October 2022

We’ve recently heard of cases where local authorities are removing or reducing top up funding for EHC plans, but the provision in the plans hasn’t changed. This has left parents and carers (and the schools their children go to) worried that it won’t be possible to deliver the provision in the plans.

We always remind parents, carers and schools that the legal duty to secure the provision in an EHC plan rests with the local authority that maintains it. Case law has established this. This means that the local authority must fund the specified provision in full and must ensure that it is delivered. 

Parents and carers can use our template letter to complain if provision in a plan isn’t being made. Parents might want to take legal advice from a solicitor about whether a judicial review of the local authority’s failure or refusal to secure the special educational provision in the plan can be undertaken.

Schools can always support parents complaining about the removal or inadequacy of funding for an EHC plan.

Any school left in a situation where funding for an EHC plan isn’t being made, or isn’t adequate, can seek legal advice to ensure local authorities fulfil their duties to make agreed payments. This might involve the school making complaints to the Education and Skills Funding Agency or legal action through the courts.

If the problem is that the EHC plan is written in a way which means it’s not clear what provision has to be made, then parents and carers can ask for changes to the plan.

Remember, the only way a plan can be changed or ended is by following the processes set out in law – changing or ending a plan by the back door is not lawful.

If you’re a parent or carer and need further support on this issue, you can contact our helplines for free next step advice.