Caselaw (to March 2017)
Statements of Special Educational Needs, Education, Health and Care Plans and a bit more
“The Noddy Guide”
David Wolfe QC, Matrix
Leon Glenister, Landmark
“The Noddy Guide”
David Wolfe QC, Matrix
Leon Glenister, Landmark
1. The EA and the CFA2014
2. THE SEN Code of Practice
3. The general duty of the LA when it comes to SEP
4. Assessments and issuing of a Statement/EHCP
5. The Local Offer
6. Statements of SEN and EHC Plans general
7. Part 3 / Section F – Special Educational Provision
8. Part 4 / Section I – Placement - general
9. Placement request generally
(a) Where parent ask for a particular maintained placement
(b) Where parents ask for an independent placement/provision
(c) Where parents want a maintained mainstream placement (or mainstream academy placement for EHCP)
(d) Where parents ask for a home programme or other non-school placement
10. Ceasing to maintain a Statement/EHCP
12. What if parents want provision in excess of that which the Tribunal considers to be necessary?
13. Tribunal (FTT) procedure
1. The EA and the CFA2014
2. THE SEN Code of Practice
3. The general duty of the LA when it comes to SEP
4. Assessments and issuing of a Statement/EHCP
5. The Local Offer
6. Statements of SEN and EHC Plans general
7. Part 3 / Section F – Special Educational Provision
8. Part 4 / Section I – Placement - general
9. Placement request generally
(a) Where parent ask for a particular maintained placement
(b) Where parents ask for an independent placement/provision
(c) Where parents want a maintained mainstream placement (or mainstream academy placement for EHCP)
(d) Where parents ask for a home programme or other non-school placement
10. Ceasing to maintain a Statement/EHCP
12. What if parents want provision in excess of that which the Tribunal considers to be necessary?
13. Tribunal (FTT) procedure
INTRODUCTION – THE MARCH 2017 NODDY GUIDE
This is the March 2017 version of the “Noddy Guide” (as it has come to be known) which David Wolfe first produced over 10 years’ ago. Disregard older versions. This is the first version to cover both the Education Act 1996 (EA1996) (and its regulations (Regs2001) and Code of Practice (COP1996)) relating to Statements of Special Educational Needs (Statements) as well as the Children and Families Act 2014 (CFA2014) (and its regulations (Regs2014) and Code of Practice (COP2015)) relating to Education and Health Care Plans (EHCPs); also DfE Guidance “SEND: 19- to 25-year-olds’ entitlement to EHC plans” published on 21 February 2017 (Guidance19-25) (which must be read alongside and be applied in accordance with CFA2014 and COP2015: IPSEA v Secretary of State  EWCA Civ 7  ELR 393).
In many respects the new framework essentially replicates the former (and in many respects COP2015 directly reflects case law arising from the EA1996). So it is likely that High Court and Upper Tribunal decisions dealing with the former can be read across to the latter. We have identified some areas where that may not be the case.
Cases marked ** are currently unpublished, but apparently will be published in due course. Further editions of this Guide will reflect that.
The next version of the Guide will also include additional material relating to disability discrimination, the legal obligations in relation to children and young people with SEN but without a Statement/EHC Plan and those who are not in school, mediation, and the procedure for paper hearings.
This version of The Guide applies only in England. Our aim here is to bring together the relevant legal provisions, the COPs, Government guidance and case law (principally from the High Court and, latterly, the Upper Tribunal). However, the Guide is not intended to be a substitute for direct consideration of the legal materials or relevant COP.
This document is a public resource so please feel free to download, use, circulate and quote from this document. But please don’t adopt it as your own, let alone in an edited or amended form (as some people have done in the past with earlier versions). We would be happy to provide a version in another font or colour on request.
We are grateful to Judge Jane McConnell, Douglas Silas (Douglas Silas Solicitors), Ali Fiddy & Julie Moktadir (IPSEA), Nigel Pugh (Education Advocacy), Tracey Eldridge-Hinmers (Veale Wasbrough Vizards), Helen Gill (John Ford Solicitors), Nick Graham (Oxfordshire CC), Cathryn Tillman (East Sussex CC), Mathilda Goodchild (East Sussex CC) and Victoria Federico (Access Legal) for their comments on a draft.
