If young people don’t meet the entry requirements for their chosen course or change their minds about what they want do after 31 March, the Local Authority should review the EHC plan as soon as possible to ensure alternative options are agreed and new arrangements are in place as far in advance of the start date as practicable.
Naming a Placement
Where a young person authorises his/her parents to act on his/her behalf, the Local Authority must deal with the parents although they are still required to take the young person’s own views into account. For young people who lack mental capacity, unless the Local Authority acts as corporate parent, the decision about where the young person will attend will be down to the parents.
The Local Authority must name the school or college requested unless:
- It’s unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or Special Educational Needs (SEN) of the child or young person concerned or
- The attendance of the child or young person at the requested school or other institution would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for others, or the efficient use of resources.
These are the only reasons why a place can be refused. It’s for the Local Authority to prove one of these exceptions apply, rather than the parents having to prove the opposite. There is no provision in law for an institution to turn down a young person on the grounds that it’s full unless the Local Authority can also demonstrate that admitting additional children or young people would prevent the efficient education of others.
Appealing and EHCP
Should the Local Authority not name the school that the young person’s parents want, then they will have a right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal. An appeal must be made within two months of the date of the decision letter that accompanies the final EHC plan or within 30 days of a mediation certificate, whichever is later. For more information, see How to Appeal an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan.