Specialist Education

Most children will have their special educational needs met in their mainstream schools. However, some children's needs will require more support than a mainstream school can provide, and so we have also developed a range of specialist education provision in Central Bedfordshire, including special schools, and additionally resourced provisions.

Special Schools

More information can be found on our Special Schools page.

Mainstream schools with Additionally Resourced Provision

More information can be found on our Mainstream schools with Additionally Resourced Provision page.

Independent Schools

Parents, carers and young people may also wish for their child to be educated at independent schools also known as private schools. In these cases, the council can pay the equivalent they would pay to a local mainstream school as part of the EHC plan funded support.

These are fee paying schools and parents, carers and/or young people will need to pay the fees and any additional costs such as the first £6,000 which is ordinarily available to all state funded schools to meet the needs of children with an EHC Plan. There may also be other additional costs that parents will need to fund such as the difference between the teaching assistant costs at the school and the amount of funding the local authority would provide to a local mainstream school. Parents may also have to pay for therapy provision if this is outlined in their child’s EHC Plan. They will also be responsible for transporting their child to the school.

This ensures that the council's funds are spent well to provide positive, fair and transparent support for all children and young people with SEND in Central Bedfordshire.

You can find several independent schools in Bedfordshire.  

Independent special schools and colleges (section 41)

Parents may express a preference for an independent special school or college. These may also include residential schools and colleges which can provide placements on weekly boarding arrangement or termly for 38 weeks and in some instances may also provide non-termly residential provision of 44 - 52 weeks.

Independent special schools and colleges charge a fee as they are not funded by the government. They are run privately and do not have to follow the national curriculum.

For an independent school or college to be considered for a child or young person with SEND (and named in an EHCP) it must be on an approved list by the secretary of state for education. This is known as “approved under section 41 of the Children and Families Act”.

They will however still be subject to OFSTED, ISI and/or CQC inspections (and similar in Wales & Scotland)

A list of independent special schools and colleges approved under section 41 can be found on the Government's website.

In some cases, independent special school and colleges may not be approved under Section 41. This means that they do not have the same duties to identify and provide SEN support; and they do not have to offer a child a place if they are named in the child’s EHCP. This does not mean that such independent school cannot be named in an EHCP but it does mean that the Local Authority would need to be satisfied that the school will agree to offer the child a place before it is named.

 A range of Independent special schools and colleges (including residential schools) can also be identified on the NASS website.