Sandside Lodge is a Special School catering for students aged between two and nineteen who have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). 

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.

Once placements have been confirmed, the Local Authority will send a letter of confirmation. We can then start our transition. We will do our very best to get to know our new students prior to them starting with us. We will gather lots of information and communicate with parents and students current educational settings to build the best picture we can. We will arrange for new students to come into school for a transition visit. Teachers and class staff are not confirmed until later in the year and therefore visits to see new teachers will not be possible until later in the academic year. Once classes are confirmed, teachers will make contact with new students and families. New students will also receive a booklet with visuals of the school building, school uniform, teachers and staff. 


Our students are supported throughout their time at Sandside Lodge School to develop the skills required for a happy and successful future. Students work on a tailored curriculum throughout their time in school and their individual needs are reviewed and supported continuously.  Students contribute / write their own “futures plan” each year to review their hopes and dreams for the future. these are usually shared at annual review meetings. 

Each individual student’s future will differ, dependent on their needs, goals and available further education or social care settings at the time of “moving on”. Discussions about post-16 transition options should begin in year 9, most of our students continue at Sandside Lodge until the age of 19 and will access our 16-19 Sixth Form provision before considering their next step. However, if students felt they were ready for further education from the age of 16, we will support these decisions as best we can. 

During year 14 transition reviews, discussions and planning will take place which will allow all parties to discuss the range of options which might be available. This way, families, young people, providers and the local authority are aware of plans and are able to ensure that the process is completed as smoothly as possible.

Lots of our students continue in education and will transition from Sandside Lodge to a local education provision. If students choose to stay in education, they must explore local further education options initially, as Cumbria Local Authority recognise the benefits that a young person receives from being alongside their community peers. The LA will carry out a provider consultations  to ensure that the provision suggested is able to meet the young person’s required education needs and to confirm that a place is available. 

You can read more about Cumbria County Council Further Education Placement Process by clicking on the link below. 

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