SEND Review Green Paper and consultation: Naming a school on an EHC plan

3 mins read

Friday 1 July 2022

Tags: SEND review, SEND Green Paper, SEND Review and government consultation

We’ve been taking a more detailed look at the government’s proposals outlined in the SEND Review Green Paper to make it easier for you to tell the government what you think about its ideas and respond to its public consultation, Right support, right place, right time.

So far we’ve looked at the Green Papers proposals for creating a new set of national standards for SEND provision and what components of the Education Health and Care (EHC) plan they should consider reviewing or amending.

This week we look at perhaps one of the most controversial proposals in the Green Paper about naming a school on your child’s Education Health and Care (EHC) plan.

Question 5 of the governments SEND Review Green Paper consultation asks: 

How can parents and local authorities most effectively work together to produce a tailored list of placements that is appropriate for their child, and gives parents confidence in the EHC plan process?

Under the Children and Families Act parents have the right to express a preference for certain types of school – all state-funded schools and some approved independent ones. The local authority must then name the preferred school in the EHC plan, provided that particular conditions are met. You can find out more about how it works at the moment on our Applying for a school page.

The Green Paper proposes that Local Authorities (LAs) will give parents a pre-defined list of schools that are suitable for their child. Parents will only be able to ask for a school from this list

When you respond to this question you might like to think about:

  • Whether it would be helpful to have a set shortlist of schools to help parents who don’t know where to start looking?
  • How could a list like this be drawn up? For example could the LA work with representative groups of parents to draw up lists for particular ages and conditions?
  • How could a list be tailored for an individual child. Should professionals be able to suggest schools? And how would parents have any input to this?
  • Could independent or out of area schools also be on the list?

And if you disagree with this proposal then you could explain why. For example, would limiting parental preference make it harder to obtain a suitable school for your child?

How to respond

The government has now opened a public consultation on the proposals set out in the green paper. You have until the 22 July to have your say by responding to the consultation.

Although there are 22 questions in the SEND Review green paper consultation, you can respond to as many or as few of these as you like – so don’t worry if you can’t complete all 22 questions.

An alternative way to make your views on its plans known

If you’d prefer you can also respond to the government’s Green Paper consultation and tell them what you think about their plans for via the Disabled Children’s Partnership’s simplified version of the government’s consultation which consists of 6 simple questions. Your answers will be sent directly to the Department for Education and count as a response to their SEND Green Paper consultation.