Pupil Admissions

The Bridge School provides specialist provision for pupils aged 4 -16 diagnosed with SLD, ASD and/or specific communication and language difficulties and a range of complex needs. There are some spaces for PMLD pupils.

The pupils’ needs may be severe and complex cognitive conditions, creating significant barriers to learning. They may have some associated behavioural difficulties, but they will not have significant mental health or emotional difficulties.

Access Criteria

Discussions between the LA and the School establish if:

  • The School is suitable to the child’s age, ability, aptitude and special educational needs.
  • The child’s placement in the School is compatible with the efficient education of the other pupils with whom the child would be educated
  • The placement is an efficient use of resources
  • The School is able to provide the specialist resources required to meet the needs specified in the EHCP
  • Parents have expressed a preference for the School
  • The Local Authority names the School in a child’s EHCP based on its ability to cater for the child’s specific needs.

Indicative Admissions criteria

Each application is assessed on an individual basis. In each case, we take account of the needs of the individual child and consider whether the school would be suitable to meet their needs with particular reference to the following factors.

  • Pupils will be aged between 4 and 15 years at the time of admission
  • The pupil does not have the potential to access a mainstream curriculum
  • An assessment by the school admission team, to include a face to face assessment of the child if at all practical, is key to determining suitability


Usually full time, subject to specification of the statement or education and health care plan, although some pupils may be admitted on a dual placement with a mainstream setting (rare).

Number of places available

There are a total of 184 full time special educational provision places throughout the school (as at September 2023).

Qualifications and methods

Specialist teachers experienced in working with children with language,communication and interaction needs. High staff/pupil ratio of at least 4:10.

Provision of specialist programmes to promote the learning of pupils through the development of communication, social understanding and flexibility of thought;

  • Specialist teaching assistants trained in supporting pupils with language, communication and interaction needs
  • Access to an educational psychologist
  • Access to an occupational therapist
  • Provision of a behaviour specialist
  • Access to a speech and language therapist
  • Well-equipped classrooms
  • Access to the National Curriculum, modified where appropriate
  • Emphasis on communication rich environment throughout the school

Admission / access procedures

The Unity Schools Partnership will admit a child to The Bridge School, where The Bridge School is named in the child’s statement of special educational needs or Education and Health Care Plan.


We are committed to providing equality of opportunity and anti discriminatory practice for all children and families, to providing an environment in which all children are supported to reach their full potential. Applications are considered regardless of gender, religion, background, race or disability.

Admissions arrangements

We admit pupils with statements or Education and Health Care Plans naming the school. Places will usually be taken up at the start of the school year but, by arrangement with the Headteacher, places can be accessed at any time of year, particularly for the purposes of assessment for a statement of special needs or Education and Health Care Plan, where a pupil presents with behaviours consistent with the profile of the School’s provision.

Places are commissioned by the local authority. The total cost of a place will be agreed with the local authority, who will pay the agreed top-up to the £10,000 base funding from the DfE.

Parents wishing their child to be considered for a place will be advised to contact their home Local Authority SEN service. The commissioning LA will consult the Headteacher regarding each pupil the LA considers potentially suitable to request a place in the School.

The Headteacher will consider the suitability of the school provision in addressing the needs of the child and also giving consideration to the needs of the current pupils on roll.

The Unity Schools Partnership will consent to being named, except where admitting the child would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for other children; and where no reasonable steps may be made to secure compatibility. Consideration will need to be given to numbers in and the profile of each year group.

In the event that the LA names the School and the School objects to the admission of a pupil based on the criteria, the School is under a contractual obligation to admit the pupil; however, the School is able to make a complaint to the Secretary of State who will evaluate if the LA have fulfilled their statutory and legal duties.

For more information please see https://suffolksendiass.co.uk/education/choosing-a-school-for-a-child-with-send/ 

Home / school communication

We take steps to ensure parents are involved throughout the assessment process to help monitor progress and review targets. We will share information through Linkbooks and draw up support plans together.

Priorities for admission when places are limited

The placement is an efficient use of resources. A statement of special educational needs or education and health care plan, showing autism to be the primary need, will be in place. Access to specialist subject teaching in mainstream is a vital aspect of provision, particularly for pupils with autism. The pupil is in care or being looked after or has previously been looked after.


Appeals will be to the First-tier Tribunal for statemented pupils. Parents whose children have special educational needs can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) against decisions made by the Local Authorities in England about their children’s education. The application forms and guidance can be found on https://www.gov.uk/courts-tribunals/first-tier-tribunal-special-educational-needs-and-disability

Waiting lists

Not applicable.

If you would like to discuss a place with us then please email us at admin@thebridgeschool.org.uk