sen school

According to The Department of Education, there were over 32,700 children and young people with EHCPs in January 2022, who were either being educated outside a nursery, school, or college, who were waiting on the placement named in their EHCP to materialise, or who weren’t getting any form of education, employment or training at all.   

Today, many children are facing persistent barriers that compromise their access to education, which is why many countries around the world are actively developing systems aimed to improve this. All with the same goal – to provide every child with the opportunities and education that they are rightly entitled to.  

One initiative that has recently sparked the attention of parents with children who require specialist education is the brainchild of Education Advocacy. It has just launched a new interactive map on its website, to help parents find the right school for their children. 

Mapping the options 

The map collates the Department for Education s41, non-maintained and independent special schools lists on one searchable map. So, just like you would search for any establishment on Google Maps and read the reviews contact them and visit the website, you can now easily read up on each school in and around your area to decide whether it is the ideal placement for your child.  

The free interactive map currently has over 600 institutions listed, which are all searchable by postcode. The map also shows valuable information, including the type of school, and the type of specialist educational support it offers.  

Nigel Pugh, Managing Director at Education Advocacy recently commented on the map and said, ‘From experience, we know that finding the correct school for a child with special educational needs can be a very challenging and time-consuming process for parents.  

‘There are many things to consider when going through the special educational needs process. We think that crawling the internet for hours shouldn’t be one of them. That is why we have been working hard to gather this information from all corners of the web to give parents one clear starting point, a base. Think of it as the ultimate directory, a digital Yellow Pages for Special schools!’ 

As a parent with a child who requires specialist education, it can be difficult trying to find the right school. From specialisation to location, to teachers and resources, there are a myriad of crucial factors that need to be considered compared to non-specialist schools. With every child deserving to be happy and experience a positive and fulfilling school life, the checklist can be long, and the expectations high. 

Previously, countless visits to several websites, Google searches, and hours of frustration would be the typical process of specialist school searching. We hope this will change because this interactive map clearly pinpoints schools in all parts of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. It is more efficient and rewarding for parents, and it looks like finding the right educational centre is becoming easier and more accessible to every child. 

What Types of SEN Schools are Available in the UK? 

In the UK, there are a range of SEN schools. Each institution covers a wide spectrum of needs, which means they can be clear on what they can and can’t offer your child. As you’ll know, every child and parent’s situation is different, with the emergence of this map and the type of special educational needs directly displayed within their bio box, it can make it easier to filter through schools to find the perfect fit.  

Some schools within the UK are maintained by the local authority (LA) and some are independent SEN schools. There are day schools as well as residential SEN schools, and there are also schools that cater to different age ranges. For example, some offer post-16 options, and some only cater up until high school. Some are primary school age, and some combine the entire school life from young child to young adult.  

Some of the types of SEN educational centres available provide for an array of specific needs, including: 

  • Autism. 
  • Sensory and physical needs. 
  • Social, emotional and mental health. 
  • Cognition and learning, e.g. schools for students with dyslexia. 
  • Communication and interaction. 
  • Visual impairment. 
  • Deaf and hearing impaired. 
  • Speech, language and communication needs 

Find The Perfect School For Your Child 

With the introduction of Education Advocacy’s map, everything is in one place. Everything is streamlined and everything is accessible, which makes it a lot easier to handle.  

So, parents, if you’re currently sitting with your heads in your hands, worrying about finding the perfect school for your child, you can take a deep breath and know that the process has been adapted for the better.  

Click here for the map!


Education Advocacy: Specialist SEN Advocates advising families whose children have SEN and/or a disability in England and Wales to gain the correct support for their child. With over 57 years experience of the SEN System, our team understands the frustration of trying to work through the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) / Statement of Special Educational Needs (SSEN) Process.