These fee-paying schools are not controlled by a local authority or the Secretary of State for Education and are often called ‘private’ schools. They are mostly controlled by charities but there are some private owners. They include prep schools, public schools, and private nurseries.

In law, these independent schools are neither special nor mainstream, but all simply “independent”.

Some independent schools are section 41 schools. This means parents or young people have a right to request this type of school is named in an EHC plan in the same way they can request a maintained school.

You can check to see if a school is an independent setting online.