August 2018

One of the issues which parents and carers contact our volunteers about frequently is decisions of local authorities (LAs) to “withdraw funding” from an EHC plan - especially for those young people aged over 19 (sometimes even if the young person is only part-way through a course of study). Sometimes this is how the decision is described, but sometimes LAs say that it is time for social care to take over making provision or that “needs” can be met by health or social care.

The LA is legally required to secure all the special educational provision in the EHC plan (s.42 Children & Families Act 2014) – all the provision in Section F. So if the LA says that it is not going to fund some or all of the provision in Section F any more this means it has decided either:

In either case:

  • the LA must follow the statutory process set out in the SEN and Disability Regulations 2014; and
  • its decision must be based on evidence (of a change in the child or young person’s special educational needs and/or that it is no longer necessary for an EHC plan to be maintained to secure the required special educational provision); and
  • statutory notification must be given with the details of the parents’ or young person’s right of appeal to the SEND Tribunal.

Where a LA decides to “cease to maintain” an EHC plan, if an appeal against this decision is registered then the support in the plan must carry on until the appeal is finished.

So – if your LA says it has decided to “withdraw funding” then you should:

  1. Ask what decision it has really made: to change the plan (and how and why); or, to cease to maintain the plan;
  2. Ask for the statutory process to be followed (included the statutory notices);

Take advice about next steps – including mediation and appeal.