What if There is a School Place Available?
A school must usually offer a place when they receive a parents’ application regardless of whether the child does or doesn’t have any SEN. This requirement doesn’t apply if a child is over compulsory school age, and if they’ve had 2 or more permanent exclusions within the past 2 years and weren’t reinstated. If a school refuses a place on the basis of behaviour, you should seek advice as to whether this is lawful as the School Admissions Code has recently changed in relation to this.
What if There Aren’t Enough School Places to Meet Demand?
Schools will need to apply their over-subscription criteria to the applications for that school. If your child has specific medical or social needs that could relate to a SEN, it may have been possible to apply for a place under a school’s ‘medical and social needs’ criteria, if they have one (not all schools do). In doing so, it’s important that, by the time of your application, you’ve provided up-to-date evidence to show why the school you are requesting can meet those needs, and you may want to provide further evidence during the appeal process.
The Admissions Authority, when determining applications, will initially need to decide if they will allow a child to be given higher priority under this criterion (as long as their over-subscription criteria allows it). If they agree, then your application will be considered in line with the school’s other over-subscription criteria.
What to Do Next
If you’re a parent of a child who has SEN, either with or without an EHC Plan, and are unhappy with their secondary school placement and you would like help on appealing this decision, then get in touch with our specialist Education Solicitors and Lawyers.