Whose responsibility is it to source a new school?

When a child is having their statement transferred to an EHCP, whose responsibility is it to source the next educational setting if the young person is moving on? Is it the LA's, parents' or school's?

Marguerit replies

Marguerite says:

Law:

The Children's and Families Act: Section 38: the right to request a particular school or other institution is  named in an EHC Plan. Section 39 the duty on the LA to name the school/institution requested by
the parent or young person.

Regulations:

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 (“the SEN Regs”)

SEN Reg 13 (b)- the LA duty to advise about where parents and young people can find information about the schools and colleges that are available for the child or young person to attend.

Guidance:

The SEN and Disability Code of Practice 2015:

Chapter 9: Paragraphs 9.77 to 9.87 deal with the draft plan and requesting a school/institution

An EHC Plan must name the type of school or other institution and in the majority of cases the
EHC Plan will name the particular school or other institution which the child or young person will attend
as well. The section of an EHC Plan which contains this information is Section I.

If a school or institution is named in Section I of an EHC Plan then the governing body, proprietor or principal of most types of school or other institution must admit the child or young person for whom the plan is maintained (section 43(2)).

The LA must allow the parent or young person to make a free choice when considering what type and name of school or institution to request.

The LA has a duty when issuing a draft plan to advise parents and young people about where they can find information about the schools and colleges that are available for the child or young person to attend (SEN Reg 13).

Often the LA may have a school or institution in mind before they draft an EHC plan but the starting point is the school or FE institution which the parent or the young person wants.

If the parent or young person wants a school or other institution which is listed in Section 38 (3) then the parent or young person will be able to make a request for it under the Act.

Section 38 (3):

A school or other institution is within this subsection if it is:

  1. a maintained school
  2. a maintained nursery school;
  3. an Academy;
  4. an institution within the further education sector in England;
  5. a non-maintained special school;
  6. an institution approved by the Secretary of State under section 41

You may also find further information here:

https://www.ipsea.org.uk/what-you-need-to-know/ehc-plans/choice-of-school-or-college