Non-maintained special schools are specially organised to offer educational provision for pupils with special educational needs (SEN).
They are designated for specific type(s) of SEN. Once a school is open, approval from the Secretary of State would be required if the school wishes to change or extend its designation to cater for children with other types of SEN. Non-maintained special schools can also be free schools.
A special free school can cater for statemented pupils, non-statemented pupils or a mixture of both. Special free schools receive £10k per statemented place from the EFA and negotiate top-up funding levels with local authorities. Students without statements can either be referred by commissioners or apply to the free school directly, where mainstream funding arrangements will apply.