Place Planning for pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Closed 30 Mar 2018

Opened 10 Mar 2018


East Sussex County Council, as the local authority, has a statutory duty to ensure there is sufficient capacity to meet present and future demand for early years, primary, secondary and special school places.

Pressures on places for pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN), including those with Education Health Care Plans (EHCPs), have been met over the last ten years by using existing accommodation within special schools and through some small scale projects to put in place specialist new facilities at both special school and mainstream school sites.  Alongside the increase in the birth rate we are also seeing increases in the proportion of pupils identified as requiring a specialist placement to meet their SEN. The figures for the total number of children with EHCPs and those in special schools is already significantly higher than national and regional figures.  Over time we would expect to see this pressure reduce as more children are educated in local mainstream schools and any surplus capacity in special schools could provide placements for children whose needs are currently met in the independent sector.

Our policy is to provide for all children and young people in their local mainstream school.   While we are satisfied that there is good mainstream provision in East Sussex schools that cater for the needs of the majority of children, we know all children, including those with SEN, can achieve good outcomes in their local mainstream school within their community alongside their peers.  While our provision of special school places is well above the national average we recognise that additional provision will be required to respond to these growing pressures.

In recognition of the growing pressures within Special Schools, we are developing a strategy for place planning for SEN pupils.

Why We Are Consulting

The Council is seeking the views of parents/carers and other stakeholders on the strategy we are developing for providing additional places for pupils with an Education Health and Care Plan that require specialist provision to meet their SEN needs.


  • All Areas


  • Children
  • Parents, carers or guardians
  • Disabled People


  • Children and young people
  • Mental health
  • Learning disability or difficulty
  • Support for parents, carers and young people
  • Schools and school admissions