Support for SEND in independent schools

The SEN Code of Practice does not apply to independent schools, other than independent special schools which are listed under section 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014.  This means that the provision for children with SEN can vary significantly between different non-special independent schools.  Sometimes certain independent schools will require additional funding from the fee payer in order to meet their child's special educational needs.  By electing to educate a child in a non-special independent school the child may not have access to other services which ordinarily would be available if they attended a maintained mainstream school, such as speech and language therapy, OT and other support services.

Independent schools are subject to disability discrimination legislation, including the Equality Act 2010.  As part of this independent schools are required to increase disabled pupils' access to facilities and to the school's curriculum by making reasonable adjustments.

Both parents and independent schools can request an EHC needs assessment but unless the independent school is listed under section 41 there is no duty on the LA to name this school in an EHCP.

View the Section 41 list (gov.uk)