Last updated:

24th November 2023

Children with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs)

When you return your draft plan you will also be asked which school you would like your child to attend. You can request any of the following: 

  • Maintained nursery school or maintained school
  • Academy or free school
  • Non-maintained special school
  • Further education or 6th form college
  • An institution approved under section 41

In many cases your child will be able to continue in their local mainstream school. You have a strong right to mainstream education if that is what you wish, unless that is incompatible with the provision of the efficient education of others. But the Local Authority must be able to demonstrate that there are no reasonable steps that it, or the school could take to prevent that incompatibility. 

Section 41 includes some independent special schools, but many independents are not on this list. You can still make representations for these, but the law is slightly different. 

The Local Authority must agree with your request unless:

  • It would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEN of the child or young person, or 
  • The attendance of the child or young person there would be incompatible with the efficient education of others, or the efficient use of resources 

SEND Code of practice 9.79 

Independent schools

  • You can make representations rather than requests.
  • An independent school can decide whether or not to take your child.
  • The Local Authority must consider your request. The school would have to; 
    • Be suitable for your child's age and ability
    • Not result in unreasonable public expenditure 

The Local Authority will consider schools in the following order 

  • Can your local mainstream school meet the needs?

  • Would a resource unit be appropriate? 
  • Can one of Wokingham’s special schools meet needs? 
  • Are any of the neighbouring local authorities’ special schools suitable? 
  • What is available in the independent sector locally?

The Local Authority will be keen to keep your child in the closest suitable provision. This reduces transport costs and keeps them within their community. 

If you request a school which is not your nearest suitable school you will become eligible for transport costs.