04.03 Can the LA or FTT look only at what the child or young person requires now for the purposes of EHCPs?

Noddy 'no-nonsense' Guide

Noddy 'no-nonsense' Guide
Authors: David Wolfe QC, Leon Glenister
14 Feb 2022

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A: SenseCheck

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  • 14 Feb 2022
  • No


    No. “EHC Plans should be forward looking – for example, anticipating, planning and commissioning for important transition points in a child or young person’s life, including planning and preparing for their transition to adult life”: COP2015 #9.61.

    If the CYP is beyond year 9, the EHCP must include within the SEP, HCP and SCP specified, provision to assist the child or young person in preparation for adulthood and independent living: 2014Regs r12(3). At Year 9 “at the latest” local authorities should start to plan successful transition to adulthood: Guidance19-25

    Where a CYP has an EHCP, whilst that is subject to an annualreview, the LA/FTT will consider not just the short-term needs of a child: see, for example, Wilkin & Goldthorpe v Coventry CC [1998] ELR 345, where there was an error in only looking at the one term the child had at primary school and not at what would happen at secondary school too. 

    See further LS v Oxfordshire CC [2013] UKUT 135 (AAC)#48, in relation to whether the FTT should have known about academisation of a school which may have a bearing on delivery of SEP: “A statement of SEN is a ’living instrument’. It is as much – if not more so – a forward-looking rather than a historic document. In that context, it was important for the FTT to be informed of the impending change in the school’s status”.

    This principle applies to the question of whether to assess or not: Buckinghamshire v HW [2013] UKUT 470 (AAC) #20.

    When looking at placement, the ongoing costs of a placement should be considered, for example in Southampton CC v G [2002] EWHC 1516, it was found to be an error of law not to look at the cost of the whole GCSE course.

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    Noddy 'no-nonsense' Guide

    Noddy 'no-nonsense' Guide
    Authors: David Wolfe QC, Leon Glenister