#SENDReview Answer Consultation Question 5

Below is a form to help you answer the final question for the SEND Review consultation, Question 5. A good idea is to:

  • copy and paste the following prompts into the form below and add your answers under each one,
  • copy and paste them into a notes app or word doc to answer, then paste the whole lot into the form below
  • just scroll up to remind yourself of the tips

So here is Question 5, as stated on the Government website:

  1. How can parents and local authorities most effectively work together to produce a tailored list of placements that is appropriate for their child, and gives parents confidence in the EHCP process? (Chapter 2)

To help you answer this, you can read Catriona Moore's post on Question 5 here. We have also included tips from her post below.

What does this mean?

The SEND Review proposes to change the process for naming a school or college in a child or young person’s EHC plan choice from an open choice to one restricted to a "tailored list" of settings pre-approved by the local authority from its "local inclusion plan". It wants LAs to work with a child's parents on this shortlist. The Green Paper described this as expressing an "informed preference". The LA will then allocate the first available place in order of the parent’s or carer’s preference and this school will be named in the child’s EHCP.” This is a big change and more towards something similar to the Common Admissions Process that exists for children without an EHC plan.

At present, the law says a family has the right to request a particular school or college is named in the plan. This request can only be refused by a local authority in three specific, legally defined, evidence-based circumstances, paraphrased: if the setting is unsuitable, if it interferes with other children's education, or if it's an "inefficient" use of resources.

Placement, or Section I, is one of the biggest sources of disagreement, with the LA often defaulting to a mainstream setting, whether or not it's actually suitable.


  • This consultation question suggests that LAs should work with parents to agree on what options exist to meet a child’s needs. How could this work?
  • Would there be a power imbalance on who gets the final say for inclusion on and ranking the shortlist?
  • Who decides if a school is suitable?
  • Who is this change designed to benefit?
  • Does it put the child at the centre?
  • Do parents need the LA to help them make an "informed preference"?
    • If a parent lacks the knowledge of local schools, is it more likely that the LA will simply guide them to the cheapest provision, rather than the most suitable?
    • If a parent disagrees with the final shortlist or selection, would they then need to wait for a final plan to appeal?
  • If a particular setting isn't on the LA's 'local inclusion plan' is it excluded from being on the shortlist?
    • If this is the case, what if there are no suitable schools on the local inclusion plan?
  • Would the preference of Education Other Than At School (EOTAS) be included on the shortlist?
  • What do you think the implications could be for children with particular needs.
  • Think about how to avoid a situation where children have to adapt to what is available in their immediate area, rather than their needs being a starting point.
  • Is this an attempt to prevent parents from opting for expensive out-of-county provision?
  • Will this improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND?

Ready to answer Consultation Question 5?

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In the next few days, we'll add forms for more questions

Go back to the main SEND Review Resources page to see all the questions