This article, written by Fiona Hallett, pathway leader for the inclusion and special educational needs masters programmes at Edge Hill University, Graham Hallett, senior lecturer for special educational needs and inclusion at the University of Cumbria, and Mary McAteer, programme leader for an M level professional development programme at Edge Hill University, presents the findings of an evaluative report on the review of residential provision at an identified community special school. Within this review, a consultation was undertaken with parents and pupils to assist in shaping policy and practice, and the main focus of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of that process. By using an evaluative case study approach, it was hoped to document the chronological narrative of the consultation process and offer recommendations as to the effectiveness of participation in this instance. The authors conclude that the qualitative features seen by pupils and parents as having the greatest value suggest a need for high quality, accessible social care, rather than for curricular led, educational residential provision. Fiona Hallett, Graham Hallett and Mary McAteer's critique of the consultation process raises issues relating to the complexities of eliciting a valid pupil perspective. In addition, the authors express concerns about the general conduct of the review regarding bias, validity and the absence of staff voice.