Challenging the placement of a pupil with SEND: guidance and checklist

There will be times when you can't meet the needs of a pupil with an education, health and care (EHC) plan. Understand your requirements and use our checklist to help you make the best case to your LA if you want to challenge a pupil's placement at your school.

Last reviewed on 4 July 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 4060
  1. You must admit a pupil if your school is named on their EHC plan
  2. You can contest the placement ...
  3. ... but not on the grounds of funding constraints
  4. Download our checklist to help you state your case
  5. If a pupil at your school has been awarded an EHC plan and now you can’t meet their needs
  6. Unsuccessful in contesting the placement? Consider these options

You must admit a pupil if your school is named on their EHC plan

This applies to all maintained schools, and academies are required to comply under the terms of their funding agreement (pages 4 and 10 of the school admissions code).

You must admit the pupil without delay, even if you have raised a complaint about admitting them with the secretary of state.

You can contest the placement ...

Parents/carers of children with EHC plans have the right to request a specific school in the plan.  

You have to comply with the request unless:

  • It’s unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or special educational needs (SEN) of the child, or
  • The attendance of the child would be incompatible with the efficient education of others, or the efficient use of resources

Your local authority (LA) will inform you of its intentions and send you

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