ASL Myth: Parents of children with additional support needs cannot make a placing request to a school outside their own local authority area.

All parents have the right to express a preference for a particular school that they would like their child to attend. Young people (16 to 18 year olds) themselves also have this right. Parents of a child with additional support needs can make a placing request to any local authority run school in Scotland. This can be a mainstream school or a special school and it can be to a school in the family’s own local authority area or one run by another local authority.  A  placing request can also be made to any local authority nursery school or partnership nursery (where there is an arrangement between this nursery and the local authority to provide pre – school education).

Parents can also make a placing request for their child to attend an independent special school or grant aided special school in Scotland, or a school in England, Wales or Northern Ireland that caters wholly, or mainly, for children with additional support needs.

If the chosen school is run by a Scottish local authority, the placing request would be made to the education authority running that school. The request should be in a permanent form and include reasons. Many education authorities have specific placing request forms that are often available from their websites.

If the placing request is to a school not run by a local authority, i.e. an independent or grant-aided special school, the managers of the school must first confirm that they are willing to offer the child, or young person, a place. Then the placing request is submitted to the education authority where the family live.

It is worth noting that if the placing request is successful, the council may be willing to help with transport but they do not have to by law.  It may be worth checking this before making a placing request as a parent must ensure their child attends school regularly.

For further information please see Enquire factsheet 3  – Placing requests and  The parents’ guide to additional support for learning.

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