Secondary school transfer

If your child has a statement of special educational need (SEN), you do not apply for secondary school through the normal admissions procedure. You must tell the SEN section which secondary school you would prefer your child to go to.

If your child is at mainstream primary school, their special educational needs can usually be met within a mainstream secondary school.

Choosing a school

We know it is difficult for children to change to a secondary school, and schools give extra support to pupils in year 7. You can help your child by:

  • visiting the secondary schools (most schools have open days and open evenings early in the autumn term);
  • talking to the SEN co-ordinator at the secondary school (they can tell you about extra arrangements to help children with special educational needs, for example, a homework club);
  • visiting the school again on another day with your child or a friend; and
  • talking to the parent partnership worker about what you saw.

The parent partnership worker can also put you in touch with other parents whose children have SEN and go to that school, so you can talk to someone informally.

Transferring from a mainstream primary school

  • At the end of year 5 or early in year 6, the school will arrange an annual review, and you will also discuss your preference for a secondary school.
  • In September, the SEN section will write to ask for your preference for mainstream secondary school for your child. You can choose a school maintained by Richmond Council or one maintained by another borough, for example, Hounslow or Kingston upon Thames. We will consult all these schools.
  • The school you give as your preference will usually be mainstream and must be maintained by the local education authority (LEA). You must reply by the date shown on the form.
  • Then we (Richmond LEA) will consult the mainstream school you have requested and decide whether or not to consult other schools.
  • We send your child’s statement, appendices and the latest annual review report to the school and ask them if they can meet your child’s needs.
  • In February, we will write to tell you where your child has a place. You will get this letter the same day as all other children get letters telling them about their secondary school offers.

It is the same for children in special primary schools. However, sometimes the special school covers primary- and secondary-aged children. You can make a preference for a different secondary school or ask for your child to continue at the special school.

Maintained = part of the local education authority. Mainstream = for all children, not just for children with special educational needs.

Updated: 8 July 2009