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Securing a place for your child at Priestley Smith School involves a three-way conversation between families, 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 child’s primary need is a vision impairment

  • Whether your child has an EHCP

  • Whether your local authority agrees that a special school is best for your child, and will fund a place here;

  • Whether we have the space and resources to meet your child’s individual needs;

Admissions Process

  • Step 1: Talk to your local authority’s Special Educational Needs (SEND) 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) if appropriate – 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.  To visit Priestley Smith School, call Jacinta Hill on 0121 325 3900 or email  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 are interested in being referred to Priestley Smith School. If you live outside of Birmingham, your local authority may suggest another, more local school. If the local authority agrees to Priestley Smith School 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 Priestley Smith School

    • 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 to ensure a smooth transition into Priestley Smith School.

Useful Links

If you live in the Birmingham Local Authority or surrounding Local Authorities (Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Staffordshire, Solihull) , you can find information about how the council handles special educational needs and disability provision, including school admissions, in the links below below.

Parents Carers and Young People – Local Offer Birmingham

Support and Help - Parents of Children with Learning Difficulties - Birmingham

Home - Solihull local offer (

What is the Wolverhampton Local Offer? | Wolverhampton Information Network

Dudley's Local Offer

The SEND Local Offer (

Sandwell Local Offer | Family Information Service Hub

Local offer - Staffordshire County Council

The SEND Local offer - Coventry

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