Case overview 

A child’s parents applied to judicially review their local authority’s (LA) decision to refuse to provide the speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy specified in their child’s Statement of Special Educational Needs (this was an earlier version of an education, health and care (EHC) plan).  

The LA argued it had made the request to the health authority that these therapies be provided, and this fulfilled its own duty. Since the health authority was the body which carried out the therapies, the LA argued it should not be responsible for them being secured 

What does this mean? 

This case confirms that LAs have an absolute obligation to secure the special educational provision specified in an EHC plan, as set out in section 42 Children and Families Act 2014. This duty is absolute and cannot be passed over to another body (such as the health service or a school), even if that body is the one to deliver the provision in practice. This duty can be enforced by mandatory order of the court following an application for judicial review.

Whilst Statements have been replaced with EHC plans since this case, the principle remains the same, meaning this case is still relevant.

There is no case report available online.

For more information, see our pages on taking action when the provision in an EHC plan is not made and enforcing your EHC plan.