We welcome comments on any aspect of this Guide, particularly if you think we have missed something out or got something wrong: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
THE EA1996 AND CFA2014
Relationship between the Acts
In light of “substantially common features around the very building blocks of the special educational needs regime”, the UT has “proceed[ed] on the basis that the legislative intention was in general terms for a continuity of approach, except where the 2014 Act provides a specific reason to conclude otherwise. Subject to that note of caution, authorities on concepts common to both regimes will continue to be relevant”: Devon CC v OF  UKUT 0292 (AAC),  ELR 377.
THE SEN CODE OF PRACTICE
SEN Code of Practice
The Secretary of State has an obligation to issue “a code of practice giving practical guidance in respect of the discharge by local authorities and the governing bodies of maintained schools and maintained nursery schools of their functions under this Part”: EA1996 s313(1). Such bodies (and those exercising functions on behalf of such bodies) have a duty to have regard to the provisions of the Code: EA1996 s313(2). And the FTT shall have regard to the code where it is relevant to an appeal: EA1996 s313(3).
The Tribunal must identify and correctly understand the relevant provisions of the Code and apply them unless it has and states clear reasons for not doing so: W v Blaenau Gwent  EWHC 2880,  ELR 152.
Guidance or a statutory code can only be departed from for good reason: Munjaz v Mersey NHS Trust  UKHL 58,  2 AC 148.
The Secretary of State’s duty to issue a code must give guidance relates to a much wider range of bodies than for EA1996 including academies, CCGs, NHS trusts and PRUs: CFA2014 s77(1). Those bodies (as well as anyone exercising functions on behalf of such bodies) “must have regard to the code in exercising their functions” and the FTT “must have regard” to provisions relevant to an appeal: CFA2014 s77(4)-(5). The Secretary of State must consult such persons as are thought fit at the draft stage, and the Code must be approved by both houses of Parliament: CFA2014 s78.
The Code cannot override the statute: Devon CC v OH  UKUT 0292 (AAC),  ELR 377, Staffordshire CC v JM  UKUT 0246 (AAC),  ELR 307.
See COP2015 Introduction
THE GENERAL DUTY OF THE LOCAL AUTHORITY (LA) WHEN IT COMES TO SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL PROVISION (SEP)
What must the LA provide?
The LA is under a duty to secure provision which meets the child’s SEN but is not “under an obligation to provide a child with the best possible education. There is no duty on the authority to provide such a Utopian system, or to educate him or her to his or her maximum potential. …”:
R v Surrey CC ex p H (1984) 83 LGR 219.
See also Stanley Burnton J in Hammersmith & Fulham v Pivcevic & SENDIST  EWHC 1709 (Admin),  ELR 594 .
The duty is to select “an appropriate school …. There is nothing in the statutory scheme which requires the local education authority to specify the optimum available provision….”: R v Cheshire CC ex P C (1996) 95 LGR 299.
“… this does not oblige the local education authority to make available the best possible education, Parliament has imposed an obligation to meet the needs of the child and no more.” S v SEN Tribunal  1 WLR 1627.
“what would be required by a local authority is advice as to the provision which is appropriate for a child”. Per Thorpe LJ in C v Buckinghamshire CC,  ELR 179, at p189E-H, appropriate is not the same as adequate, and the assessment must be of what is appropriate, not just what is adequate”: NM v Lambeth  UKUT 499 (AAC),  ELR 224.
“Needs” (as in what a child “needs”) means “what is reasonably required” and calls for a decision on whether what was proposed for inclusion in a statement was reasonably required or whether it went beyond that. Such a decision was pre-eminently a matter for the expert judgment of the SENDIST: A v Hertfordshire CC  EWHC 3428; (2007) ELR 95.
Exceptional ability is not an SEN (whether on an ordinary reading of EA1996 s312(2) or by application of ECHR Article 1 Protocol 1): S v SENDIST  EWHC 196 (Admin).
The issue is whether the child’s needs can be appropriately met in a particular school, not whether they could be better met in another school: S v SENDIST  EWHC 196,  ELR 443.
