The amount allocated to a school in a delegated budget for the needs of a child with a Statement or ECHP must be sufficient to meet those needs.

Following notification from the LA that a school would, in the future, have to meet the cost of the first five hours of a child’s Statemented provision, a parent judicially reviewed the LA’s decision.

The judge ruled that it was not unlawful for the LA to obtain agreement from a school, after a Statement had been finalised, that part of the cost of the special educational provision set out on the Statement should be met from the school’s own budget. However, he noted that if: “the school were suddenly to turn round and say that they were no longer prepared to apply any part of their budget to the cost of the 20 hours extra support, it is undoubted that the [LA] would immediately have to meet the full cost. The provision would in any event be secure.”

Whilst the arrangements for the delegation of budgets between LAs and schools have changed since this case, the principle remains that the LA is obliged to arrange the provision in a Statement (and secure the provision in an EHC plan). If the school is not able to fund the special educational provision in the Statement or EHC plan from its own resources, the obligation to arrange/secure the provision remains with the LA. A dispute about funding between a school and an LA should never be the reason why a child or young person does not receive the special educational provision in their Statement or EHC plan because the law provides that the ultimate responsibility is upon the LA. 

No case report is available online.

For more information see our sections on EHC plans and complaining when the provision in an EHC plan is not made.