Types of schools
- Mainstream schools- maintained schools, academies and free schools (type of academy) and grammar schools
- Special schools
- Independent schools, independent special schools (Non maintained special schools) and independent section 41 schools
- Faith schools
- City Technology colleges
- Alternative provision (education outside school)
A mainstream school is a school which is not a special school and is either a maintained school or an Academy (section 83 CAFA 2014). (Independent schools are not classed as mainstream schools.)
Special schools are those that provide an education for children with a special educational need or disability. There are different types of special school, but essentially, they all educate children whose needs cannot be met within a mainstream setting.
Independent schools, are schools which are not as controlled by the LA or secretary of state. It is worth understanding the different types as these schools often have provision available for children and young people with SEN.
- Independent schools – these are mostly controlled by charities (and therefore, “not for profit”) but there are some private “for-profit” owners. Due to their independence their provision is not standardised across the sector as for the state sector. They include prep schools, public schools, and private nurseries (early years provision). Some private schools are registered as “specially organised to make provision with pupils for SEN”. However, for legal purposes independent schools are neither special nor mainstream, but all simply “independent”.
- Non-maintained special schools – all charitable foundations and “not for profit”. This type of school will take a mixture of children and young people with and without Plans (including during the transition period children with statements) but in practice almost 100% of their pupils are publicly funded through EHC plans or statements;
- Section 41 schools – These are independent special schools which have been approved by the Secretary of State under section 41 of the Children and Families Act (“CAFA”) 2014 as schools which a parent or young person can request to be named in an EHC plan. This means parents or young people have a right to request this type of school is named in an EHC plan in the same way they can request a maintained school.
Faith schools have to follow the national curriculum, but they can choose what they teach in religious studies.
Faith schools may have different admissions criteria and staffing policies to state schools, although anyone can apply for a place.
City technology colleges
City technology colleges and ‘ the city college for the technology of the arts’ are independent schools in urban areas that are free to go to. They’re funded by central government – companies can also contribute.
City technology colleges emphasise teaching science and technology.
The city college for the technology of the arts teaches technology in its application of performing and creative arts, for example by offering interactive digital design courses.
The Department for Education defines alternative provision as ‘education arranged by local authorities for pupils who, because of exclusion, illness or other reasons, would not otherwise receive suitable education; education arranged by schools for pupils on a fixed period exclusion; and pupils being directed by schools to off-site provision to improve their behaviour.’
The most common type of alternative provision is a pupil referral unit (PRU): a school that caters for children who aren’t able to attend a mainstream school. These are much smaller than mainstream schools, with very small class numbers and lots of pastoral support. Around a third of pupils in alternative provision attend PRUs.
Other types of alternative provision include:
- Therapeutic farms
- Forest schools
- Outdoor learning centres
- Sports facilities
- Hospital schools
- Animal-assisted therapeutic centres
- Vocational and practical courses like car mechanics or hairdressing
Pupils may attend alternative provision full-time or part-time, with the rest of their education taking place at their usual school. They must receive an equivalent full-time education to their peers in mainstream schools.
Information on types of schools in our area:
- SEND Local Offer | Directory – SEND Local Offer (northlincs.gov.uk) (Secondary)
- SEND Local Offer | Directory – SEND Local Offer (northlincs.gov.uk) (Primary)
- SEND Local Offer | Directory – SEND Local Offer (northlincs.gov.uk) (Other)
- SEND Local Offer | Education – SEND Local Offer (northlincs.gov.uk) (General)
- SEND Local Offer | Education Inclusion – SEND Local Offer (northlincs.gov.uk)
- Types of schools and other settings | (IPSEA) Independent Provider of Special Education Advice