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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Download the full policy for SEN admissions (PDF, 83KB)
- Starting school with an EHC - FAQs document (PDF, 75KB)