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Where to get advice about choosing a school

The Derbyshire Information, Advice and Support Service for SEND (opens in a new window) (formerly Parent Partnership Service) can give general advice about school placements and help you to think about what is right for your child.

Much of the information will be available on the school's website or in the school's prospectus. You can also look at the school's latest Ofsted (opens in a new window) report. From 1 September 2014, each school has to publish a 'Special Educational Needs Information Report' describing its approach and the provision it makes for pupils with special educational needs. You will be able to find these reports on school websites as they are published.

You may find it helpful to visit one or two schools to help you decide. If you want to do this, make sure that the headteacher or special educational needs co-ordinator is available to speak to you. Try to arrange your visit for a time when you can see lessons underway and also what happens at break times.

You can find details of all schools - mainstream, enhanced resource and special schools in Derbyshire in the education section of the Local Offer.

Mediation and appeals

Sometimes it will not be possible to meet parents' wishes if the school they prefer is significantly more expensive than another school the local authority considers to be suitable, or if the placement would prevent the efficient education of other pupils in the school.

Parents of children with EHC Plans, and young people with EHC plans aged 16 and over, can appeal to a special educational needs tribunal if there is a disagreement over the school placement that can't be resolved through mediation.

If you live close to another local authority area, you can express a preference for a school outside Derbyshire − see our applying for a place outside of Derbyshire page for more information.