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Non-Maintained and Independent School Placements for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

School Placements for Children and Young People with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

General principles

  • Parents have the right to express a preference for a school when their child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan.   If the parent’s preference is a maintained school the local authority must name the school unless:
    • the school is unsuitable to the child's age, ability or aptitude or to his special educational needs, or
    • the attendance of the child at the school would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for the children with whom he would be educated or the efficient use of resources
  • The local authority may not name the school if it shows that there are no reasonable steps that it could take to prevent the incompatibility.

Public expenditure

  • The local authority has regard to the general principle that pupils are educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents, ensuring that their wishes are compatible with the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure
  • If a parent has a preference for a non-maintained or independent special school the local authority cannot name them in the Statement or EHC Plan unless the school’s principal has been consulted and offered a place
  • The parent’s preferred school should be named if there is no significant cost differential between the placement at the parent’s preferred school and the local authority’s nominated school
  • The local authority can refuse to name a non-maintained and independent special school even if the school has offered a place if it involves significantly more funding than a different school placement that the local authority identifies and considers can meet the child's need

List of Non Maintained and Independent Special Schools

Attached to this page is a list of the Non Maintained and Independent Special Schools available across the country.

There is also a link to the list of independent educational institutions, independent special schools and post-16 institutions that have been approved by the Secretary of State under Section 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014, with some further details as to what this means.