Section F is where we see all of the special educational provision a child or young person requires, to meet the special educational needs set out in Section B of their EHC plan.

Local authority duties

Your local authority (LA) must make sure that all of the special educational provision specified in Section F of the EHC plan is delivered. This is a legal duty, set out in section 42(2) of the Children and Families Act 2014 . In practice, school or college will be carrying out the majority of the provision, however the legal responsibility to make sure it is delivered sits with your LA.

It is the LA’s legal duty to make sure that school and college staff have the correct financial resources, training and equipment. The LA must also make sure any therapies such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, or the services provided by CAMHS (Child Adolescent Mental Health Service) are delivered, if these provisions are in Section F. For example, if an hour’s speech therapy is required every week, this is likely to be carried out by the NHS, but it is the LA’s responsibility to make sure this is done. 

There is no defence to a failure to secure the special educational provision in an EHC plan.  In addition, the LA must make sure that the final allocation of funding is sufficient overall to secure the provision specified in Section F of an EHC plan.

Case law has also made clear that the LA: 

Your rights

If your LA is not delivering Section F of the EHC plan, you should take these steps: 

1)    Discuss it with school

It is best to discuss any problems with your child’s teacher and head teacher first, to see if a quick solution can be found.  

2)    Complain

However, if this does not resolve matters and your child is not receiving the special educational provision specified in their EHC plan, you should complain to your LA. The LA must do whatever is necessary to ensure the provision is made, even if this means the LA paying for it privately. 

You can use our model letter to help with your complaint. You should write to your home LA, even if your child goes to school in a different LA. You can find details of your LA online. Make sure you follow the LA’s complaints policy as well as sending our model letter. Failure to deliver the special educational provision in an EHC plan is a very serious matter and may result in a child missing out on education all together, so if completing your LA’s complaints process is not appropriate or would take too long you may wish to consider judicial review instead. 

3)    Consider changes to the EHC plan

If the EHC plan is not specific about exactly what is needed, it will be harder to enforce. You can find out more about what an EHC plan should contain on our website. 

If you are having difficulties getting the support you need because the EHC plan is not specific enough, you should consider asking for it to be changed at annual review. If your LA decides not to amend the EHC plan following the annual review, or you are not happy with the amended EHC plan once it has been finalised, you can appeal to the SEND Tribunal. 

4)    Escalate the matter

If you complain but do not receive an adequate response, you may wish to escalate your complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. Alternatively, if complaining to the Ombudsman is not appropriate – for example, because the matter is serious and urgent – you may need to consider judicial review.

For more information on this topic, see our main advice page on enforcing your EHC plan.