Securing a place for your child at one of our schools involves a three-way conversation between parents, the school and your local authority. It can be a little confusing, so we hope this step-by-step guide helps you navigate the process.
Ultimately whether your child comes here depends on:
- Whether you and your child like it here.
- Whether your local authority agrees that a special school is best for your child, and will fund a place here.
- Whether the school has the space and resources to meet your child’s individual needs.
- Where you live: we tend to prioritise children who live in the London Borough of Waltham Forest.
Step 1: Talk to your local authority’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) team
You should be able to find contact details on the education section of your council’s website. The SEND Team will assess your child and provide you with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) – previously known as ‘Statements’. The EHCP will indicate whether or not the local authority believes that your child will benefit from being in a special school.
Step 2: Arrange an informal visit to the school to see what we can offer your child
If the local authority concludes that your child will benefit from being in a special school, you should arrange to visit schools that may be able to support your child.
- For Whitefield School, call Safia Talib on 020 8531 3426.
- For Joseph Clarke School, call Sarah Bent on 020 8523 4833.
You do not need to bring your child on this initial visit; it’s just an opportunity for you to see the school in practice and ask any questions you may have.
Step 3: Inform the local authority of your preferred choice of school
Assuming the local authority believes your child should attend a special school, you should tell the SEND Team that you interested in being referred to Whitefield School or Joseph Clarke School.
If you live outside of Waltham Forest, your local authority may suggest another, more local school. If the local authority agrees to Whitefield as an option, they will send us a referral letter and reports for us to consider.
Step 4: The school formally assesses the referral
At this stage we will match all incoming referrals in terms of age, educational needs and resource requirements to the places that we have available and will treat children who are or have been Looked After as a matter of priority.
Step 5: Visit with your child
If on paper it looks as if we can meet your child’s needs, we will invite you and your child to visit the school. This face-to-face meeting is an important opportunity to find out more about your child’s needs and ensure we can fully meet them.
Step 6: The school tells your local authority if we think we are right for you and your child
If we have the spaces and the right resources, we will inform the local authority. If we don't have a space, we’ll ask if you would like to be added to our waiting list.
Step 7: Your local authority formally lets you know whether your child has a place at Whitefield Academy Trust
You will hear from your local authority first, not from us.
Step 8: The school sends you a letter
If you’ve been offered a place by the local authority, we'll write to you to let you know about start dates and other arrangements.
If you live in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, you can find information about how the council handles special educational needs and disability provision, including school admissions here:
Directory Waltham ForestIf you do not live in Waltham Forest you will need to talk to your own local authority.