“It is not the function of the special educational needs provision to provide for a child’s social needs (at least not those which are not also educational needs)”: The Learning Trust v MP  EWHC 1634 (Admin),  ELR 658 
The Tribunal can seek and consider evidence on a child’s non-educational needs as part of taking a “holistic” view, but must remember that it is an educational tribunal: W v Leeds City Council  EWCA Civ 988,  ELR 617.
That the LA must provide what is “reasonably required” per A v Hertfordshire  EWHC 3428; (2007) ELR 95. Applies to the CFA 2014: Devon CC v OH  UKUT 0292 (AAC),  ELR 377.
In exercising its functions, the LA must have regard to (1) the views, wishes and feelings of the child and parent, or the young person, (2) the importance of child and parent, or young person, to participate as fully as possible in decisions, (3) the importance of the child and parent, or young person, being provided with information and support to participate in such decisions, (4) the need to support child and parent, or young person, to facilitate development and to achieve the best possible education and other outcomes: CFA2014 s19
“Achiev[ing] the best possible educational and other outcomes” is not a duty on the LA (or even directly a mandatory consideration), and as “Outcomes” these are not justiciable matters for the Tribunal. The LA’s duty is to provide what is “reasonably required”: Devon CC v OF  UKUT 0292 (AAC),  ELR 377.
COP2015 #6.1: “All children and young people are entitled to an appropriate education, one that is appropriate to their needs, promotes high standards and the fulfilment of potential. This should enable them to:
• achieve their best
• become confident individuals living fulfilling lives, and
• make a successful transition into adulthood, whether into employment, further or higher education or training”
Obtaining qualifications is not an essential element of education (i.e. the fact that a child/young person will not obtain qualifications does not mean that they do not need, or are not entitled to, education). Per Buckinghamshire CC v SJ  UKUT 254 (AAC),  ELR 350, the FTT was entitled to direct the LA to issue an EHC plan following assessment in circumstances where SJ (who was 20 years old) functioned at a pre-school level and it was accepted “further achievements would be small”, because those achievements would be valuable in SJ’s adult life.
“To the extent that it is to be hoped in appropriate cases that this results in young people moving near employment that is of course a good thing and if economic benefits on a national level flow from that, that too is one of the positives to be derived, but it cannot of itself provide a basis for overturning the finely balanced legislative framework”: Devon CC v OH  UKUT 0292 (AAC),  ELR 377.
Over what time period?
When considering what is “appropriate” (for Parts 3 or 4), the LA/Tribunal must, where it arises as an issue, have regard to the curriculum presently being followed by the child and the impact of disrupting that curriculum: W v Gloucestershire CC  EWHC Admin 481.
The LA/Tribunal should not simply look at the short term needs of a child in drawing up a Statement: Wilkin & Goldthorpe v Coventry CC  ELR 345 (error in only looking at the one term the child had at primary and not at what would happen at secondary too).
A statement of SEN is a “’living instrument’. It is as much – if not more so – a forward-looking rather than a historic document. In that context, it was important for the tribunal to be informed of the impending change in the school’s status.”: LS v Oxfordshire CC  UKUT 135 (AAC),  ELR 429
Southampton CC v G  EWHC 1516;  ELR 698 error of law in not looking at cost of whole GCSE course.
“EHC Plans should be forward looking – for example, anticipating, planning and commissioning for important transition points in a child or young person’s life, including planning and preparing for their transition to adult life”: COP2015 #9.61
If the child or young person is beyond year 9, the EHC plan must include within the SEP, health care provision and social care provision specified, provision to assist the child or young person in preparation for adulthood and independent living: 2014Regs r12(3). At Year 9 “at the latest” LAs should start to plan successful transition to adulthood: Guidance19-25.
ASSESSMENT AND ISSUING OF A STATEMENT/EHCP
When the LA is required to assess?
EA1996 s323: The LA is required to assess the child where:
“(a) he has special educational needs, and
(b) it is necessary for the authority to determine the special educational provision which any learning difficulty he may have calls for.”
So, on the face of it, the question posed by the statutory test (although, as it happens, not the focus of COP1996) is who (i.e. LA or someone else) is to “determine” (i.e. decide upon) the SEP.
