Admissions & Funding

Pace / Pace School / Admissions & Funding

Admitting a child to Pace education

Pace School Services help children aged 3-16 with sensory motor disorders and other associated difficulties. Our integrated educational programmes are highly specialised and appropriate for those with:

  • Cerebral palsy or motor delay/disorder, including a range of associated problems, for example sensory, perceptual, auditory and visual
  • Head injuries
  • Genetic disorders resulting in motor impairment.

The specific nature of our programmes means that we do not normally accept children who have the following conditions:

  • Learning difficulties but no motor disorder
  • Behavioural problems but no motor disorder
  • Autism or rapidly progressive degenerative disorder.

Our specialist integrated approach is well suited to meet the full range of learning needs.  We offer both a Pre-Formal and a Formal Curriculum strand which can be further tailored to meet individual needs and curriculum access requirements.

Pre-Formal Curriculum Strand 

For children working at a lower cognitive level, Pace delivers a specialist Pre-Formal curriculum incorporating a bespoke, accessible sensory programme in which small progress steps can be accurately set and tracked.  The curriculum focuses on ‘Communication and Language’ and ‘Exploring and Ordering the World’.  The Pre-Formal curriculum at Pace has a strong focus on pre-requisite learning skills that facilitate curriculum access and active learning and on developing functional communication and meaningful interaction skills which unlock the personalities and capabilities of each individual.   

 Our experience has shown us that students who require a pre-formal curriculum often require targeted intervention to develop their skills in initiation (of communication, exploration and interaction). These skills are critical to unlocking continued progress at a pre-formal level and are a key component of developing a child as an active agent of their learning. Tight integration of specialist speech and language therapy within Paces integrated practice facilitates the development of this aspect of learning.  

Formal Curriculum Strand 

Children in the Pace formal strand have a more developed sense of agency and the skill to initiate. The outcomes for them therefore focus much more around achieving their full academic potential, with an emphasis on literacy and numeracy skills, delivered though our deep and rich curriculum.  

 The academic component of the Formal strand of the Pace integrated curriculum is underpinned by the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). A three-year rolling programme ensures curriculum breadth for every child and young person. 

 The Pace Formal Curriculum Strand is designed to: 

  • Facilitate meaningful access to a full academic curriculum 
  • Equip children and young people with the skills they need to actively participate and become more independent in a range of functional skills e.g. eating, dressing, toileting 
  • Develop age appropriate social skills 
  • Offer opportunities to interact with others using verbal and non-verbal communication skills  
  • Develop the skills required to interact with the environment using a range of play and perceptual skills  
  • Enable children and young people to learn to move independently both on the floor and against gravity. 


How to get referred

We are happy to receive referrals directly from a child’s parent or family member, and also from other bodies or agencies, for example:

  • NHS
  • Children’s Services
  • Education authorities
  • Voluntary agencies
  • Portage services

How Pace responds:

All information received as part of an enquiry is treated in accordance with GDPR and our Privacy Policy.

All enquiries taken by telephone, email or via our enquiry form will be responded to as follows:

  • The person enquiring should provide the basic details of the child and his or her needs when completing the enquiry form, or a member of our team will complete the form with you during your initial conversation
  • These details will be passed to a senior manager who will call the parent or person making the referral within three working days
  • If appropriate, an appointment will be made for the child to attend Pace with their parent/s for an initial assessment. This assessment will be carried out by senior members of Pace staff who will discuss the child’s needs with their parent/s
  • Information about Pace services, practice, policies and procedures will be available to prospective parents during this visit
  • If parents and staff feel that a place at Pace would be beneficial, and a place is available, arrangements will be made to join an appropriate group as soon as possible, subject to funding.

If a place is not immediately available, the child’s name will be placed on a waiting list for admission. Parents will be kept informed about when a place will become available for their child.

Access legal advice and support on the IPSEA website (Independent Parental Special Education Advice) to aid your application for independent special schools such as Pace.

Details of charges and funding arrangements for therapy service (0-18 years) are available here.


For children of statutory school age (4+) placement at Pace is normally made through the Education, Health and Care Plan needs assessment procedure, which:

  • Identifies whether your child’s special needs fall into the category that requires an Education, Health and Care Plan needs assessment
  • Carries out a full assessment of your child’s abilities and challenges
  • Identifies additional support and provision required to meet his/her special educational needs
  • Names an appropriate nursery or school that is able to meet your child’s needs on the Education, Health and Care Plan written for your child.

Sometimes privately funded placements are offered to children and young people while their Education, Health and Care Plan needs assessment is taking place or in the event of a placement appeal.  This is arranged on an individual basis.

Local authorities may not always agree to name Pace on your child’s statement; however, you are entitled to appeal against this decision if you wish.

Guidance on how to apply for Education, Health and Care Plan needs assessment (formally referred to as a statutory assessment) and on the statementing procedure is available in the SEND Code of Practice.


Funding and charging

When Pace is named on a child’s Education, Health and Care Plan, the place is then funded by your local authority. The funding authority will cover the cost for either a full time place or for a part time place.

Education, Health and Care Plan applications and appeals

The trustees acknowledge that application for statutory funding and the Education, Health and Care Plan process can take some time to complete and that appeals are sometimes necessary. Therefore during this period, while local authority funding is not available, and if an appeal is unsuccessful, parents will be asked to self fund their child’s place at a rate equivalent to the local education authority fee. The level of charge is based on the degree of complexity of the child’s needs.

Pace will provide access to initial independent legal guidance and support for all parents whose child is going through the Education Health and Care Plan assessment process. Following this initial advice, parents will be informed about the options for ongoing advice and advocacy services from the provider.

Pace welcomes applications from families wishing to place their child privately without going through the statutory assessment process. Fees for privately funded children are available on request.

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