The law gives high priority to the school or institution preferred by a parent. If you would like your child or young person, however severe his or her special educational needs, to go to a mainstream setting, school or college we will almost always comply with your preference, and describe the provision the school should make in the Education Health Care Plan (EHCP).
The main factors we consider in making the decision, about which setting your child/young person can attend, are:-
- whether the school/institution you have named is able to make the provision
- whether the needs of your child/young person are compatible with the provision of efficient education for other children/young people.
- whether there is an available place – in specialist provision, we plan ahead by funding places for the year in advance. Special school places and specialist bases in mainstream schools are funded for the pupils with higher level needs who need focused and specialist provision.
- costs – if you have asked us to name a school or institution where the costs of that place are greater than another provision that is also suitable, then we may not be able to comply with your preference.
The Law says if you suggest the name of a maintained school or other institution, we must name that school or institution in part I of the EHCP unless:
- the school is unsuitable for a child’s/young person’s age, ability or aptitude or to his/her special educational needs
- the attendance of a child/young person at the school would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for the children/young people with whom he/she would be educated, or the efficient use of resources.
If we do not name your preferred school in the EHCP, we will explain why.
If we name an Educational Establishment and you decide to make your own arrangements to place your child/young person in an independent school, or to home educate him/her, we will need to be sure that the arrangements you have made are suitable. If you do this, we will write to you to explain what this means in more detail.
If you choose an Educational Establishment that is not the nearest suitable Educational Establishment your child/ young person will probably not be entitled to free home to school transport, so we will want to be sure that you can arrange for your child/young person to attend your preferred Educational Establishment. It will be a parental responsibility to provide appropriate transport to convey their child/young person to and from school.
The Local Authority will not, at any time, be financially or otherwise responsible for providing transport provision.