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Advice for parents of children with SEN looking to appeal their child’s school placement

28th April 2016

Parents of children with SEN will now know whether their child has been given a place at their chosen school.

It is likely that they will have received notification via an Education Health and Care plan, which will detail the new school their child will be attending the following academic term.

With stiff competition for school places, it’s anticipated that some parents will be disappointed with the place allocated to their child, with many not securing their first choice of school.

“If the news is not what you hoped for, remember you still have options,” advises Janata. “The most important thing is to act early.” 

She added: “Parents of children with SEN who are disappointed by the place offered to their child need to appeal to the first tier tribunal or SEND tribunal as it is known.”

In Janata’s experience, parents will often pursue an appeal when they are concerned about the level of expertise the school offered can provide to their child. This is particularly of concern, if the named school doesn’t specialise in the condition that the child specifically has and requires assistance with. Many parents will also want to ensure that their child is learning with a peer group that faces the same learning challenges, so that they do not feel isolated.

If parents decide to pursue an appeal, Janata summarises below her initial advice:

  1. Parents must make sure they receive notification of their child’s new school.

  2. If this is not received, you must contact the local authority to make sure you are sent notification urgently.

  3. If you want to change the school place allocated to your child, you have two months to lodge an appeal.

  4. An appeal must be made to the first tier tribunal or SEND tribunal and not the local authority.

“By acting early, you will ensure that any appeal is reviewed and resolved before your child starts the new academic year. This will make sure that they are in the right school from the start of term, which will be in their best interest,” concludes Janata.  

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