Education Advocacy launches a new interactive map listing SEN schools to help struggling parents

According to UNICEF, an estimated 240 million children live with disabilities worldwide. But just like all children, those with disabilities also have hopes, dreams, and ambitions for their futures. It’s not so out of the ordinary to say that they, too, deserve quality education to realise their full potential, is it?

Yet still, in the 21st century, many children are facing persistent barriers that compromise their access to education, which is why many countries around the world are actively developing systems aimed to improve this. All with the same goal – to provide every child with the opportunities and education they’re so rightly entitled to. 

One initiative that has recently sparked the attention of parents with children who require special education is the brainchild of Education Advocacy. It has just launched a new interactive map on its website and it has one sole purpose: To help parents find the right school for their children.


Education Advocacy’s Interactive Map

Basically, the map collates the Department for Education s41, non-maintained and independent special schools lists on one searchable map. So, just like you would search for your nearest takeaway on Google Maps and read the reviews, contact them and head to the website for a nosey, you can easily read up on each school in and around your area to decide whether or not it is the ideal placement for your child. 

So far, the free interactive map has over 600 institutions listed, (yes, you heard it right the first time – 600) and all are searchable by postcode. The map also shows extra valuable information that’s important to have on hand, including the type of school it is, and the type of specialist educational support it offers. 

Nigel Pugh, Managing Director at Education Advocacy recently made a statement regarding the map, saying:

“From experience, we know that finding the correct school for a child with special educational needs can be a very challenging and time-consuming process for parents. 

There are many things to consider when going through the special educational needs process. We think that crawling the internet for hours shouldn’t be one of them. That is why we have been working hard to gather this information from all corners of the web to give parents one clear starting point, a base. Think of it as the ultimate directory, a digital Yellow Pages for Special schools!”


As a parent with a child who requires special education, it can be a never-ending struggle trying to find the right school. From specialisation to location, to teachers and resources, there is a myriad of crucial factors that need to be considered compared to non-specialist schools. And with every child deserving to be happy and experience a positive and fulfilling school life, the checklist can be long, and the expectations are (as expected) high.

Previously, countless visits to several websites, countless Google searches, and countless hours of frustration would be the typical process of specialist school searching. But now, with this interactive map clearly pinpointing schools in all parts of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, this tiring process has been developed into a much more streamlined one. And not only is it more efficient and rewarding for parents, but it’s also a monumental moment for the children, who can find and be placed in their perfect school a lot quicker than in the past. Essentially, it looks like finding the right educational centre is becoming easier and more accessible to every child, providing them with more opportunities and the most important aspect of all – the time to thrive.


What Types of SEN Schools are Available in the UK?

Throughout the UK, there is a range of SEN schools. Each institution covers a wide spectrum of needs, which means they can be clear on what they can and can’t offer your child. As you’ll know, every child and parent’s situation is different, but with the emergence of this map and the type of special educational needs directly displayed within their bio box, it can make it much easier to filter through the schools to find the perfect fit. Think of it like Cinderella’s glass slipper for school-finding. You can search the map until the ultimate match is found.  

Some schools within the UK are maintained by the local authority (LA), and some are independent SEN schools. There are day schools as well as residential SEN schools, and there are also schools that cater to different age ranges. For example, some offer post-16 options, and some only cater up until high school. Some are primary school age and some combine the entire school life from young child to young adult. 

Some of the types of SEN educational centres available provide for an array of specific needs, including:

  • Autism
  • Sensory and physical needs
  • Social, emotional and mental health
  • Cognition and learning, e.g. schools for students with dyslexia
  • Communication and interaction
  • Visual impairment 
  • Deaf and hearing impaired
  • Speech, language and communication needs


Find The Perfect School For Your Child

It has never been easier to start the first phase of school searching than now. Gone are the days, weeks and even months of endless research. After all, the internet is a big place, and we get it – it can be very overwhelming and frustrating the more time goes on.

With the introduction of Education Advocacy’s map, everything is in one place. It’s the educational organisation version of Mrs Hinch’s storage dividers. Everything is streamlined and accessible, which makes it a lot easier to handle. 

So, parents, if you’re currently sitting with your heads in your hands, worrying about finding the perfect school for your child this one is for you. Take a deep breath, relax and know that the process has been adapted for the better.

See the map here.

Ellie Mckenna

Content Executive

MSc Digital Marketing & Communications. All things pattern and design. Find me eating pizza in a floral print 🌸🍕
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