Local Authority stating we have agreed to pay for independent ms school

We finally received our child’s EHCP. He is at an independent mainstream with very small classes where we as parents moved him before applying for the EHCP, as he wasn’t coping at his original state school.

We asked the local authority to name his current independent setting in Section I. This was because we need them to pay fees and the 1:1. The local authority have done so but have stated we have agreed to pay the fees. We have never said we could continue to do this. Section I says he must go to mainstream state school if he can’t stay at his current school.

We have private reports (OT, educational psychologist and speech therapy). saying he can’t cope in mainstream and needs specialist provision, 1:1 of classes of less than 12.

I feel like we must have made a mistake by not expressly saying we were expecting them to pay. Is there anything that says because he’s already at the school they don’t need to pay? I assume we now appeal Section B, F, I and use our reports as evidence?


Mum Up North
01 Sep 2023

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A: SenseCheck

  • 0 Yes
  • 1 No
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  • 01 Sep 2023
  • No


    The following response to another question provides a summary of the procedure to be followed when attempting to name a private (independent) school in Section I.


    I understand your concern regarding the failure to clarify the issue of fees, and while it may appear to be a mistake, it remains uncertain whether this would have influenced the outcome. Indeed it would not be unreasonable to have expected the LA to clarify this matter when the EHCp was still in draft. 

    I'm afraid I am not aware of any legal precedent that supports "because he’s [your son] already at the school they [LA] don’t need to pay” given the LA has also named the school in Section I it will pay the associated costs for.

    During mediation, you have the option to raise the issues you've mentioned. However, the likely effectiveness of this approach will best be determined by you. More information on mediation can be found in here:

    Q: 12.13 Is mediation compulsory prior to appealing?

    If a resolution cannot be reached through mediation, I suggest you will need to seek assistance from the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) (FtT). I recommend referring to Chapter 12 of the Noddy Guide for further guidance.

    In situations like this, it is sometimes suggested that it may strengthen your case if your son continues to attend the private school when the matter comes before the FtT, provided there is relevant expert evidence supporting this placement. Additionally, if the Local Authority (LA) has recommended a maintained mainstream school for your son, it perhaps would be beneficial if they specify which school, if they haven't already.

    I trust this information is of assistance, and I eagerly await contributions from other participants.


    Sean Kennedy

    Sean Kennedy
    Talem Law