Place Allocation

Admission Criteria

Sandside Lodge School is based in Ulverston and places can be offered to students across the South Lakeland and Furness Peninsula Area. Sandside Lodge is a Special School catering for students aged between two and nineteen who have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). All EHCPs should identify the student as having severe or profound and multiple learning difficulties. Some of our students may have another category of need such as Autism, physical difficulties, hearing or vision impaired and communication differences.

Students gain admission to Sandside Lodge School through a directed place from Cumbria Local Authority. Admissions are on the basis that the student has an EHCP which provides detail of their severe or profound learning disabilities, and other impairments of difficulties (physical disabilities, sensory impairment, communication and language difficulties, complex health and medical needs or autism). In some cases, the local authority may direct a child with another category of need but this is at the discretion of the local authority.

Please see Local Authority Admission Guidance for Specialist Provision in Cumbria  

Available Places

Sandside Lodge School has become increasingly popular since moving to our new building. We have reached our capacity of 80, and therefore have limited availability from year to year. As our year 14 students leave each year, this determines how many additional spaces will be available for the following academic year. Will this in mind, the local authority will allocate places based on areas of availability in school and the level of need for each individual child.

Sandside Lodge is a very bespoke Special school with resources and curriculum advancements to meet the needs of students with severe learning difficulty. Our vision is to provide students with an holistic curriculum that supports them to develop socially, physically, emotionally and academically to succeed in life as independently as possible.

Sandside Lodge School is one of five Specialist Schools in Cumbria for students with severe or profound learning needs; The School is also:

  • A National Autistic Society (NAS) Accredited school. We follow the approaches and ethos that allows our learners with Autism to develop a range of strategies and support that works for them on an individual level. We are currently working on becoming an NAS Advanced Accredited School.
  • Thrive Approach School and have trauma informed practices to support the students with attachment and their emotional development. So far, we have four trained Thrive Practitioners and all our staff have received training to make sure we use consistent approaches.
  • MOVE school that supports physical development through functional movements and goals, we aim to be a Move Centre of Excellence in the very near future.
  • A school with enhanced facilities such as Aquatic TherapyRebound Therapy , Experience Room, Soft Play, Multi Interactive Learning Environment, Sensory Movement and Regulation room and much more.

These facilities and programmes are very attractive and can be desirable to some of our students and parents. Each of our bespoke facilities are specific to individuals and are only accessed by students who have a plan showing “Intent, Implementation and Impact”. This means that although students and parents may like to / their child to access these facilities, it is only appropriate if the student’s specific needs would be met, which will be considered when the LA review student’s needs prior to making decisions on placements.

At Sandside Lodge, our students do not work at National Curriculum age related expectations. We have a bespoke curriculum which considers the needs of our students. Please see more information regarding Sandside Lodge Curriculum here:


At Sandside Lodge School, we do not carry out any formal examinations such as GCSE’s or A-Levels. In Sixth Form, students access accreditation such as ASDAN Personal Development Programme and ASDAN Towards Independence to gain valuable skills in preparation for adulthood.

All contact details for the child are added to the prospective student list and shared with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT).

Parent/carer to visit school – information and guidance to be provided by the SLT. – Currently unable to offer visits due to COVID-19 restrictions / Risk Assessment. Alternatively, our virtual tour can be found on our website. 

Parent/Carer to inform the current school provision / SENCO that they are considering Sandside Lodge School and ask school SENCO to call an early EHCP review with professionals. This should include the Local Authorities EHCP coordinator. 

The EHCP Coordinator will gather the student’s information and share this with the LA who will use the information to inform their decision at the LA panel meeting.

Place confirmed by LA via a request letter sent to school, including all student’s information.  Sandside Lodge School has 15 days in which to contest the placement if it is deemed unsuitable.

If the place is agreed by both the LA, the EHCP Coordinator will change provision stated within the EHCP paperwork to ‘Sandside Lodge School’.

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