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Winners Best Local Offer 2022

Winners of the National Association of Family Information Service (NAFIS) Coram Family and Childcare award for Best Local Offer 2022, voted by parent champions.

Education and SEND

SEND and rights to a mainstream education

All children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have the right to a mainstream education.

This is made clear in the SEND Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years.

The law says:

  • if a parent or carer wants their child with SEND to go to a mainstream school or college, the council can only refuse if this would have a negative impact on the efficient education of others, and there are no reasonable steps the council can take to avoid this – the same applies to young people with SEND who want to go to a mainstream school or college (section 33, Children and Families Act, 2014)
  • the degree or complexity of a child or young person’s SEND, and the suitability of a mainstream education, is not a legal reason to refuse a mainstream education – this also applies to taking mainstream courses
  • the council cannot send a child or young person to a special school if this is not what parents, carers or the young person wants – this is true even if the view of the council is supported by professionals

While children and young people with SEND have a right to a mainstream education, they do not necessarily have a right to attend a particular mainstream school.

The right to a mainstream education applies to all children and young people with SEND, whether or not that have an education, health and care (EHC) plan.