Preparing for Secondary School

Deciding on a secondary school for your child is probably one of the most important decisions that you will make as a parent/carer. This page should enable you to be confident in making a choice with which you and your child are happy.

Look on the Haringey Secondary Admissions page to find out more. The teachers at your child’s primary school and the other professionals that work with your child will help to guide you through the process. If you still have questions, call the SEND department on 0208 489 1913 or email

Choosing a School

How do I find the school that I believe is most suited to my child’s needs?

All of Haringey’s schools have the necessary skills and ability to meet the needs of children with SEND although some schools have more experience of working with children with a particular type of need.

Our Step by Step Guide to Choosing the Right Secondary School for Children with SEND (PDF, 269KB)provides useful advice about how to create a shortlist of schools you are interested in. 

Complete the  Secondary Transfer Form for Young People with ECHPs (PDF, 68KB)

The school admissions page has lots of general information.  You can use it to find out:

  • The names of the schools and where they are
  • How far away they are from your home 
  • Whether they are oversubscribed and how they have offered places in the past few years
  • When the open events are
  • How to apply for a place if your child does not have an EHCP

However, if your child has special educational needs, it is important to do a bit more research to find out whether the school would be a good fit for your child.  You can do this by reading their SEND Information report and talking to SEND representatives at the open events, but we recommend you also contact the school directly using the details below.

Secondary schools in Haringey - contact details
School websiteInformation ReportSEND Contact
Alexandra Park School (external link) Alexandra Park School Information Report (external link)
Dukes Aldridge (external link)  Dukes Aldridge Information Report (external link)
Fortismere (external link)Fortismere Information Report (external link)
Highgate Wood School (external link)  Highgate Wood School  Information Report (external link) 
Gladesmore (external link)Gladesmore Information Report (external link) 
Grieg City Academy (external link)  Grieg City Academy Information Report (external link)
Harris Academy Tottenham (external link)Harris Academy Tottenham Information Report (external link) 
Heartlands (external link)Heartlands Information Report (external link)
Hornsey (external link)Hornsey Information Report (external link) 

From September 2022

Park View (external link)  Park View Information Report (external link) 
St Thomas More (external link)St Thomas More Information Report (external link)
Woodside (external link)Woodside Report (external link) 

Find out more about Special School provision in Haringey.

You can discuss your preferences for mainstream school or special school with the professionals involved with your child, such as your school SENCo. Here is a set of questions you may wish to ask and the professionals who know your child well will be able to personalise for your child (PDF, 110KB)

Can I choose a school located outside of Haringey for my child?

If your child is at SEN support, you complete the normal application form. You will be allocated your highest preference based on their admissions criteria. If your child has an education, health and care plan (EHCP) you can ask us to consult schools using your child’s EHCP so they know how they will need to meet your child’s needs.

You can request we consult an out of borough special school, but local authorities often prioritise their own students if the school may be over-subscribed.

Can I select an independent special school at secondary transfer?

If you are interested in an independent special school; one that is not under the local authority and is a private school, but in order to use public funds effectively, we will always try to place children using our local provision, which is high quality and able to meet a very wide range of children’s needs.

We will only name an independent school when we cannot find a special school place to meet your child’s needs locally.

If I move out of the borough permanently or am given temporary accommodation outside the borough, can my child still have a place in a Haringey mainstream or special school?

You can stay in the Haringey school, but you may want to discuss with your new borough schools that are nearer to you. If you move during the transition process and have an EHCP your new resident borough will be responsible for allocating you a school place.

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Support for my child

How are other professionals or agencies involved in the transition to secondary school?

When your child has been allocated a secondary school, you will have a transition meeting with representatives from your primary and secondary school to agree what support your child will need to transition happily into school and make good progress while they are there.

What therapy input will my child receive in mainstream or special school?

Both special schools and mainstream schools have access to the full range of therapies. Any changes to your child’s therapies or other specialist provision will be discussed with you at your child’s annual review. The type and amount of therapy that your child needs will be written into your child’s plan.

Will my child receive one to one support in mainstream or special?

Your child’s needs will be supported by the school, and your child’s level of support will be described in their EHCP. All the support your child gets will be to maximise their progress and help them learn to learn independently. This may be through some direct time with an adult, or it may be through teaching time, mentoring from older children, or group work with other children lead by an adult.

Will my child receive transport to and from their special school?

This is not automatic. You can apply for transport if your child has complex needs and is going to be attending a special school that is further from your home than you can be expected to travel. We will consider every application in its own right.

If successful, the travel and transport service will offer you a range of transport options. This might be to pay your mileage, travel training for your child, or pick up from an agreed point at or near your home, if your child is going to travel on a school bus.

If you are concerned about your child going to school, the transport department can offer advice on independent travel training and run independent travel training sessions over the summer.

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The Application Process

Do I go through the usual online admissions process if my child has an education health and care plan?

If your child has an education health and care plan you apply directly to the special needs department and give the name of your two preferred schools. You need to use the blue form provided by the SEN department, which will be sent to you in September. This needs to be returned by 31 October 2022 but if you complete it sooner, we can start consulting schools earlier. If you have not chosen your local school we will also consult them.

Can my child attend a special school without an EHCP?

We do occasionally offer special school places for children who have very complex needs on an assessment place. This is usually for children who have moved into the country or have developed a special educational need or disability. Assessment places are not long term and will depend how on your child’s needs develop during the time of their assessment at the school.

When will I find out which school my child has been allocated?

Children with an EHCP will find out which school they have been allocated by 15 February 2023 Other children will receive the information on 1 March 2023.

My child is having an assessment for an EHCP. What happens if my child’s plan is not complete before EHC offer day in February?

If your child is not issued with an EHCP before 15 February, a place at a mainstream school will be offered in accordance with the school’s admissions criteria. We will consult with other schools when the EHC is at draft stage. An EHC assessment takes 20 weeks and is a complex process so is unlikely to be able to be completed faster.

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Choosing a Secondary School workshop slides

View the  Choosing a Secondary School workshop slides (PDF, 2.7MB)

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Page Last Updated:

January 24, 2023

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