10.02 Can an LA just cease to maintain (i.e. terminate) an EHCP?

Noddy 'no-nonsense' Guide

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

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  • 14 Feb 2022
  • No


    No. The LA may cease to maintain a plan only where (1) it is no longer responsible for the child or young person or (2) it is no longer necessary for the plan to be maintained: CFA2014 s45(1).

    See also COP2015 #9.199-9.210.

    No additional considerations (other than the CFA2014 s45(3) obligation to have regard to whether the educational or training outcomes specified in the plan have been achieved) come into play simply because the young person is no longer of compulsory school age and may indeed be over 19. In particular, the continuing need for an EHCP is not premised on (for example) any particular expectation of progress let alone any requirement that the young person is expected to gain qualifications (More: Does the LA have a duty to make provision under an EHCP for a young person up to the age of 25 even where they may not obtain further qualifications?). 

    The issue of ceasing to maintain was explained in B & M v Cheshire East Council [2018] UKUT 232 (AAC) #85, #91. In particular: 

    Achievement of outcomes may indicate that a young person no longer requires SEP specified in a plan, however it does not follow from CFA2014 s45(3) that, where “outcomes” have been achieved it is no longer necessary to maintain the EHCP. Whether it is no longer necessary depends on a range of considerations “including for example the young person’s educational and training aspirations, the reasons why outcomes were achieved and whether the young person’s special educational needs profile has altered as s/he has matured.”

    There is an “affinity” between the test for ceasing to maintain and the test for deciding whether an EHCP should be prepared and maintained, and therefore in deciding whether to cease the LA should consider whether a young person would meet the test for preparing and maintaining a LA in the first place.

    It therefore appears (in the Noddy Guide’s view) that a lawful cessation decision needs up to date information on what provision the young person requires (including in the context of considering whether revised “outcomes” are needed), whether it is (special) educational provision, and if so whether that SEP could and would be provided without the LA continuing. 

    [new November 2022] When considering whether to cease to maintain, it is relevant to consider educational difficulties which would occur if a CYP is required to move placement: AB v Newport CC [2022] UKUT 190 (AAC) #84.

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    Noddy 'no-nonsense' Guide

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