SEN Admission

Opportunities for a mainstream education

We are committed to increasing the opportunities for pupils with SEN to experience a mainstream education with their peers.

Section 316 of the 1996 Education Act gives parents/carers the right to a mainstream education for their child provided that it would not be incompatible with the efficient education of other pupils with whom he or she would be educated.

If parents/carers prefer a maintained special school the Local Authority no longer has a duty to secure a mainstream education, but parents/carers do not have the right to veto a mainstream placement.

Back to top

Meeting parental preferences

We have a duty under Schedule 27 to place a child at the maintained school preferred by his or her parent(s) provided that the placement is suitable to meet the child’s needs and is not incompatible with the efficient education of other pupils or the efficient use of resources.

Back to top

The requirement to consult schools

We consult the school preferred by the parents prior to naming it in a statement.

In the case of out-borough schools, we must also consult the other Local Authority.

Back to top

Supporting local schools

Our  policy is to meet needs within its own provision whenever these can be appropriately met.

A pupil with a statement naming mainstream school provision can attend a school outside the borough if that is the parents’ preference and a place has been offered, although transport would not be provided.

In the case of special schools or units, we would only agree to the parents’ preference for an out-borough school if the child’s needs could not be met within the borough, since it would not normally be an efficient use of our resources to fund the extra cost.

Back to top

Choosing an independent school

Parents/Carers can make representations for a placement in an independent school but we have no duty to name this in the statement.

We must however be able to offer suitable alternative provision in the maintained sector, unless the parents/carers have opted to fund the independent school at their own expense.

If we can name a suitable maintained school it would generally represent an unreasonable use of public expenditure to fund an independent school.

Apply for a school place

Support documents

Also see our SEND Local Offer pages.

Back to top


Page last updated:

August 4, 2022

Tell us what you think about this page

Problem with a service?
If you have a service problem or complaint you need help with then please visit our contact pages.

Help us improve this page
If you want to make comments specifically about this page, then please answer the questions below.

* = response required

Ease of use

Overall, how easy was it to get the help you wanted today?

Service required

What was the main service you were interested in today?

Purpose of visit

What was your main purpose for coming to the website today?

Device and browser information

It will help us understand any problems if you can tell us a bit about what you are using to browse the website:

Which type of device are you using right now? (optional)
Which browser are you using? (optional)

Your comments

Please use the following space to tell us more about your visit today. 

Please note that if you want to report a problem with a council service or have a general service request, you will need to contact Customer Services directly.


Did you find what you were looking for? (optional)