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Find information on choosing the right school for your child with special educational needs or a disability.

Choosing the right school for your child is a very important decision. More so when your child has Special Educational Needs or a Disability (SEND). It can help to talk this through with family, friends and other parents of children with SEND.

You are welcome to look around potential schools and take your time to make a decision. The experience of Calderdale parents recommends that you visit your child's school and create good communication with it.

Do you feel your child's needs are not being met? For independent advice, visit: Calderdale SENDIASS 

Calderdale schools

All schools have a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo). They are there to make sure your child's needs are met.

Most children and young people with SEND have their needs met within their local mainstream school. These have resources for children with additional needs, known as the Notional SEN budget. This allows for a flexible approach.

Schools must provide up to £6,000 (dependent on need) towards provision for pupils with SEN. The level of support your child needs will be assessed by the school.

You can search for schools by name, postal district and type, to find:

  • headteachers;
  • addresses;
  • websites;
  • each school's SEND information;
  • maps;
  • and links to Ofsted reports and performance tables.

Calderdale core offer

Information for parents and carers that details the SEN support children and young people can get. This is regardless of which school or academy they attend in Calderdale. This outlines the support offered by the school and partners. For more details on how each area will be addressed, along with a schools' local offer please read:

Search for schools

Resourced schools

Some mainstream schools in Calderdale that have more resources for children with special needs:

Specialist need Primary school Secondary school
Autistic Spectrum Disorder Central Street Infant and Nursery

Cliffe Hill Community Primary School

Trinity Academy Sowerby Bridge

Special schools

Calderdale also has three special schools. They give high quality, specialist support for children with more complex needs.

Primary special schools: Highbury and Wood Bank

These both take children with a wide range of special needs from the age of two to 11 years.

Both offer a broad and balanced curriculum and can offer a high level of care provision and support.

They are modern buildings on one level. Highbury has a hydrotherapy pool.

  • Highbury School (Lower Edge Road, Rastrick).
    • The Highbury Hub. This aims to give another option for key stage two pupils with:

      • significant special educational needs and disabilities (SEND);
      • and an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC) to access high quality, personalised teaching and learning.

      It is essentially an extension of Highbury specialist school, but based in the Copley School. For more about this, visit: Highbury Hub.

  • Wood Bank School (Dene View, Luddendenfoot, Halifax).

Secondary special school: Ravenscliffe High School and Sports College

Ravenscliffe High School and Sports College is a generic special school. It takes pupils from 11 to 19 years old who have special needs.

The school offers a broad and balanced curriculum that reflects the requirements of the National Curriculum. Emphasis is placed on teaching basic skills and 'life skills' to help students when they leave school.

The school is in a building on one level and has a hydrotherapy pool. It is situated at Skircoat Green, Halifax.

Some students choose to leave when they are 16 and go on to college. Though, most stay on and go into the sixth form.

The school has links with Calderdale College and C&K Careers Service. There is the chance for work experience schemes where practical.

Exclusion from school

For more information, see: Exclusion from school.

Unofficial exclusions

An unofficial exclusion is where a child is kept away from school without following proper exclusion procedures. This is unlawful and should be challenged.

Lunchtime exclusions

The decision to exclude a child with SEN at lunchtime should always be taken very carefully. It should only be the last resort when everything else has been tried, with or without the parent's agreement.

Pupils in such cases will be few in number and may be excluded for lunchtimes only. This must be recorded as a half-day exclusion for each lunchtime. It should only be temporary and all efforts should be made to return the child, as soon as possible.

Special Education Provision (including Section 41: Secretary of State approved list)

At times, a child or young person's needs can require a more specialist provider. The Department for Education (DfE) has a list that could be more appropriate, visit: List of approved special institutions (GOV.UK).

Some children and young people with EHC plans go to a mainstream or special school in other authorities*:

There are also some in non-maintained independent schools in other authorities. This is because we are not able to meet their needs locally:

Our Pupil Referral Unit meets children and young people's needs that cannot continue their education in a mainstream setting. Places are allocated after talks with the Exclusions Officer.

For more on these providers, please contact: SEND support.

Specialist inclusion service

Support can be given for children and young people with hearing, visual and multi-sensory impairments. Also, Autistic Spectrum Disorders from birth to transfer to adult services.

For more details, please see: Specialist Inclusion Team.

Educational psychology service

Calderdale MBC provides the 0 - 25 statutory duties for educational psychology input. This is in relation to the provision of advice and information for Education and Health Care assessments (EHC). The 2014 Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice outline this.

For more details, read: 

Additional support services

  • Home to school transport. This is offered by the Council's Access team.
  • The KCME (Known children with medical needs) team. Provide education to those who cannot attend school long-term due to medical needs, see: Children with medical needs.
  • CSIE. An independent centre supporting inclusive education for all children.
  • Financial help for disabled students. How to apply for disabled students' allowance.
  • IPSEA. A registered charity offering free and independent legally based information, advice and support for parents.
  • National Portage Association. Provides support and information to parents and professionals involved in Portage.
  • The Children's Education Advisory Service (CEAS). A dedicated information, advice and support service. This is just for parents in the armed forces who have a child with special educational needs. A child must be resident with at least one parent who is currently serving in HM Armed Forces.
For more about further education, employment schemes, careers and adult learning, see: Post-16 choices.

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