1. Aim


This policy aims to:

  • Explain the admission criteria and process
  • Explain how to apply for a place at the school


  1. Legislation and statutory requirements

Admissions to Watergate School are governed by the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice.


3. Admission Criteria

All pupils attending Watergate School will have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or will be in the process of being assessed for an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Needs Assessment, EHCNA). 

The EHCNA and EHCP process is organised and managed by Lewisham’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) service.

The age range for pupils at Watergate School is 3-11 years, however due to the high demand for places for pupils of statutory school age, the majority of pupils are aged 5-11 years.

Watergate School is a specialist provision dedicated to meeting the needs of pupils with: 

  • Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) or
  • Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD)

In addition to the above primary needs, pupils may have additional needs which could include:

  • Autism (ASD)
  • Complex medical needs
  • Sensory impairment


4. Admissions Process and How to Apply

4.1 Prospective Parent visits and school information

Initially, we would encourage all prospective parents to come and visit us to find out more about our specialist provision, including our staff, curriculum, facilities and how we work in close collaboration with the multi-disciplinary team. During their visit, parents/carers will be able to meet with a member of the leadership team who will be happy to answer any questions they may have. 

To book a prospective parent visit, please contact the school on 0208 695 6555 or email admin@watergate.lewisham.sch.uk .

Information about our school can also be found on our website – including a virtual tour – at www.watergate.lewisham.sch.uk .


4.2 Applications

If parents/carers decide they would like their child to attend Watergate School, applications must be made via Lewisham SEN at:

Lewisham SEN

Kaleidoscope Child Development Centre

32 Rushey Green London, SE6 4JF

Tel: 0203 049 1475 or 0207 138 1100

Email: sen@lewisham.gov.uk

Further information about Lewisham Sen services can be found via the council website – www.lewisham.gov.uk  


4.3 Admission Consultations

Following an application for a place at Watergate School, Lewisham SEN will consult with us to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of the child.

To support us in making a fully informed and accurate decision, the school will take into account the child’s EHCP (or EHCNA reports) and any supporting documents from professionals who have assessed or are currently working with the chid.  Wherever possible, a member of the leadership team will visit the child in their current setting.

Watergate School have 15 days to formally respond to Lewisham SEN with a decision as to whether we can meet the needs of the child. The final decision as to whether a child will attend Watergate School or not is made by Lewisham SEN Panel.


4.4 Transitions

Where admission has been confirmed by Lewisham SEN, Watergate School will make contact with the family to discuss and agree appropriate transition arrangements and agree a start date. 

Transition and starting arrangements will be different for each child and will be agreed with families to ensure each child’s needs are best met for a successful start at Watergate School.  

Parents/Carers will also be required to complete admission documents, consent forms and the home-school agreement.


5. Allocation of places

The final decision as to whether a child will attend Watergate School or not is made by Lewisham SEN Panel.

5.1 Oversubscription criteria

Watergate School is currently oversubscribed. Lewisham SEN Panel decide which pupils are prioritised for a place at the school as and when a space becomes available.

5.2 Fair Access Protocol

We participate in Lewisham’s Fair Access Protocol. This helps ensure that all children, including those who are unplaced and vulnerable, or having difficulty in securing a school place in-year, get access to a school place as quickly as possible.


6. Appeals

If your child’s application for a place at the school is unsuccessful, you will be informed why admission was refused and given information about the process for hearing appeals by your child’s allocated SEN Officer from Lewisham SEN.


7. Monitoring arrangements

This policy will be reviewed and approved by the Pupil Welfare Committee every year.



Approved by:

Linda Matthews  Headteacher

Date:   January 2022

Written by: 

Natalie Carroll

Deputy Headteacher


Last reviewed on:  

20 January 2023


Next review due by:

20 January 2024