Case overview 

This judicial review case concerned failings by a local authority (LA) in respect of education and social care.  

1. Education: 

The child (LB) had an education, health and care (EHC) planbut the LA failed to reviewit and failed to secure the special educational provision set out in the plan, as required by the Children and Families Act 2014 (CFA 2014).  

Additionally, the LA had failed to provide LB with suitable alternative education as required by section 19 of the Education Act 1996.  

The LA was ordered to review LB’s EHC plan and provide her with education other than at school (EOTAS). 

2. Social care: 

LB was a looked-after child under section 20 of the Children Act 1989. When her second residential placement came to an end, no suitable placement was found for LB and she went to live with her mother. The LA was aware of this and failed to act, even though there was a duty on the LA to provide accommodation other than at her mother’s home. It had also failed to carry out assessments of LB’s needs (section 17 of the Children Act 1989), and her mother’s needs as a parent carer (section 17ZD of the Children Act 1989).  

The LA was ordered to assess LB and her mother’s care needs, ensure LB had an updated care plan, and provide her with accommodation away from the family home.  

What does this mean? 


The LA must review an EHC plan at least once a year. This is set out in section 44, CFA 2014 

The LA must secure the special educational provision specified in an EHC plan. This is set out in section 42, CFA 2014. An LA cannot argue that practical difficulties (including financial ones) mean it no longer has to do this. If your child is not receiving the special educational provision specified in their EHC plan (or you as a young person are not receiving it), you should take action.     

It is not enough for an LA to say it tried to arrange alternative education under section 19 of the Education Act 1996. Where there is a duty to provide alternative education, an LA must actually provide it or will be in breach of its duties.  

Social care: 

If your child or young person has a care plan made under the Children Act 1989, this should be kept under continuing review. If there has been a change in circumstances, you should ask the LA to review it.  

If you are requesting a parent carer needs assessments under the Children Act 1989 and are eligible for one, this must be carried out and in a reasonable time. What is reasonable will depend on the circumstances. You should make your LA aware of any urgent or significant issues requiring an assessment to be carried out quickly.  

The full case report for R (LB) v Surrey County Council [2022] EWCH 772 (Admin) is available online.