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  • We have been asked... Can a Local Authority name a school on an EHCP without the agreement of the child’s parents, and ignore the parent’s ...

    ... requested school completely? The LA is claiming the family will have to go to appeal to secure their preferred school.

    To provide some additional context, the parent has provided the LA with a list of schools they wish for the LA to consult with. It is not clear what type/s of school the parent has listed.

    The LA have responded to say they will be listing their own schools for consultation. It is not clear if this is in addition to or instead of the schools the parent listed. The LA re relying on paragraph 9.84 of the SEND COP, which concerns non-maintained / independent education providers.

    The parent has been told by the LA:
    1. You have the right to list the schools that you want for the consultation process
    2. During this consultation process of 15 days, we are going to consult our schools in the borough which are not the ones you have listed because of paragraph 9.84
    3. If our schools say yes to accepting your child or there are no spaces, we can go over the limit from 15 to 17, or even if it’s not the best school for your child as long as the setting can meet your child’s needs we will consult them, your permission is not required at this stage
    4. We will take this to panel and present our schools, you can appeal after we have listed a school for your child

    Is the LA correct? Can you explain the law around the right to name a parental preference and the consultation process, as found in sections 33 and 39 CFA 2014, and from section 9.78 – 9.84 SEND COP?

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    23 Feb 2023