SEND education and learning

In this section:

Types of school places for children with SEND

Different school options suit different young people but all schools should be welcoming to and appropriately support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

In this section

To find a list of schools in Hillingdon, visit our directory of services.

Mainstream schools

Many children and young people with additional learning needs can make better, more sustained progress academically and socially if they are able to attend mainstream schools with their peers. Mainstream schools and early years settings provide education for most children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), including those who have difficulty learning to read and write, learning how to manage their behaviour and/or how to listen and communicate.

Mainstream schools have specific funding to support children and young people with SEND and every school should have information (a School SEN Information Report) about how they provide this support clearly visible on their website.

Where special education provision for a young person or appropriate arrangements cannot be met in a maintained or academy mainstream school, consideration will be given to a placement in more specialist arrangements.

If a child or young person needs a more specialist setting, they will need to have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). The assessment for the EHC Plan will include consideration as to the most suitable special school or specialist resource provision for them.

Specialist provision

Hillingdon has developed a number of specialist provisions in primary and secondary maintained schools and academies, where children and young people attend a mainstream school or academy and have access to additional benefits, such as smaller groups, specialist teachers and teaching assistants, a range of dedicated additional therapy options and a specialist space for individual or small group work. This consists of specialist resourced provisions (SRPs), designated units (DUs) and a new assessment centre for pre-school children. 

Specialist resourced provisions (SRPs)

Primary needPrimary SRPSecondary SRP
Autistic spectrum disorder
Hearing impairment
Physical disabilities
Speech, language and communication needs

Designated units (DUs

Primary needPrimary school DUSecondary school DU
Autistic spectrum disorder

Assessment centre

Primary needAssessment centre
Severe and long-term needs

Maintained special schools in Hillingdon

In Hillingdon, there are a number of maintained, non-maintained (special schools operated by charities or trustees on a not-for-profit basis) and independent special schools (schools privately run) that provide support for a range of special education needs.

These each provide support to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) in different ways. The type of school or setting that is best-suited to a particular child or young person will often depend on the complexity of their needs. 

In general, special schools provide education for children with multiple and/or more complex special educational needs and disabilities. Special schools provide adapted and different education to support young people through their education to ensure that they achieve the specific outcomes they have identified, with the aim of working towards independence.




Hedgewood School (opens new window)

  • Moderate learning disability


Grangewood School (opens new window)

  • Severe learning difficulties 
  • Profound and multiple learning difficulties 
  • Physical and sensory needs


Moorcroft School (opens new window)

  • Severe learning difficulties
  • Profound and multiple learning difficulties


Meadow High School (opens new window)

  • Moderate learning disability


Pentland Field (opens new window)

  • Moderate to severe learning difficulties

All through

Pupils aged between 4 and 19

The Willows Primary School (opens new window)

  • Social emotional and mental health needs


The Pride Academy (opens new window)

  • Social emotional and mental health needs


Independent or non-maintained special schools

Section 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014 allows the Secretary of State to publish a list of approved independent educational institutions, independent special schools and post-16 institutions for the purposes of enabling the institution to be the subject of a request for it to be named in an Education, Health and Care Plan. Institutions can only be included on the list with their consent. The list is updated to include approved applicants and remove institutions that have not continued to meet the Section 41 eligibility criteria.

The below table lists other special schools based in Hillingdon that are independent or non-maintained.




Hillingdon Manor School (opens new window)

  • Autistic spectrum disorder 

All through 

Pupils aged between 3.5 to 19

Pield Heath House (opens new window)

  • Moderate to severe learning disabilities
  • Associated speech, language and communication difficulties, including autistic spectrum disorder 

All through 

Pupils aged between 7 and 19 

View approved independent educational institutions, independent special schools and post-16 institutions

Colleges and sixth forms

Colleges and sixth forms within the local area offer a wide range of academic and vocational courses, which support young people towards independence and employment and build on their skills and interests. Young people can attend college to study for GCSE or A-level qualifications, or a vocational (work-related) course, such as engineering, beauty, tourism and sport.

If you are thinking of going to college, look at their website to find out when their open days are, so you can look around, meet the staff and see the facilities to help you with your decision.

Alternative provision

Children and young people may be educated at an alternative provision if they are unable to attend school. This may be because: 

  • they have been excluded from school - either permanently or for a fixed period
  • they have a short or long-term illness 
  • they have been directed to off-site provision by the school, as part of an approach to support with improvement of the child or young person's behaviour. 

In Hillingdon, arrangements for alternative education are made by our pupil support team, which is based at The Skills Hub (opens new window) in Yiewsley. 

    Page last updated: 15 May 2024