Types of educational setting and how they support children with special educational needs and/or disabilities


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A London street, drawn by Nico, age 6
Drawn by Nico, age 6
Across the Bi-borough, there are various types of schools and settings. These each provide support to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in different ways. The type of school or setting which is best-suited to a particular child or young person will most often depend on the complexity of their needs. 

For each type of setting, the local authority sets expectations to make sure that the support offered is of a high quality. You can read about what we expect from schools and settings around SEND by clicking here

Click in the sections below for information about different types of schools and settings in the Bi-borough, and how they can be expected to support children with SEND.

You can also see a map of all nurseries, schools and colleges in Kensington and Chelsea by clicking here.

Mainstream schools and early years settings

Mainstream schools and early years settings provide education for most children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), including those who have difficulty learning to read and write, learning how to manage their behaviour and/or how to listen and communicate.

Schools, early years settings and the local authority work together so that resources are matched to a child and young person's needs. Please download this leaflet for information about what support you can expect a mainstream school to deliver.  


Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)

Every school has a specially-trained teacher who co-ordinates the provision for children and young people with SEND. This teacher is called the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO).


SEN Information Reports

Mainstream schools must publish their own offer of support for children and young people with SEND. This is known as their SEN Information Report. To make finding out information about the offer easier for parents, we have worked closely with head teachers and SENCOs across the Bi-borough to agree a standardised format for these reports. There is a link to these SEN Information Reports for each school and college on their Local Offer pages. For more information about SEN Information Reports and what you should expect to find inside please click here.


Finding a mainstream school or nursery

You can use the Local Offer to find details of all schools and nurseries in the Bi-borough. Simply visit the Education, learning and skills page and click on any of the categories on the right-hand side to see a list of all schools matching your criteria. 

To see a map of all nurseries, schools and colleges in the borough, please click here. 

Specialist resource bases in mainstream schools

Specialist resource bases provide targeted support to help children make progress, achieve their identified outcomes and continue to access the mainstream curriculum while being provided with a specialist intervention programme. This may include additional and different provision, such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy or music therapy.

Browse a list of schools with specialist resource provision to find out more information on their specialist area, their latest Ofsted reports and the number of places that they offer.

Local authority maintained special schools

In general, special schools provide education for children with multiple and/or more complex special educational needs and disabilities.

Special schools provide adapted and different education to support young people through their education to ensure that they achieve the specific outcomes they have identified, with the aim of working towards independence.

Browse a list of special schools to find out more information about the services they offer, and links to their latest Ofsted reports.

Independent and non-maintained special schools

Section 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014 allows the Secretary of State to publish a list of approved independent educational institutions, independent special schools and post-16 institutions for the purposes of enabling the institution to be the subject of a request for it to be named in an Education, Health and Care plan. Institutions can only be included on the list with their consent.

The list is updated to include approved applicants and remove institutions who have not continued to meet the Section 41 eligibility criteria.

You can view the list of approved independent educational institutions, independent special schools and post-16 institutions on the GOV.UK website here.

The schools listed can be contacted to see if they can accommodate your child.

Colleges and further education

Colleges and sixth forms within the local area offer a wide range of academic and vocational courses which support young people towards independence and employment and build on their skills and interests. Young people can attend college to study for GCSE or A-level qualifications, or a vocational (work related) course such as bricklaying, engineering, beauty, tourism and sport.

If you are thinking of going to college make sure you look on their website to find out when their open days are so you can look around, meet the staff, and see the facilities to help you decide.

You can view the individual contact details for, and an interactive map of, available ‘Colleges and Further Education’ with more information about their Local Offer for post-16 education.

Alternative provision

Children and young people may be educated at alternative provision academies if they are unable to attend school. This may be because: 

  • they have been excluded from school either permanently or for a fixed period
  • they have a short or long term illness 
  • they have been directed to off-site provision by the school as part of an approach to support with improvement of the child or young person's behaviour. 

Details of the local alternative provision setting can be found by clicking here

Related Advice

  1. School SEN Policies and Information Reports

Related Pages

  1. Education, learning and skills

Page last reviewed: 08/03/2024

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