fees if the preferred school is an independent school.

We will name the school we think is best for the child on their EHC plan.

Parents who disagree with the school named in a child’s EHC plan have the right to appeal. Find out how to appeal.

Choosing a school

When choosing a school, it's useful to know what each school can offer. All maintained and academy schools say how they support pupils with SEND in their SEND information report.

Use our map of schools in Lambeth to find a school, and link to their website to find their information report. It’s a good idea to contact schools to learn more about how they support children with different special educational needs or disabilities.

Resource bases and special schools

Most children and young people with special educational needs or a disability (SEND) will attend a mainstream school. A small amount of children may need a more specialist setting. This might be a specialist resource base in a mainstream school, or a special school. Only children with an EHC plan can go to specialist settings.

Parents can tell us if they want their child to go to a special school when we're creating an EHC plan. We will name a special school on the child’s plan if we think it’s best for their education. The assessment for the EHC plan includes considering the most suitable Lambeth special school or resource base for them.

Search for specialist education providers in Lambeth 

You can search the Family Information Directory to find resource bases and special schools in Lambeth by following these links: 

If their needs cannot be met in Lambeth, we may need to look for a place in a school in another borough.

Search for specialist education providers in other boroughs

What are section 41 approved settings? 

Sometimes we may need to look for a place in an independent school or college. Parents may also think an independent school would be the best place to meet the needs of their child.

Independent schools, also known as ‘private schools’ or fee-paying schools, are not funded by the government. Pupils who go to an independent school don’t have to follow the national curriculum. All private schools must be registered with the government and regularly inspected.

The Department for Education has a list of registered independent special schools and specialist post-16 institutions approved under section 41 of the Children and Families Act.

Search the Section 41 list of approved independent special schools and colleges

Moving from nursery to primary, or primary to secondary

Parents of children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans don’t need to apply for a school place in the same way as other parents. They tell the SEND team which schools they'd prefer and the team contact the schools. This helps ensure they get priority for school places. The government sets key dates and deadlines when certain things must happen.

Parents of children with an EHC plan:

Download the SEND Guide to Primary School Transfer


Fill in this online form to tell the SEND team which schools to contact.

Choose a primary school

Download the SEND Guide to Secondary School Transfer


Fill in this online form to tell the SEND team which schools to contact.

Choose a secondary school

Parents of children who do not have an EHC plan must apply to a school place in the same way as other parents, even if their child is being assessed.

Transferring to post-16 provision

When a child finishes secondary school, they must do one of the following until they are aged 18:

  • stay in full-time education, for example, at a college or sixth form
  • start an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • spend 16 hours or more a week working or volunteering, while in part-time education or training.

Read more about these options in the young person's section of the Local Offer

How to apply

Complete our online form to apply for post-16 education provision. This tells us a young person wants to stay in education and what their sixth form or college preferences are, or if they want to go into employment or training.

Choose post-16 education