Some local authorities (LAs) use a list of certain schools which they will consult with when a parent or young person requests that a special school is named in section I of the EHC Plan.

However, when a parent or young person makes a request for any of the schools or institutions listed in section 38(3) of the Children and Families Act (CFA) 2014, the LA must consult the school or institution (this is set out in section 39(2) CFA 2014). You can read more about requesting a section 38(3) CFA 2014 setting on our website. Your LA can’t refuse to consult on the basis that the school or institution is not on its procurement list. 

It is also worth remembering the overall time limits for the EHC plan process. Your LA must issue the finalised EHC plan within 20 weeks of the initial request for the EHC needs assessment. Delaying any consultation with the requested school will potentially mean that your LA misses this time limit. It will not be lawful for your LA to extend this time limit because it has not made a decision about something in the EHC plan (including what school should be named).

If your LA refuses to consult a school or institution you have made a request for under section 38(3) CFA 2014, you can take action.