Pupils are referred to The Dales School through North Yorkshire Local Authority. Some initial contact is made through the Child Development Centre which is run by the Health Trust based at the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton. 

Admissions are agreed according to the NYCC Special Schools and Units Admission guidelines.

Pupils admitted to the school are, as far as possible, placed within an appropriate key stage group. The school aims to be inclusive in its approach and actively seeks and supports inclusive opportunities within mainstream schools.