An Overview of Education Otherwise Than at School (EOTAS)

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EOTAS is the term used for pupils who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and it would be inappropriate for them to attend an educational institution (i.e. a school or college - a ‘school or post-16 institution or a place at which relevant early years education is provided’).

If a pupil is of college age, then the reference EOTAC can be used instead. For this article, EOTAS will be used with the view to cover both terms.

EOTAS (which must be agreed by the local authority) depends on consideration of the following (non-exhaustive) list:

  • the child’s background
  • the child’s needs
  • facilities that can be provided otherwise than at school
  • costs
  • parents’ wishes
  • any other particular circumstances that might apply

The common arrangement for pupils receiving EOTAS through an EHCP is usually at home or other learning setting. This may follow time out of school/college, with privately funded provision, such as tutoring, in place.

However, following NN v Cheshire East Council (SEN) [2021] UKUT 220 (AAC), it has been confirmed possible for pupils to have an EOTAS package that includes going to a school or college; the key point is that this attendance cannot be through a ‘standard classroom set-up’. The school or college would need to be named in Section I of the EHCP (where placement and type is named). Section F of the EHCP must detail the special educational provision that will be delivered both in and out of the school or college under the EOTAS package.

Whilst unlikely to be an appropriate option in many cases, sometimes certain therapy provision or social communication groups could be delivered at a school or college, for example.  Provision for social skills in particular can prove difficult to facilitate when being taught through an EOTAS package, because the child or young person is often educated alone.

Having relevant and supporting evidence is key to:

  1. getting EOTAS detailed in Section F of an EHCP, and (if appropriate);
  2. having part of this EOTAS package delivered through a ‘non-standard classroom set-up’

We recommend getting specialist legal advice if you are considering EOTAS, with or without provision delivered at a school or college.

The Boyes Turner Education Team can be contacted on 0118 467 6547 or via

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