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Schools: Admissions

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL5982, tabled on 28 February 2023

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the cost to families of seeking a special school place through the court system.

Answered on

14 March 2023

It is free for families to appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Tribunal when seeking a special school place or a local council decision not to grant an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

Throughout the SEND and Alternative Provision (AP) Green Paper consultation, families told the department how stressful and lengthy the Tribunal process can be. The SEND and AP Improvement Plan, published on 2 March 2023, sets out the response to the consultation feedback the department received and the next steps we will take in delivering vital reform for children and young people.

This includes our intention for a new national SEND and AP system, underpinned by national standards, to improve early identification of needs and set clear expectations for the types of evidence-based support that should be available in mainstream settings. Our objective is to ensure that all children's additional needs are met effectively and quickly within affordable provision, reducing the need for an EHC plan and, where an EHC plan is needed, to ensure that parents do not endure lengthy and adversarial processes to secure one.