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Consideration of Specialist Settings

The Secretary of State has published a list of approved independent special institutions: Independent Special Schools – England and Wales and Special Post-16 institutions.  Institutions on the approved list are published on at:

Luton is a highly inclusive authority and the vast majority of children and young people are successfully educated in their local maintained mainstream or special schools.

There may be times however when the school place, despite the best endeavours of the school, begins to break down.  The child or young person may be at risk of exclusion or have special educational needs that are so complex that they cannot be met by the school even with the support of a statement or an Education, Health and Care plan. 

In these cases there is a detailed process and policy to support the child and ensure they are given the best opportunity to develop and meet their potential.  This can include a review of their Statement or Education, Health & Care plan, extra support for the existing school, short periods in a different setting, or moving to an Alternative Learning Provider. 

In a very few cases, the Local Authority might decide that a child or young person’s special educational needs cannot be met locally within the wide range of local provision available.  Sometimes this decision is made solely on educational grounds, because the child’s special educational needs are too great to be met in a local maintained mainstream or maintained special school. In other circumstances, there will be a multiagency decision around placement that also takes into account whether the child or young person’s health or social care needs can be met locally.

Parents are entitled to make representations to the Local Authority in order to request placement in an independent special school. The Local Authority has to consider the parental request but is not under a duty to agree the request if the school is unable to meet the child’s special educational needs or if the proposed placement would be incompatible with the efficient education of the other children learning there, or if there is a local alternative which means that the placement proposed by parents would be considered by the Local Authority to be an unreasonable public expense.

Please read the attached document for full details of the process.  If you have any questions you can contact the Special Educational Needs Assessment Team. 


Download: Consideration of Specialist Settings Process

Who to contact

Contact Name
Special Educational Needs Assessment Team

Last updated 17/11/2020