EHC plan FAQs

These FAQs are based on questions that parents frequently ask via IPSEA's helplines. If you find them helpful perhaps you could make a small donation to IPSEA via this link? There is a lot more information about Transition here.

1. How do I get a personal budget or direct payment?

Your LA is obliged to consider identifying a personal budget for educational provision for your child or young person only if you request it when they are carrying out an EHC needs assessment or when they are reviewing an EHC plan. The personal budget is the notional amount of money that would be needed to cover the cost of making the special educational provision specified in the EHC plan. You cannot have a personal budget unless you have an EHC plan.

You can at the same time ask the LA to identify elements of the personal budget which you could then receive as a direct payment. This is an actual amount of money that you would receive so that you could commission the provision in the EHC plan yourself.

A head teacher or principal has a veto if they do not agree to a direct payment being made for special educational provision which would need to be delivered in their school or college.

You cannot not appeal a decision made by a LA not to identify a personal budget or direct payment but you can ask them to review it. 

2. Who actually has a duty to deliver what is in an EHC plan?

It is the LA’s duty to ensure they identify all children and young people who have or may have SEN and/or disabilities for whom they are responsible because they live in their geographical area. Only the LA can carry out an EHC needs assessment to identify needs and provision to meet those needs. If they then issue an EHC plan it is the LA alone that has the legal duty to ensure that the educational provision is then made. This duty can never be delegated to a school or college whatever funding arrangements are in place. If a school or college’s actual resources – finances or teaching expertise – cannot make the provision outlined in the plan, the LA must provide it.

Where there is health provision in an EHC plan, the local health commissioning body – usually the Clinical Commissioning Group – has the duty to provide.

It is also the Local Authority’s duty to provide the social care provision in an EHC plan if it results from an assessment under social care legislation.

3. Is it the responsibility of the school of the school to arrange the provision specified in an EHC plan?

No! This is a common myth. Click here to see what the law actually says. 

4. Can a particular therapy be included in an EHC plan if it is not available from the local health service?

Yes it can! Click here to see what the law says about this issue.

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Information Service

The Information Service is for general legal enquiries and will signpost you to factsheets and resources on our website.  The Information Service cannot provide specific advice about individuals and their circumstances.

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For information on how to book a session please click here.