Phase transfer - negative consultation mainstream

Our preferred mainstream has responded to say unsuitable due to aptitude, ability. The reasons they have provided are nothing that can’t be overcome and would be applicable to the school the LA have named too although their school responded to say “may” be able to meet need. What I’m struggling to understand looking at sections 33 & 39 is how parental preference & mainstream school being made suitable doesn’t support our choice for a particular mainstream.


28 Feb 2024

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A: SenseCheck

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  • 29 Feb 2024
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    Can't answer yes or no.:

    I appreciate your question, as it allows me to explore a topic that is often misunderstood. It can be frustrating how frequently this area is misconstrued.

    One exception to this confusion is the Noddy Guide, which I'm pleased to acknowledge as an excellent resource in this regard. However, your question indicates a clear understanding of the relevant legal framework on your part.

    You have the right to request mainstream education unless the presence of your child (or young person) is incompatible with the provision of efficient education for others (they are educated with), and no reasonable steps can be taken to eliminate this incompatibility. Both cost and suitability are not determining factors. If a school is deemed unsuitable, and the incompatibility factor in relation to other children does not exist, it can be made suitable by implementing the necessary special educational provision, requiring amendments to be made to section F of your childs EHCp.

    When there is more than one mainstream school considered appropriate for the child (or young person), a list of candidate schools is created by yourself and the Local Authority. The Local Authority (or the Tribunal in its place) then decides which school should appear in section I. When choosing from the list of candidate schools, placement costs are not a factor, but transport costs are. Furthermore, in accordance with s 9 The Education Act 1996 (if a school for a child), consideration must be given to your parental preference, subject to the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure. It follows that you should work on creating a list of reasons why you would prefer your child to attend your preferred school rather than another from the list of candidate schools.

    I trust this explanation proves helpful. Feel free to ask any supplementary questions, and I will do my best to provide answers if possible.

    Best wishes,

    Sean Kennedy.


    Sean Kennedy

    Sean Kennedy
    Talem Law