‘Nowhere that fits’ – exploring the issues around parental choice and school placement for students with a Statement of Special Educational Needs in England

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsOral presentationResearch


Giving parents a choice with regard to their children’s education has been central to the political discourse of school reform at least since the 1988 Education Reform Act (ERA) (DfE, 1988). With regard to children with a statement of special educational needs (SSEN), a plethora of policies and laws (e.g. ERA, 1988; Education Act, 1996, SENDA, 2001) have given parents not only the right to choose a school, but also to appeal to decisions in the best interest of their children. Yet, despite the discourse the implementation and practice of such reforms are neither assured nor simple. Participants in the study indicated that they have little choice of suitable provision and are having to compromise either the academic or the social aspects of their child’s schooling. This paper argues that for many parents whose children have a statement of SEN the choice of a school is often a dilemma as nowhere seems to fit.
Period1 Apr 2012
Event titleAmerican Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting : Non Satis Scire : To Know Is Not Enough
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • inclusion
  • parents
  • school choice
  • special educational needs