Lack of Placements

What happens if there are no school placements available?

If the EHCP is completed and each school contacted notify the LEA that they are unable to meet the child’s needs.  There are a number of options available:


EOTAS stands for “Education Other Than At School” and refers to educational provision for children and young people who are unable to attend mainstream school for a variety of reasons, including emotional-based school refusal, long-term illness or exclusion.

EOTAS can provide alternative educational provision such as home-based tuition, online learning, and alternative provision centres.

EOTAS can be used to support young people with a wide range of needs, including those with special educational needs, disabilities, and emotional needs. The educational provision should be tailored to the individual’s needs, and should take into account their age, stage of development, and any additional needs they may have.

The goal of EOTAS is to provide young people with a flexible and responsive education that meets their needs, and enables them to re-engage with learning and return to education wherever possible. This may include working with other agencies such as social care, health and mental health services, to provide a comprehensive package of support.

It’s worth noting that EOTAS is not a permanent solution, but a temporary measure to help children and young people who are not able to attend school to receive an education that meets their needs.


If a school refuses to admit a child based on an EHCP, the parents have the right to appeal to the Local Authority (LA) who is responsible for maintaining the EHCP.

The first step would be to request a meeting with the school and the LA to discuss the reasons for the refusal and to try and find a solution that would be suitable for the child and the school.

If the parents are not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, they can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST). The SENDIST is an independent body that hears appeals from parents and young people who are not happy with the special educational provision made for them.

It’s important to note that before appealing to the SENDIST, the parents should contact the LA and request mediation. Mediation is a process where an independent person helps the parties to reach an agreement and avoid the need for an appeal.

During the appeal process, the SENDIST will consider the evidence presented by both parties and will make a decision based on what is in the best interests of the child. The decision of the SENDIST is legally binding and both the school and the LA must follow it.

It’s important to remember that the process of appealing can be time-consuming and stressful.

What are the steps involved in appealing to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST)?

The steps involved in appealing to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) in the UK are as follows:

  1. Request a mediation meeting: Before making an appeal, you can request a mediation meeting to try to resolve the dispute informally. Mediation is a voluntary process that is designed to help you reach an agreement without going to a tribunal hearing.
  2. Submit an appeal: If the dispute cannot be resolved through mediation, you can submit an appeal to the SENDIST. This can be done online, or by post. The appeal must be made within two months of the decision you are challenging.
  3. Provide evidence: You will need to provide evidence to support your case. This can include reports from professionals, school records, and any other relevant documents.
  4. Attend a hearing: A hearing will be held to consider your appeal. You will have the opportunity to present your case, call witnesses, and question evidence.
  5. Receive a decision: The tribunal will make a decision on your appeal, which will be sent to you in writing. The decision is binding on both parties and can be appealed only on a point of law.

It is important to note that appealing to the SENDIST can be a complex process and it may be helpful to seek support from a legal representative or advocacy service.