I have received the consult response from SEND schools from the local authority Solicitor. When I respond back with my evidence /comments do I include all parties involved in the case and report back on which school I want named?
My child's case is at the tribunal as the local authority wants to place my child at a school 1 hour away outside of the local area. All other schools in our local area have reported being oversubscribed, not able to meet his needs. Additionally some state that my child would impact negatively on the needs of other existing students due to lack of resources and capacity.
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- 15 Jul 2023
Can't answer yes or no.:
Angela, thank you for your question.
While I must emphasise that we are unable to provide legal advice, I am more than happy to offer some general guidance that you may find helpful. When appealing to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), the parent or young person will receive directions outlining the necessary steps and deadlines. One important direction will indicate the final date for submitting evidence, which typically includes professional reports, school information, and the like.
In matters concerning the Tribunal, all correspondence directly related to the proceedings should be sent to both the Local Authority (LA) and the Tribunal. However, it is not necessary to send all correspondence with the LA to the Tribunal.
The parent or young person has the right to name their preferred school, but there are situations where they can name more than one preferred school. The LA should comply with any requests made by the parent regarding school consultations. It is essential for the parent to inform the Tribunal of their preferred school, usually by completing a SEND7 form to make a Request for Change (RFC) if they have not already done so then they presented their appeal. Typically, this step follows consultation with a school, but it is not always required. In cases where the LA needs to wait for the completion of their consultation with the school before providing a response, they will convey this in their reply to the request for change. When the parent or young person submits their RFC to the Tribunal and LA, they should include additional information such as the latest Ofsted report and prospectus.
If a parent disagrees with the LA's choice of school to be included in section I, it is possible to engage in an exchange with the LA. However, it will be necessary to provide relevant documentary evidence to support their position, which can be included in the hearing bundle if the dispute over placement cannot be resolved prior to a hearing
Lastly, if a parent is unable to name a specific school, they can indicate their preference for a certain type of school. Nevertheless, it is generally preferable to name a preferred school as one will ultimately need to be identified at some point if this is not the case.
I hope this information proves useful to you. I look forward to any further contributions from others and encourage you to post again if you have additional questions.