Section 43 – Placing requests: extent of education authority’s duty
88.The statutory placing request regime contained in sections 28A to 28G of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 enables a person to make a written request to an authority to place his child at a particular school. That request must be granted unless one of a number of specified grounds of refusal apply. Section 43(1) and (2) of the Act makes it clear that a placing request may not be made for entry to a particular nursery school or class. By virtue of subsection (4), this limitation on the scope of the placing request regime does not apply where a child has a record of special educational needs.
89.In general terms, education authorities will be expected to take some account of parental preferences in the way in which they discharge their duty under section 1(1) and (1A) of the 1980 Act to secure adequate and efficient provision of pre-school education. That may be either at their own hand or in partnership with other providers. In discharging this duty, authorities will continue to be bound by section 28 of the 1980 Act, which requires them to have regard to the general principle that, “so far as compatible with the provision of suitable instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure, pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents.”