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Children with statements of special educational needs may have no legal right to attend academies


New reports have highlighted that in some areas children with statements of special educational needs and their families have fewer legal rights to be admitted to an academy than they do to maintained schools.

These concerns have been highlighted by reports in The Guardian today that Mossbourne academy in Hackney is refusing to admit an 11-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, arguing that it would compromise other children's education and that it already has a higher than average number of pupils with special needs.

Because academies are independent schools in law, the SEN and Disability Tribunal is questioning whether academies must be asked for their permission before they can be named on a statement of SEN. This would give academies the right to refuse children with statements.

CDC's network the Special Educational Consortium (SEC) has released a statement stating it is unacceptable that academies can treat children with special educational needs differently from other schools.  Both SEC and the Every Disabled Child Matters Campaign are urging the Government to apply all SEN law directly to academies.