Frequently asked questions

Choosing a nursery/school/college

Choosing a nursery/school/college

Every Local Authority has a statutory duty to publish a Local Offer. In the Code of Practice it states that:

4.32. The Local Authority must set out in its Local Offer an authority-wide description of the special educational and training provision it expects to be available in its area and outside its area for children and young people in its area who have SEN or disabilities from providers of relevant early years education, maintained schools, non-maintained special schools, pupil referral units, independent institutions approved under section 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014, and the full range of post-16 providers.


The child or young person's parent/carer (or the young person themselves) has the right to request a particular school, college or other institution of the following type to be named in their EHC plan:

  • maintained nursery school
  • maintained school and any form of academy or free school (mainstream or special)
  • non-maintained special school
  • further education or sixth form college
  • independent school or independent specialist colleges (where they have been approved for this purpose by the Secretary of State and published in a list available to all parents and young people)

If a child or young person's parent/carer (or a young person themself) makes a request for a particular nursery, school or post-16 institution in these groups the Local Authority must comply with that preference and name the school or college in the EHC plan unless:

  • it would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEND 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

Please note that when stating a preference, we will consider your wishes carefully before a final decision is made, but if there is a suitable place at a maintained, academy or free school, the LA has no legal duty to fund a place for your child or young person at a non-maintained or independent school.