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Coronavirus and additional support for learning

Changes to placing requests

If you wanted your child to attend a school that is not the school your local authority has suggested, you may have made a placing request to a school of your choice. The law has changed to extend some of the normal timescales, giving your local authority more time to decide which school your child should attend while they respond to the coronavirus situation.

For more information on placing requests, for example the reasons why requests may be refused, see our factsheet on School placements.

If you wanted your child to start at the school at the beginning of the next school year in August, you would have needed to submit your placing request by 15 March 2020. Normally, you would have got a decision by 30 April, however the local authority was given more time to decide because of the coronavirus. They should have decided by no later than the 31 May.

If you still want your child to move to a different school, but you submitted your request after 15 March, the local authority now has three months to decide. If they can, they may still try to decide earlier than this.

If you have not had a decision about your placing request by the new extended timescales, the request is treated as being refused (sometimes called a ‘deemed refusal’).

One option is to accept the local authority’s decision and for your child to attend the school that the local authority has proposed. You can focus on working with the school to make sure your child will have the support they need.

You can also request mediation with the local authority to try and reach an agreement about the best way forward for your child. Find out more in our factsheet on Mediation.

If your placing request is refused, or you have not had a decision about your placing request by the new extended timescales, you also have the right to appeal the decision. You will normally appeal the decision to the local education appeal committee. In some cases, your appeal should go to the Additional Support Needs Tribunal. Page 12 of our factsheets on School placements explains where and when to make your appeal.

If you do submit an appeal, it may take longer than normal to get a date for your appeal to be heard and there may also be changes to how your appeal is heard. To find out more, see our pages on the changes to education appeal committees and the Additional Support Needs Tribunal.

If there have been delays to your appeal because of coronavirus and you need advice about your child’s placement for the term ahead, see our page ‘I’m worried about my child’s school placement'.

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