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This website is only one part of the Local Offer; we also have a directory which you can visit at

EHCP: Finding a School

Two adults and a baby sat on a sofa discussing schools and their Ofsted rating. One adult is saying 'What's their OFSTED report like?' while the other adult, who is using a laptop, says 'This schools looks good'.


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

As part of the EHCP process, you will be able to express a preference for an educational placement of your choice. This will happen 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 preference with your Assessment and Planning Officer (APO).

In line with the SEND Code of Practice, we will endeavour to secure a place in your preferred educational placement. This may not be possible if one or more of the following apply:

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 SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) will thrive in their mainstream setting. This is a school or college that provides education for all children, whether they have SEND or not.

Some mainstream schools have a specialist facility within them. These facilities provide extra support for children and young people with SEND. For example, speech, language and communication difficulties or Autism. 

This helps meet the needs of children with a higher level of SEND. The provision within the facility aims to enable the children and young people to access mainstream lessons with their peers.

Some 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, lists special schools 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

The directory also lists mainstream schools throughout East Sussex. These listings include useful information such as each setting:

On the directory, you can further refine your options using the filters available. This includes filtering results down to specific areas, age ranges and accessibility features:

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 on the main government website:

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Additional Help and Support

Assessment & Planning Officer (APO)

Your APO will be able to support you with any concerns. The APO will contact you if there are any delays, or any information that you should know, as things arise.

Some of our APOs work part-time and may not be available immediately if you telephone or email them. However, if you leave a message, they will always respond to your contact as soon as they are able. You will find their direct telephone number on any of the letters you have received.

You can also contact the Assessment & Planning office by:


Amaze SENDIASS (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Information Advice and Support Service) are a local charity. They offer free, independent, and impartial advice for all matters relating to SEND. You can get their support throughout this process but we recommend you access their advice or support from the very start of the process. Contact Amaze SENDIASS by:

Visit the Amaze SENDIASS web page.

Amaze have also created an ‘EHC Plans Fact Sheet’:

Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (IPSEA)

IPSEA offer free and independent legally based information, advice and support. Their aim is to get the right education for children and young people with SEND.

They have advice and guidance on their site, for choosing educational placements:

East Sussex Local Offer directory of services

You can visit our SEND-specific online directory, hosted on East Sussex 1Space. The directory lists many different services both throughout the county and online. Services cover many topics, including:

Visit the East Sussex Local Offer directory.

NHS - Health A to Z

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. These pages provide information and advice on how to get extra support:

Visit the NHS Health A to Z web page.

Glossary of East Sussex SEND Terms

We explain some of the terms used on this website 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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