However, particularly in conjunction with its consideration of whether (following assessment) a Statement must be made and maintained, the UT has required a wider approach which also focusses on the practical question of whether, without the Statement in place, the child would receive the SEP they require – i.e. a focus on delivery and enforcement of delivery of the SEP.
Buckinghamshire v HW  UKUT 470 (AAC),  ELR 519:
· rejected Buckinghamshire’s argument that the FTT had been wrong to order an assessment without identifying the SEP the child required – that was the point of the assessment! 
· stated ‘necessary’ is a standard that is “somewhere between indispensable and useful or reasonable” ; “Whether something is necessary assumes a reason and a purpose. The reason and purpose is obviously to identify whether a child needs further educational provision and, perhaps, a statement of special educational needs”.
· rejected the argument that the Tribunal should have looked only at the position at the time of consideration, and not into the future, despite this being a child about to transfer to secondary school  (as per Wilkin & Goldthorpe v Coventry CC  ELR 345).
To put it another way, there is a duty to assess (1) where the LA is of the opinion that the child for whom it is necessary to determine SEP, and (2) where the LA is of the opinion that the child is “probably” a child for whom it is necessary to determine SEP: SC & MS v Worcestershire CC  UKUT 267 (AAC),  ELR 537.
Even if provision for the child exceeds School Action Plus, if in the particular case the child had access to provision required then it may be lawful for the authority not to assess: see e.g. MC v Somerset CC  UKUT 461 (AAC),  ELR 53.
The question of progress is relevant as to whether an assessment is “necessary”, however is not the only test or even the principal issue in every case. The Tribunal’s consideration of whether an assessment is necessary should not be determined by the fact a statement may not be required or likely to result: **O v Hampshire CC HS/5350/2014
An assessment may be necessary where there is insufficient awareness of the SEP a child requires, or where a child needs a statement to access relevant provision. It follows that the result of applying the “necessary” test may be affected by financial arrangements in different LA areas (i.e. because in some areas those arrangements will ensure that the child will get the SEP without a statement, whereas in others that is not necessarily so): **C v Somerset CC HS/718/2015
“(1) A request for a local authority in England to secure an EHC needs assessment for a child or young person may be made to the authority by the child’s parent, the young person or a person acting on behalf of a school or post-16 institution…
(3) When a request is made to a local authority under subsection (1), or a local authority otherwise becomes responsible for a child or young person, the authority must determine whether it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan…
(8) The local authority must secure an EHC needs assessment for the child or young person if, after having regard to any views expressed and evidence submitted under subsection (7), the authority is of the opinion that--
(a) the child or young person has or may have special educational needs, and
(b) it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan.”
So the statutory focus is now (consistently with the earlier case law) more directly on the question of whether an EHCP is required as the means to secure the SEP which the child or young person requires.
Note that COP2015 (following the tradition established by COP1996) identifies additional considerations and factors which bear little resemblance to the statutory test – see thus COP2015 #9.14 (with its focus on progress made and related matters).
Per Cambridgeshire CC v FL-J  UKUT 225 (AAC), the two questions to be asked are (1) has the child/young person a learning difficulty or disability, and (2) is it one that ‘calls for’ SEP? The question of whether SEP is “necessary” is at a later stage. The initial question on assessment is a “provisional and predictive” one.
The need to make and maintain a Statement
EA1996 s324(1): “If, in the light of an assessment under section 323 of any child's educational needs and of any representations made by the child's parent in pursuance of Schedule 27, it is necessary for the local authority to determine the special educational provision which any learning difficulty he may have calls for, the authority shall make and maintain a statement of his special educational needs.”
As to “necessary” under s324, the reasoning in Buckinghamshire CC v HW  UKUT 470 (AAC),  ELR 519 applies.
Manchester CC v JW  UKUT 168 (AAC),  ELR 304: the questions to ask are (1) whether the provision identified as necessary for the child in the assessment was available within the resources normally available to a mainstream school and (2) could the school reasonably be expected to make such provision from its own resources; the answers to those questions will usually require the Tribunal to consider financial resources.
A third question is whether SEP is secure, as if not a statement may be necessary: LS v Oxfordshire CC  UKUT 135 (AAC),  ELR 429.
