If a school states that placing your child in their school renders the efficient education or use of resources. Is a judge still likely to overturn this if witness statements and evidence from the schools support their view point. What evidence can I bring to challenge this?
I will need to submit further evidence before the hearing.
- 0 Yes
- 0 No
- 1 Other
- 10 Aug 2023
Can't answer yes or no.:
Please see answer from Betty Shuttleworth. Thank-you to her for taking the time to research this topic.
Thank you for your query.
The SEND Tribunal does possess the authority to direct the enrolment of your child at the school, which would be achieved by naming the school (placement) in section I of your child’s EHC plan. However, it is imperative that the SEND Tribunal be persuaded that any arrangement to place your child at the school can be implemented effectively and appropriately.
I observe from the additional information you kindly shared that the school has provided several reasons as to why admitting your child to the school could be incompatible with providing efficient education to others and/or incompatible with the efficient use of resources. Nevertheless, these reasons necessitate further elaboration, including precise figures and more detailed explanations. In summary their reasons are a little vague and need to relate to your child if he were at the said school. For example, rather than talk about class sizes, you may wish to know about the class he will be part of. Further you may also be interested in finding out if any of their concerns are temporary.
To gather more information for yourself and for the SEND Tribunal, you have the option to initiate a dialogue with the school. You can make a request for additional information on matters such as the number of pupils they are over-allocated by, the reasons behind their class size preferences, and the potential steps that could be taken to address their capacity concerns. This will enable you to assess whether you can demonstrate to the SEND Tribunal that the school could viably admit your child and what measures, if any, would be required.
It is possible that your attempt at dialogue may prove unsuccessful (for instance, due to the current summer closure of the school and just a failure to respond). In such circumstances, an alternative means of gathering the required information would be to consider submitting a Request for Changes (RFC) form to the SEND Tribunal. The RFC form is also known as a SEND07 form and can be accessed here:
Utilising the ‘other’ section of the RFC form allows parties to make requests for information. Clearly you want to maintain a good relationship with the school, so you may wish to consider polite language pointing out that your reason for making the request is borne out of need to satisfy the Tribunals requirement for information. Should you opt to submit an RFC form, it will be necessary to include the response of the other party, specifically the Local Authority’s (LA) response, on the form. If the SEND Tribunal grants your request, the LA/school will be directed to furnish the detailed information you are seeking. As indicated on the RFC form, the SEND Tribunal aims to respond within 15 working days to such requests. We recommend bearing this potential delay in mind when considering your subsequent steps, particularly if a parent’s hearing date is imminent.
Once you possess the more comprehensive information from the school, you will be in a stronger position to evaluate the feasibility of admitting your child to the school. You can then potentially make your case that their enrolment will not adversely impact the efficient education of others and/or the effective utilisation of resources (depending on the information you acquire). It is worth noting that the greater the level of detail provided to the tribunal, the clearer their understanding of your stance and arguments will be.
Additionally, you may find it beneficial to review the following questions from the No-Nonsense Noddy Guide:
1 This is helpful