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Finding a school to suit your child's needs


Most children of school age who have SEN or disabilities will attend a mainstream school. Some children who need a lot of help may need to be taught in a different type of school. This could be in a mainstream school with extra support (called 'enhanced provision') or a special school.

Mainstream schools

In County Durham, nearly all children and young people with special educational needs go to mainstream schools and achieve well.

Mainstream schools can offer:

  • extra support and skilled class teachers that will adapt lessons to for children with different abilities and ways of learning
  • improved accessibility - many schools have been re-built or updated
  • access to specific therapy if needed
  • the chance to make friends in the local community and mix with different types of people

Mainstream schools also receive money to help children with special educational needs and can sometimes get extra money to spend on an individual child who needs extra support.

Find a mainstream school on our Find a school or college page.

Mainstream schools with enhanced provision

Some mainstream schools have Enhanced Mainstream Provision (EMP) to meet the needs of some children and young people. An Education, Health and Care Assessment is not required to access this provision although we would need evidence that the child's needs are significant before offering a place.

Specialist needSchool name
Age range
Hearing impairmentDurham Gilesgate Primary School3-11 years
Belmont Community School11-16 years
Visual impairmentBelmont C of E (Controlled) Primary School3-11 years
Belmont Community School11-16 years
Speech and language difficultiesBelmont Cheveley Park Primary School3-11 years
Timothy Hackworth Primary School2-11 years
Wheatley Hill Primary School2-11 years
North Durham Academy11-19 years
Whitworth Park Academy11-16 years
Physical difficultiesHowletch Lane Primary School3-11 years
Autism spectrum disordersEasington Colliery Primary School4-11 years
Wellfield School11-16 years
Bishop Barrington School11-16 years
Behavioural difficultiesSeascape Primary School2-11 years

Special schools

For children and young people with the most complex needs, a place at a special school might be considered.

The special schools in County Durham are:

School nameType of SEN/disabilityAge range
Croft Community SchoolModerate learning difficulties and/or ASD4-16 years
Durham Trinity School and Sports CollegeSevere, profound, moderate and complex learning difficulties and/or ASD2-19 years
Elemore Hall SchoolSocial, emotional and mental health difficulties (day and residential school)11-16 years
Evergreen Primary SchoolSevere, profound, moderate and complex learning difficulties and/or ASD2-11 years
The Meadows SchoolSocial, emotional and mental health difficulties11-16 years
The Oaks Secondary SchoolSevere, profound, moderate and complex learning difficulties and/or ASD11-19 years
The WoodlandsFor both permanently excluded pupils and those identified as close to permanent exclusion5-16 years
Villa Real SchoolSevere, profound, medical and complex learning difficulties, some of whom also have ASD or Cerebral Palsy2-19 years
Walworth SchoolSocial, emotional and mental health difficulties (day and residential school)4-11 years
Windlestone SchoolSocial, emotional and mental health difficulties (day and residential school)11-16 years

 

Contact us
SEND and Inclusion Service
03000 267 800
Our address is:
  • Broom Cottages Primary and Nursery Schoo
  • Ferryhill
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL17 8AN
01740 657 792
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