Landmark judicial review hands schools more power to challenge council SEND placements

Schools are in a stronger position to push back against councils that order them to take a pupil whose special educational needs they are unable to meet following a landmark judicial review.

The High Court has today ruled that Medway Council acted unlawfully when it changed the Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) of an autistic pupil so that a nearby mainstream primary school, which cannot be named for legal reasons, would have to admit him.

The school claimed the council “eviscerated” details from the boy’s EHCP,  including the need for a sensory room, after the school stated it was “unsuitable” for the placement.

Judge Philip Mott QC said Medway had “no proper basis for explaining and justifying its decision”.

The ruling said the deletions were “considerate and deliberate”, adding: “I am bound to conclude that Medway’s removal of so much, without any change in the evidence, was irrational and unlawful.”

You can read the full story here.

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