Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on special needs.
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How to find specialist ASD schools?(11 Posts)
Our son is due to start mainstream in September, but I'm not expecting it to be very successful. How would you go about starting to find a good ASD school (not fee paying as not a financial option)? We are prepared to up sticks and move to anywhere where he could get into a decent place, but I but can't find any sort of nationwide list to start researching.
Any ideas? I wonder if there is also a catch 22 situation where you don't know if he can get in somewhere until we've moved there. Feeling a bit clueless.
Has every school in the country listed. You can sort by area and type of school
Does he have an EHCP or statement, btw? That's usually the key for most special schools or units.
Brilliant, thanks!! We are just starting to do the EHCP ourselves, but not sure how it works if you then want to move somewhere because there's a better school.
Moving schools with an EHCP is not as simply as they make you believe. It's a battle to move from mainstream to special as you have to prove that your child's needs can no longer be met in a mainstream school. Your best bet is to try and get a special school from the start if that is what you want.
If you are moving between counties then the new county will have to 'adopt' your EHCP and when they do this they may try to change or reduce some of the provision and will probably offer one of their own schools that they feel is suitable which may not be the one that you want(especially if the one you want is an independent special school).
One poster on here moved areas during the EHCP assessment and its been an absolute fuck up between the 2 areas and has taken her absolutely ages to get anything done so just be wary of moving during the assessment.
A while ago everyone went to Northampton for ASD, but not sure if they still do.
I have heard that Herts Barnet Greenwich Cambridgshire are all bad at putting kids in special school.
For each school that you like and that has space for dc, then find out how many of the kids got in without an appeal to Tribunal, and which LAs those non-appeal kids came from.
My ds' s attend an independent AS school funded by our LEA.
Older ds is Statemented, younger ds has an EHC plan.
I've never met anyone who funded their own child. Most AS schools are independent. There is an AS free school opening in Haringey in North London next year.
Personally, I would push for Special school from the start. Concentrate on the EHC plan. Make sure it's geared towards Special education. Mind, the outcomes (long & shorter term) are NOT changeable at tribunal. I strongly recommend contacting IPSEA /independent advice.
Best of luck!
Thanks. That's interesting about the independent ASD schools. Our autism advice (don't know what their title is) person from the LEA said the only ASD schools were fee paying and there would be no chance of funding for it; so if we didn't think mainstream would work the only alternative was a general special school.
When they say there is no chance of funding it, they mean there is no chance of them agreeing to fund it without a fight.
However, you can't just have any school you fancy and get funding. You have to have the cheapest (or almost cheapest) school that can adequately meet your child's needs. This means finding all of the reasons why the LA suggested schools, including the mainstream options, cannot.
You can't go wrong with ourvye's link, tbh.
Of course, this info should all be readily accessible via your LA's Local Offer website. The SEN Code of Practice says so, right? It "must include provision in the local authority’s area" and "should not simply be a directory of existing services."
Yet on my travels through the bowels of these Local Offer websites, I've only found a single one that freely and clearly offers detail on special school provision. And even then, it was maintained special schools only, not indie or non-maintained.
There's only one thing harder to find than details of special schools on Local Offer websites - and that's contact details for SEN assessment teams and their management. Even GCHQ & NSA would struggle to find them.
There are asd state schools in my county. I'm not sure that's true of my neighbouring county. In my massive county we have a few asd specific schools. Very few spaces ( small classes, ages 3-21) so lots of people get funding for indi. Indi has never been offered freely at reception age that I have heard of. It is offered at junior age where la can not find places to meet needs.
So yes la will fund indi. But never off the bat so to speak.