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EHCP: Finding a School

Two adults and a baby sat on a sofa discussing schools and their OFSTED rating.


The admissions system for children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is different. You do not go through the normal admissions process.

As part of the EHCP process, you will be able to express a preference for an educational placement of your choice when you first get the EHCP or when your child moves to a different phase of education. You can also ask for a change of placement at an annual review. You should discuss your educational placement preference with your Assessment and Planning Officer (APO).

In line with the SEND Code of Practice 2015, we will endeavour to secure a place in your preferred educational placement unless one or more of the following applies:

If you don’t agree with the educational placement we name, you can consider appeals and mediation.

You may also want to visit other pages on this website for more information about topics covered within this page:

Finding a School in East Sussex

We are fully committed to inclusion and most children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will thrive in their mainstream setting. This is a school or college that provides education for all children, whether or not they have SEND.

Some mainstream settings have a specialist facility within them, for example providing additional support for children and young people with speech, language and communication difficulties or autism. This helps meet the needs of children with a higher level of SEND. 

A small number of children and young people with a significant level of needs, which cannot be met in a mainstream school or a specialist facility, may be placed in a special school.

Please note, an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is required to access special schools and specialist facilities.

You can find more information on applying for schools in East Sussex by visiting the main East Sussex County Council website.

Special Schools and Specialist Facilities

The East Sussex Local Offer directory, hosted on the 1Space directory, list all special schools and colleges, and settings with specialist facilities throughout East Sussex. Once on the directory, you can further refine your options using the filters available. This can include filtering results down to a certain area of East Sussex, or by settings that provide for a specific need:

Mainstream Schools and Colleges

The directory also lists mainstream schools and colleges throughout East Sussex. These listings include useful information including each settings Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) contact information, accessibility information for each location, signposting to each settings full SEN Information Report and any SEND-relevant staff training.

Once on the directory, you can further refine your options using the filters available. This can include filtering results down to educational settings with a sensory room, or those with level access throughout the academic areas:

Please note, we are currently in the process of adding education settings to this category as soon as we receive their up-to-date accessibility information.

Independent and Non-Maintained Special Schools and Colleges

Independent special schools are self-managed and not directly funded by the Local Authority, and accessing them can be a different process to mainstream settings.

You can find a list of independent and non-maintained special schools and colleges on the main government website:

Teacher checking an official letter

Additional Help and Support


Amaze SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service) are a local charity who offer free, independent, and impartial advice for all matters relating to SEND. Contact Amaze SENDIASS:

Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (IPSEA)

IPSEA offer free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). 

They have advice and guidance for parents and carers of children with EHCPs on choosing educational placements:

East Sussex Local Offer directory of services

You can visit our SEND-specific online directory, hosted on East Sussex 1Space, that lists many different services both throughout the county and online. Services include advice, guidance and support groups, activities and events and mental health and wellbeing support among many other topics:

NHS - Health A to Z

While the East Sussex Local Offer aims to provide as much information as possible, there may be some conditions that aren't covered in thorough detail. The NHS website has pages that list all conditions, with information and advice on how to get extra support:

Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms

Some of the terms used on this website are explained on our page, Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms.

Visit the next page: EHCP Elective Home Education

Visit the previous page: EHCP Appeals and Mediation

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