Applying for a Secondary school place is a complicated procedure. It is important that you apply for your choice of secondary schools in the same way as everyone else; however you must be aware that there are additional procedures that you must also complete if your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
For children with EHCPs, the procedure begins during year 5, when evidence is collected including; the Educational Psychologist (EP) assessment of your child (if necessary) and the Yr 5 Annual or Transfer Review meeting, which will be held at your child’s school. Secondary transfer will be discussed as part of the Yr 5 Review meeting and comments will be recorded on the Review meeting form that is sent to the Local Authority (LA).
It is important to note that the LA is responsible for making the decisions about allocating school places both in mainstream and special schools for pupils who have an EHCP. If you have any questions about this process please contact the Special Educational Needs Team on 01803 208274. You may wish to visit different schools to help you make a decision about the best school for your child.
The LA will then issue an amended EHCP using these reports, and you will receive a proposed amended EHCP with a form asking you whether or not you agree with the contents or amendments (It is essential to make sure the EHCP clearly covers your child’s current needs and provisions required), and requesting your preference of secondary school for September. You may also find it helpful to contact SENDIASS Torbay for impartial information, support and guidance (01803 213986, 01803 212638).
During Yr 5
School arranges Yr 5 Annual Review meeting & Yr 5 EP Assessment (if necessary) (nb. Schools and EPs cannot allocate places the decision rests with the Local Authority (LA))
June of Yr 5
Your child will bring information home from school about secondary school open days and the application process, including selective testing registration and testing arrangements for selective school applications.
Late August / September of Yr 6
You will receive a letter telling you about the TIPS 8 ‘Primary, Secondary and 14+ Schools Admissions Booklet’ and Secondary School Admissions Criteria supplement, both of which can be found at www.torbay.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/admissions/secondary-place/. The letter will also include your child’s Unique Identification (UID) code for you to apply on-line.
By 31st October
You will need to complete an on-line application a mainstream school place or form CAF1 for a special school place.
September / October of Yr 6
An amended EHCP issued by the LA as result of Annual Review evidence including a form for parental preference in choice of school, which you will also have to complete and return within 15 days of receipt.
November / December of Yr 6
LA considers parental preference to make sure it is compatible with the child’s SEN.
(This is especially important if you are requesting a special school or enhanced provision - You will be contacted to discuss your preference if it is not compatible with the admissions criteria of that special school or enhanced provision)
December / January of Yr 6
LA consults with schools.
(You will be contacted if your preferred choice of school place is oversubscribed or unable to meet your child’s needs )
By 15th February of Yr 6
LA issues a new EHCP naming the secondary school along with a covering letter explaining your right of appeal.
Summer term of Yr 6
Transition arrangements will take place in the summer term. Children with special educational needs may require enhanced transition arrangements. You should discuss this with your child’s SENCO.