Can a local authority name a school in section I if the plan is for the child to be educated through 15 hours of online learning, which the LA advise the school must source

My child is in year 9 and has been out of school for 18 months and now been assessed for EHCP. Ed Psyc report states mainstream school cannot meet her needs and she should be educated at home with at least 15 hours online learning a week. The LA plan is that she should remain on the role of her current school and that school should outsouce the online learning (through top up funding) which will be accessed at home. It is not envisaged that she will actually attend the school at all. Isn't this really EOTAS? Thanks


SEN Parent
22 Mar 2023

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  • 22 Mar 2023
  • Yes


    It sounds like it. 

    That said the the EP's argument, and I am not doubting your representation is correct,  relating to mainstream is a 'suitability' argument which is not lawful:

    09.30 But surely the LA/FTT can ask whether the requested mainstream placement is suitable/appropriate? 

    In my opinion suitability relates to "the age, ability, aptitude or special educational needs of the child or young person concerned"

    The para 9.89 COP is also useful here:

    Mainstream education cannot be refused by a local authority on the grounds that it is not suitable. A local authority can rely on the exception of incompatibility with the efficient education of others in relation to maintained nursery schools, mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions taken as a whole only if it can show that there are no reasonable steps it could take to prevent that incompatibility. Where a parent’s or young person’s request for a particular mainstream school or mainstream post-16 institution has not been met, the school or post-16 institution in question becomes a possible candidate for consideration by the local authority according to the conditions in the above paragraph. 

    I look forward to reading other contributions with interest.

    Sean Kennedy

    Sean Kennedy
    Talem Law