Reply To: Consultation for child from PRU

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    hi, yes I think I can help. If you can get as much information from the PRU and previous school with behaviour logs, you can use Children and Families Act law:
    CaFA S39 sets only 2 lawful reasons for a setting to say that they cannot accept the child:

    “The local authority must secure that the EHC plan names the school or other institution specified in the request, unless subsection (4) applies.
    (4) This subsection applies where
    (a) the school or other institution requested is unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or special educational needs of the child or young person concerned, or
    (b) the attendance of the child or young person at the requested school or other institution would be incompatible with
    (i) the provision of efficient education for others, or
    (ii) the efficient use of resources.”

    But also the Code of Practice will help and I used this on an 8 page robust consultation response to a student with extremely high behaviour concerns:
    The SEND Code of Practice (2015) point 9.93:
    “There may be a range of reasons why it may not always be possible to take reasonable steps to prevent a mainstream place from being incompatible with the efficient education of others – for example, where the child or young person’s behaviour systematically, persistently or significantly threatens the safety and/or impedes the learning of others.”

    I picked apart every point in the EHCP, accompanying paperwork and any evidence and annotated each showing how these legal points were pertinent and, moreover how it was a huge safeguarding risk that I was not prepared to take in our school.

    I was told that the parents were very challenging and were determined their son would come to us and that if I refused they would take it straight to tribunal. However, my response stopped that. I backed up every point repeatedly quoting the legislation. I stated that it would be an inefficient use of public money in this final paragraph which you are welcome to use:

    In summary, we are a mainstream school which fully supports the principles of inclusion, but we must make choices that are reasonable in terms of public expenditure and ones which consider the position of other students. However, we also feel that in this case we are unable to give Student the support that he is used to and that he needs. Equally we would be unable to safeguard Student and the rest of our school with his admission here. We fear that Student will be permanently excluded from any mainstream school as even with reasonable adjustments his behaviours are not compatible with a mainstream environment or education.

    One final point? Is your school parental preference? You need that information. Even if it is though, the LA can’t place him with you if you have responded as above that you are unable to make best endeavours to put the right provision in place.

    Hope that helps – as SENCOs we now really have to be lawyers, and accountants as well as event managers and all the multitude of other hats we wear! If any of it doesn’t make sense, ask and I will try to help.