Best Practice

School admissions and exceptional SEND cases

Sometimes schools are compelled to admit pupils with exceptional SEND that they cannot meet because the local authority insists on the placement. Nabil Dance outlines how schools can respond in these difficult and often sensitive circumstances

According to national statistics published by the Department for Education, the number of pupils with an Educational, Health, and Care Plan (EHCP) increased by 50% between 2016 and 2022 (DfE, 2022).

Primary schools across the country have likely felt the impact of this rise. This article will, therefore, focus on those exceptional cases where the child has an EHCP, but the school cannot meet their needs and/or simply cannot withstand the resource implications.

In my experience, schools admit the majority of pupils, including those with challenging needs, and schools employ a range of strategies to ensure that the system eventually copes.

However, evidently each school has its limit, and these cases are the inspiration for this particular article.

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