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Admission to Willoughby Academy.

1          Willoughby Academy is a specialist academy that provides 141 places for pupils in the age range 2–19 whose predominant special educational needs fall within the areas of:

  • sensory or physical impairment
  • communication and interaction
  • cognition and learning.

2          The academy will only admit children who have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan (Children and Families Act 2014).  Once Willoughby Academy is named in a child’s EHC plan, the academy has a duty to admit the child.

3          The Priory Federation of Academies Trust and Willoughby Academy will work with a child’s home local authority and in partnership with children and young people, parents, carers and all relevant professionals to secure educational provision that is appropriate for pupils with moderate, severe, profound and complex learning needs.  The academy and local authorities prefer, where possible, that these pupils attend the special school or special academy nearest to their home.

4          To ensure a smooth transition to the academy, pupils will have the opportunity to visit the academy with their parents or carers before taking up their place. Transition arrangements will then be tailored to the pupils’ individual needs.


5          All admissions to Willoughby Academy are made through a local authority.  Parents who live in Lincolnshire must contact the Lincolnshire Special Education Needs and Disability team on 01522 553 332. Parents living in other local authorities must contact the equivalent team in their own local authority.

6          Further information on Willoughby Academy can be found on its website: or by contacting the academy on 01778 425203. Further information on obtaining an EHC plan can be obtained from your local authority’s special educational needs team.

7          Availability of places depends on how well a child’s needs can be met and how an admission would affect the education of existing pupils of a similar age and with similar needs.  For this reason, it may not be possible to accommodate every potential pupil.

8          When a local authority wishes to name Willoughby Academy in an EHC plan, it must consult with the academy.  The Trust must consent to the academy being named. It can only refuse this consent where admitting the child would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for other children or where no reasonable steps can be made to make the educational provision required. In making this decision, the Trust must have regard to the relevant legislation and guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

9          If the Trust decides that it does not wish the academy to be named in a child’s EHC plan, it must, within 15 days of receipt of the local authority’s notice, notify the local authority in writing that it does not agree that the academy should be named. The local authority, having consulted, then decides whether or not to name the academy in the EHC plan.

10        If the Trust considers that the local authority should not have named the academy in a child’s EHC plan, it may ask the Secretary of State to determine that the local authority has acted unreasonably in naming the academy and to make an order directing the authority to amend the child’s EHC plan by removing the name of the academy. The academy must admit the child where such a determination is pending. Where the Secretary of State makes an order to this effect, the Trust will cease to be under an obligation to admit the child from the date of the Secretary of State’s Order, or from such date as the Secretary of State specifies.

11        If a parent appeals to a First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) asking the Tribunal to name the Academy in an EHC plan, or to remove the name of the academy from an EHC plan, the Trust agrees to be bound by the decision of the Tribunal.

12        The admission arrangements described above are set out formally in the academy’s supplemental funding agreement. You can find the funding agreement at: