Most children and young people with an EHCP can successfully attend a mainstream school. Parents and Carers have the right to express a preference over which school their child or young person should attend if they have an EHCP.
Very occasionally, a child is placed in a mainstream school or special education establishment not in the local authority area. These establishments may be run by another local authority or may be independent. Some are also residential.
Independent schools are a very expensive option for the local authority and though parents and carers preference for an education place will always be considered, the local authority must ensure that they fully consider whether your child or young persons needs could be met in a Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole education establishment.
In coming to this conclusion, the local authority must comply with one of your preferences unless the school is not suitable for the child or young persons special educational needs, the school cannot make the provision set out in the EHCP or the placement at your preferred school would be contrary to the efficient use of public money (please see SEND Code of Practice paragraph 9.79).
The national Approved Section 41 List of the Children and Families Act 2014 allows the Secretary of State, by order, to publish a list of approved independent education institutions, independent special schools and post-16 institutions for the purposes of satisfying Section 38 (Preparation of an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan by local authorities) of the Act. Institutions can only be included on the list with their consent.
Only schools included in this list can be named in EHCPs.