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  • Can council name an out of area mainstream school instead of a local school if both can meet need?

    We visited a large number of local mainstream schools (including some suggested by SEN case worker) but didn't think any of them could meet the needs in the EHCP. Therefore we named a specialist school, and an out of area mainstream more experienced in supporting children with similar needs to our daughter. The LA consulted with an additional 4 schools which we / SEN case worker did not consider. We had been clear to our SEN Caseworker that our preference was for a mainstream school if they could meet all of the needs in the EHCP, but that we had not found one locally.

    LA named the out of area mainstream due to 'parental preference', and are therefore saying they won't provide transport as they could have named a local school.

    What are the scenarios where LA can name a school that was not listed in parental preference? Can LA account for broader information by provided by the parents, not just the actual listed schools?