Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 does not apply to wholly independent schools or early years settings. This means the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2015 does not apply either.

This means that the requirements around SEN Support set out in this section do not apply. However, this does not mean the school or early years setting should not attempt to identify SEN and support children. The Equality Act 2010 does apply to all schools and education settings therefore reasonable adjustments must be made where necessary to avoid disability discrimination.

If your child has an EHC plan, it is the local authority’s duty to ensure the provision set out in the EHC plan is made. However, under section 42(5) of the Children and Families Act 2014, the LA do not need to do so if you have made “suitable alternative arrangements”. If the independent school is named in Section I of your child’s EHC plan, and there is no other suitable school which your child could attend, it is likely that the LA remains responsible for your child’s special educational provision and should be paying the fees. If the LA suggested that a different school should be named in the EHC plan, and you chose to send your child to an independent school and pay for it yourself, then this is likely to count as making suitable alternative arrangements, and so the LA have no further duties towards your child. If you are unsure of the situation, you should book an appointment to speak with us