The Parallel Learning Trust’s admission responsibilities for special schools.

The Trust, as proprietor of Sutton House Academy must comply with its SEN duties, these are set out in legislation and in the SEND Code of Practice.

Where a local authority has carried out a statutory assessment and decided to issue an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), it will issue a draft plan to parents. Parents can request the local authority to name their preferred choice of school in their child’s EHCP. However, the final decision on the academy to be named rests with the local authority responsible for maintaining the plan.

Special schools and academies must comply when named in a child’s Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or statement, even if the child’s special need is not a type of SEN for which the school is designated. This is a requirement of section 43 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

In order for us to be named on your child’s EHC plan, Southend Education Authority must consult with us first. This means that they will serve a copy of the proposed plan to us so we have an opportunity to contribute to the process.

If we believe it is not appropriate for our academy to be named on your child’s EHC plan, we can seek to argue against being named for the following reasons:

  • the academy is not suitable for the child’s age, ability and aptitude and the special educational needs set out in the statement or EHCP
  • the child’s attendance is not compatible with the efficient education of other children in the academy
  • the placement is not an efficient use of the school’s resources.

However, irrespective of our viewpoint while being consulted, the final decision of whether to name the academy rests with Southend. The academy cannot apply any other criteria to tie break between children named to the academy and admit one child but refuse another. We cannot refuse to comply with a statement or EHCP once named.

Southend may also place children without an EHCP of statement with us for a limited period of time in order to assess their needs. Such placements should not last for more than 20 weeks.

If the academy is named in an EHCP, Southend must fund the placement.