You have the conditional right to ask that:

  • a maintained school or nursery (mainstream or special)
  • an Academy (mainstream or special)
  • an institution in the Further Education sector
  • a non-maintained special school, or
  • a section 41 school,

is named in your child’s EHC plan. Your local authority (LA) can only refuse this request if there is a lawful reason to do so. These reasons are:

  1. the setting is unsuitable for the age, aptitude, ability or special educational needs of your child, or
  2. your child’s attendance there would be incompatible with the:
  •  efficient education of others, or
  •       efficient use of resources.

You can learn more about these reasons on our choosing a school/ college pages, and find these reasons in section 39(4) of the Children and Families Act 2014. In an appeal, if the LA says it has not, and will not, name the setting you requested for one of these reasons, you should use evidence to show the LA and SEND Tribunal why the reason does not apply.

If your LA decides that one of these reasons applies, then it must name an appropriate setting and type, or simply an appropriate type of setting, in the EHC plan. This is a legal requirement found in section 39(5) of the Children and Families Act 2014.

Therefore if you wish to appeal the naming of the LA’s choice of school, you will want to show with evidence why that setting or the type is not appropriate for your child. When challenging the LA's choice of school, your arguments should not focus on whether attendance at the LA's choice would be an inefficient use of resources or education of others for example because the above reasons do not apply to the LA's choice. You will want to demonstrate why that setting is not appropriate, for example by highlighting evidence from its prospectus and SEN information report that show that it would not be an appropriate setting, and why.

This means, in this type of appeal you may be making two arguments:

  1. that your choice of setting should be named in the EHC plan because no lawful reason for refusing it applies and
  2. the LA's choice of setting is inappropriate anyway.

If the school or college you would like named is wholly independent (in other words, its not one of the types in listed above), please see our information on asking for an independent nursery school or college.

For more information on appeals about the school or other setting named in an EHC plan, see our downloadable fact sheet.