Some local authorities (“LAs”) create additional sections to education, health and care (“EHC”) plans despite the law being clear that the statutory sections are A to K. While it is not strictly unlawful for LAs to add additional sections, it can be confusing and misleading. It is, however, unlawful for the LA to specify educational provision anywhere other than Section F of the EHC plan. 

The EHC plan must contain all of the sections required in law. Any additional sections the LA adds will not have any legal effect, so it is important to ensure any of the special educational provision your son needs is properly specified in Section F and is not left to be determined in a section which has no legal status. You will not be able to compel the LA to secure the special educational provision unless it is specified in Section F. Section B of the EHC plan must specify all the special educational needs (“SEN”) and Section F must specify all of the required special educational provision. 

See the section on what an EHC plan should contain for more information. You can also use IPSEA’s EHC plan checklist to check whether your draft EHC plan complies with the legal requirements for how it should be set out. 

It is important that you do not miss your deadline for appealing to the First-tier Tribunal for Special Educational Needs and Disability (“the SEND Tribunal”). The deadline is 2 months from the issuing of the final EHC plan or 1 month from the date of the mediation certificate, whichever date is the latest. 

Getting the EHC plan right now will be crucial to ensuring your child receives the special educational provision they need in the future. It will be difficult for the LA to justify, and defend, specifying provision in a non-statutory section of the EHC plan and refusing to specify it in Section F.