Parent Partnership Service

Specialist Provision and Settings

Within Pembrokeshire, we are committed to inclusion and to educating as many of our children and young people as possible within our mainstream schools.

The earliest specialist school placements will be considered for entry is the term after the pupil turns 4 years old and is entitled to full time education provision.

A range of specialist provision has been developed to provide appropriate settings to educate children and young people with a range of the most complex needs. As part of our commitment, the Inclusion Service is continually reviewing its specialist provision and planning how best to meet anticipated future needs.

In Pembrokeshire, for learners with more complex needs, a specialist placement in either the special school, a Learning Resource Centre (LRC), or the Pembrokeshire Learning Centre, provides wraparound care and educational support to the ensure the children achieve their full potential. In line with the ALNET Act 2018 and ALN Code 2021, schools will hold Person Centred Planning (PCP) meetings to determine the individual child’s additional learning needs (ALN) to identify additional learning provision (ALP) which may include a specialist placement. This allows for robust planning and sharing of accurate information to inform panels prior to decisions around specialist placement.

Portfield Special School

Portfield School (opens in a new tab) is a special school for pupils aged 3-19 years located in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire with pupils taught through the medium of English. We also have two satellite centres: Y Porth based at Ysgol y Preseli in Crymych where pupils are taught through the medium of Welsh and at Haverfordwest High VC School which is English medium. We provide excellent learning opportunities and services for our pupils who have a range of abilities and needs including moderate, severe, profound and multiple additional needs, autism spectrum condition and pupils with social, emotional and behavioural needs. Portfield follows Trauma Informed Schools practice and our work is based on personalised care, trust, and empathy. We celebrate every pupil’s individuality, personalise the curriculum to meet their needs and support and celebrate every success.

Learning Resource Centres (LRCs)

A Learning Resource Centre (LRC) is a room or suite of rooms generally based within mainstream schools providing education for pupils with complex needs. LRCs have been set up to provide pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum that is highly differentiated in order to support them in achieving their full potential. LRCs provide pupils with the opportunity to be part of mainstream activities and lessons where appropriate and to socialise with their peers whilst their individual needs are supported and met.

There are currently 8 primary and 4 Secondary LRCs across Pembrokeshire.

Who can access a Learning Resource Centre?

An LRC is suitable for pupils with complex learning needs. When considering whether a young person is suitable for a placement, professionals will consider a range of specific criteria. This includes consideration of: cognitive ability, attainment and complexity of need in relation to life, social and communication skills.

The County Council is the Admissions Authority for all Learning Resource Centres within schools. A Local Authority panel that includes nominated schools, Inclusion Service and Educational Psychology Service professionals will discuss each pupil being considered for admission to a specialist provision. The panel will determine if the pupil meets the LRC criteria and recommend the appropriateness of the placement.

The placement is not intended to be a long-term placement and will be reviewed at least annually in line with the statutory review process.

Pembrokeshire Learning Centre (PLC)

Pembrokeshire Learning Centre (PLC) portfolio includes a range of provisions for pupils with additional learning needs, including children and young people with Behavioural, Emotional and Social difficulties who are of statutory school age and whose learning needs are unable to be met in a mainstream setting.

The placement is not intended to be a long-term placement and will be reviewed at least annually in line with the statutory review process.

The pupils are dual registered which means that they are kept on roll at their mainstream school to establish joint working and to monitor opportunities for reintegration.

The County Council is the admissions authority for the PLC. A Local Authority panel that includes nominated schools, Inclusion Service and Educational Psychology Service professionals will discuss each pupil being considered for admission to a specialist provision.

We have strong, effective relationships with our learners, their families, supportive networks, communities and other agencies.

Move into County School Application Process – Parent Information

For a child/young person with an Individual Development Plan (IDP), a Statement of SEN or an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP)

Parent/carers with Parental Responsibility can apply for a school placement in Pembrokeshire once you are a full time resident at a Pembrokeshire address.

You must notify this Local Authority of the date you move into your new address in Pembrokeshire by sending an email to You are expected to provide proof of residency.

The Additional Learning Needs (ALN) process will start from the date you notify this Local Authority that you are living in Pembrokeshire, proof of residency confirmed and evidence of ALN.

All applications for school placements in Pembrokeshire require parents/carers to complete the online School Admissions Form naming the mainstream school(s) you are applying for - even if you think your child will require a specialist placement.

Please record on the school application form that your child has an IDP, a Statement, an EHCP or any other Statutory Plan in their current school/setting, and details of the school provision.

You must provide supporting information at this stage i.e. a copy of the Plan and any other information from your child’s previous school.

Specialist Placements

The Local Authority Inclusion panel considers any applications for a Specialist placement once it has received notification that you have moved into your new address in Pembrokeshire and completed the on-line school admissions form as per the above process.

Based on the evidence provided, and in discussion with families, the panel will determine what type of provision will support your child’s needs.

The Local Authority Inclusion panel meets fortnightly and the outcome will be shared with you via letter.

There is information about specialist provisions on the Inclusion pages.

Further Information

More information on Pembrokeshire schools is available.

More information on the ALN System in Wales (ALNET Act 2018 and ALN Code 2021) is available.

Contact Pembrokeshire Parent Partnership Service for impartial advice and support on or 01437 776354.

Please note, the Pembrokeshire County Council school transport policy does not extend to 'out of catchment' schools; therefore, if parents opt for an out of catchment school, parents are responsible for transporting their children to/from school.

ID: 7931, revised 30/04/2024