Page contents:

  • Education and where we live
  • Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan
  • Early Years Education
  • Primary and Secondary Education (including special education)

Education in the County of Hampshire is divided into the two local authorities - Hampshire county council and Southampton city council

Not sure which council you live under ?

check here:  

Southampton City Council 


Hampshire County Council (which covers Borough councils in Hampshire)

In 2014, the Education system for children with special educational needs changed. Please see here for a Factsheet for an Introduction on the Children and Families Act 2014 Older children will still have a document called a Statement of Special Educational Needs which sets out by Law what needs must be met by the Local Authority.  The system has now changed to a system where Local Authorities have a 'Local Offer'​ please see below for click through links to our Local Offers.

Southampton City Council - Local Offer

Hampshire County Council - Local Offer

You may live on the borders of the City and your child may use a Hampshire service/school/nursery or require services in Southampton and live in Hampshire. If you think this may be the case, please see both local offers.

Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan

All children with Down's Syndrome will require an EHC Plan  as they will have significant learning needs and will need extra support in nursery, school and college. You can request an EHC at any time, or a professional in the child's school or nursery can do this. Presently these will only be provided if the nursery can't meet all of your child's needs without having extra funding in place. 

​Please note that if your child/young person is currently Statemented, they will be transferred to an EHC. The schedule in Southampton and Hampshire for this work is behind.  Please contact the respective local authority, although they should have written to you.

Advice and Support with Education, Health and Care plans and education

Negotiating the system can be daunting and confusing for families.  If you require help and advice please see these resources:-

Local help

Information, Advice and Support Services Network (IAS) - formerly Southampton Parent Partnership

IAS Services have a duty to provide information, advice and support to disabled children and young people, and those with SEN, and their parents. They are statutory services which means there has to be one in every local authority.

Southampton IASwebsite

Hampshire IAS website

Further Independent Support

Hampshire-  Parent Voice

Southampton- Independent support - key supporters to explain and help you through EHC process and answer questions.


Can help with issues with getting, amending or disagreement about a EHC Plan -

Pre-school Education

Many parents worry about education with typically developing children. A child with learning disability will learn as other children do, albeit more slowly or in different ways. Children with Down's syndrome are very 'visual' learners. There are many aids, products, software to help your child.  Early learning is important and this can be done in a combination of home, and/or Portage, childminder, nursery etc.

What is Portage and how do I get it?

Requests for Portage involvement can be made for children aged from birth to 3 years who have/are expected to have a delay of at least 6 months in two or more areas of development.

The Portage service has an open referral system; so anyone can refer your child or you can refer yourself.  

For more information see here:-

Southampton City Council Portage service

Hampshire County Council - Portage Service

Southampton and Hampshire Schools

There are a mixture of mainstream and special schools in Hampshire.  Choosing or moving schools can be a challenging and confusing time for all parents.

To help here are two stores from parents in the group who've chosen mainstream and special school options:

Southampton City Council - list of mainstream infant/primary and secondary schools

Hampshire County Council - list of mainstream schools

Southampton City Council - list of special schools

Hampshire County Council - list of special schools