Education, Health and Care Plans:

By Zach Esdaile 2 years ago

When the local authority is of the view that a child requires a Plan it must send a draft Plan and give the parents fifteen days to make representations with regard to which particular school that they would like their child to attend.

Once the authority obtains the views of the parents it must finalize the Plan giving a right to the parents to appeal to the Tribunal.
The form and content of the health and care Plan is critical. If drafted correctly it can provide a child with an absolute right to provision. This means that very careful attention must be played to the way that a Plan is drafted. There are twelve sections of a Plan which are as follows:
• Section A: Parents’/child’s views.
• Section B: Child or young person’s SEN.
• Section C: Health needs relating to their SEN.
• Section D: Social care needs relating to their SEN.
• Section E: Outcomes.
• Section F: SEN provision.
• Section G: Health provision.
• Section H1: Social care provision resulting from Section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Person’s Act 1970.
• Section H2: Social care provision reasonably required.
• Section I: Educational placement.
• Section J: Personal budget.
• Section K: Appendices and advice/information separately identified.

The drafting of Section B, F and I , are all important. Section B records a child’s special educational needs. Section F sets out all the provision that a child requires and Section I records the type of placement. These areas are the educational elements of the Plan and are within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal 

Section B 

What is its purpose?  

A complete diagnosis of all a child’s needs. Section B should contain all of a child’s special educational needs and a description as to how their special educational needs impacts on their learning. A Plan is written on a cascade basis. Sections B, F and I are interlinked.  

• Section B should contain all of a child’s special needs.

• Section F should provide all the provision that is required to meet those needs and

• Section I should record a school placement which is able to provide all the provision in Section F.  

How should it be drafted?

The problem is that if a Plan does not specify all of a child’s needs it is unlikely to record the provision required to meet those needs and may not record a placement in Section I which can meet all of a child’s needs.  

A non-exhaustive list of special needs are as follows:
• Speech and language needs

• Social communication difficulties

• Gross and fine motor difficulties

• Sensory needs

• Any diagnosis of a particular disorder such as an autistic spectrum condition and how that condition/disorder may impact upon a child’s learning

• Any physical difficulty which would inhibit a child accessing education

• Any specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia.

Section F

What is its purpose?  

To list all the specialist provision a child requires As described above, the local authority are under an absolute duty to provide all the educational provision set out in the Plan.
However, like a contract to make sure that the document is legally enforceable it must be drafted rigidly. It must be specific, detailed and quantified.  

How should it be drafted?

The Plan should set out what provision a child needs, the duration and frequency of the provision and the ability required of the experts to deliver the intervention.
Vague language should always be challenged.

When health or social care provision forms the role of educating a young person, it should also be included in Section F.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of provision which is commonly found within the Plan:

• Speech and language therapy provision

• Occupational therapy provision.

• Specialist teaching.

• Differentiated curriculum.

• Class size.

• Low arousal environment.

• If the child is to be educated outside of their year group.

• Waking day curriculum.

• Fifty-two week educational placement.  
Section I

What is its purpose?

It should provide a name and type of school placement. These details should not appear in any draft Plan. The idea is that parents have the right to make representations to the authority about the school which they seek to be named in the Plan (before a school is named by the local authority).  

How should it be drafted?

The school named must be able to meet albeit with local authority support all the provision specified in part F of the Plan. If a school is unable to meet all the provision specified in Section F it cannot be named in part I of the Plan.  

If the local authority placement cannot meet a child’s needs it can never be named lawfully in a Plan. In these circumstances, the parent’s proposed school should be named if it can meet all the child's needs

Secondly, even if the local authority school can meet need, the parent has a qualified right to their choice of preferred placement. Their placement, however, must be able to meet needs and also not be significantly more expensive than the local authority placement.  
If the parental preferred school is named under Section 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014 as being Secretary of State approved, then the local authority are under a duty to consult with that school. If it is not listed under Section 41 the local authority only have to consider whether they should consult that school.  

Education Law

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