Securing Post-16 Education - Young People With SEN/EHCPs


What Can Young People with SEN/EHCPs Do If They Don't Get The GCSE Results They Expected?

The Law Of... securing the right type of post-16 education

Many young people across the UK will be receiving their GCSE results today. Whilst some will be preparing to take the next step in their education, unfortunately, this day might be disappointing for those who did not perform as well as they wanted to and, in particular, those who may not have obtained the grades needed to study their post-16 course of choice.

Many young people across the UK will be receiving their GCSE results today

Samantha Hale, Associate Solicitor in Education and Community Care, discusses what steps young people with Statements of SEN and Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP), or their parents, can take if they're unhappy with their GCSE results.

What can a young person, or their parents, do if they are not happy with their GCSE grades?

The young person or their parents can contact their school and make an enquiry about the results. If you are not happy with the results of that process, you can submit an appeal to Ofqual.

Further information on exam appeals and these processes can be found here.

My child wants to attend their school's 6th form, but they have been told that they aren't allowed to attend as they did not obtain the GCSE grades required by the admissions policy. Can their school do this?

If a Statement of SEN or EHCP names the school that your child should attend for their post-16 education, then the normal admission policy does not apply.

This means that if there is a requirement to obtain a certain number of GCSEs at a certain grade it will not apply to the young person. Unless the Statement of SEN or EHCP is amended to name a different education placement, the school has a legal duty to allow the young person to attend.

If the school refuses to allow your child to attend, we recommend that you urgently seek legal advice.

My child has a Statement of SEN/EHCP that names a type of placement, rather than a specific one, and the school of their choice is refusing to admit them – what can we do?

Although there isn't a legal obligation for a specific school to admit the young person, the Local Authority still has a legal duty to ensure that the placement given to a young person for September 2016 matches the type of placement named in the Statement of SEN/EHCP.

Unfortunately, this does not stop the young person’s preferred placement refusing to admit them if they didn't get the GCSE results set out in their admissions policy. However, it is unlawful for a school or college to discriminate against a young person who has a disability, and often young people with special educational needs will, for the purpose of discrimination law, be considered to be a disabled person.

As part of an education establishment’s duty not to discriminate against disabled people, schools and colleges have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments to policies, including admission policies. Therefore, if admission is refused on the basis of the student not getting the grades needed to be accepted, we can assess your case and let you know whether legal action can be taken.

I have/my child has a Statement of SEN/EHCP, but this does not name a type of placement or a specific placement for post-16 education – what can I/we do about this?

If a young person will be transferring to post-16 education in September 2016, their Statement of SEN/ EHCP must have been amended by your Local Authority before then, naming the type or specific placement that they should attend.

If this has not been done, your Local Authority has acted unlawfully and we can advise you on what you need to do to ensure that your child receives, or you are given, the right type of educational provisions.

News Archive

Get In Touch