Alternatively, to simplify matters and avoid detailed evidence about local school financing arrangements, the Tribunal can just ask itself “whether, without a statement, the decision maker can be satisfied, to a reasonable degree of certainty, that the required educational provision will be delivered”: SC & MS v Worcestershire CC  UKUT 267 (AAC),  ELR 537.
MC v Somerset CC  UKUT 461 (AAC),  ELR 53: it might be necessary to make a Statement because “there was insufficient awareness of the special educational provision which a child requires. It might be if the child needed to have a statement of SEN to access the relevant specific provision.”
If there appears to be good progress at the current placement, that must be placed in context when deciding whether to issue a statement or not. For example in JS v Worcestershire CC  UKUT 451 (AAC),  ELR 138 it was relevant there was a high level support at the current placement which may not be available at the school he would attend when he left his current placement.
“(1) Where, in the light of an EHC needs assessment, it is necessary for special educational provision to be made for a child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan--
(a) the local authority must secure that an EHC plan is prepared for the child or young person, and
(b) once an EHC plan has been prepared, it must maintain the plan.”
Note that the CFA2014 statutory focus is now explicitly on what had – through case law – become the EA1996 focus, namely on the simple and practical question of whether an EHCP (previously a Statement) is required in order that the child/young person gets the SEP they require (rather than on any particular level of functioning or progress by the child/young person which had in some sometimes - but wrongly - become the focus before).
Note that COP2015 introduces an additional focus on progress made COP2015 #9.55
What is “necessary” is not defined by CFA2014 and allows for flexibility, which is not overridden by the COP2015. Whether it is “necessary” is to be deduced rather than defined. Its determination will vary according to the circumstances of a particular case and may well involve a considerable degree of judgment”: Hertfordshire CC v MC and KC  UKUT 0385 (AAC).
Obtaining qualifications is not an essential element of education. Per Buckinghamshire CC v SJ  UKUT 254 (AAC),  ELR 350, the FTT was entitled to direct the LA to issue an EHC plan following assessment in circumstances where SJ (who was 20 years old) functioned at a pre-school level and it was accepted “further achievements would be small”, as those achievements would be valuable in SJ’s adult life.
A Tribunal can find a plan for a young person is “necessary” in the absence of a clear educational programme, particular where the young person has suffered educational anxiety: Gloucestershire CC v EH (SEN)  UKUT 85 (AAC).
THE LOCAL OFFER (CFA2014 ONLY)
The LA must publish information on the education, health and care provision it expects to be available in its area for children and young people with SEN: CFA2014 s30; COP2015 Chapter 4. It should be noted the inclusion of a service within the local offer does not mean it will necessarily be available to any particular child or young person.
When preparing and reviewing the local offer, the LA must consult children, young people, schools and others: Regs2014 r55. However, the consultation is on a “compendium of information” and will only be successfully challenged where something went “radically wrong”: L&P v Warwickshire  EWHC 203 (Admin),  ELR 271 [54-57].
STATEMENTS OF SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS AND EHC PLANS – GENERAL
Statements have to be intelligible to people who have to read them and not just to their authors. The parties have to be able to reach a good understanding of what the words mean. It is no good if they are ambiguous: T v Hertfordshire  EWCA Civ 1893.
EHCPs should be “clear, concise, understandable and accessible to parents, children, young people, providers and practitioners. They should be written so they can be understood by professionals in any local authority”: COP2015 #9.61
In what order to consider the parts?
Part 4 specifies the placement at which the SEP in Part 3 which is required to meet the SEN in Part 2 will be made. The decision-maker (LA or Tribunal) must thus develop Part 2, then Part 3A then 3B then 4. See A v Barnet  EWHC 3368; “It is important… to identify or diagnose the need before going on to prescribe the educational provision to which that need gives rise, and only once the educational provision has been identified can one specify the institution or type of institution which is appropriate to provide it.”
The Learning Trust v MP  EWHC 1634 (Admin),  ELR 658 : The Tribunal had erred in law in deciding on Part 4 and left it to the parents to “agree some amendments with the LEA to reflect our decision that [P] should be placed in a residential school.” That was “putting the cart before the horse” in that Part 4 should only be decided after Part 2, then 3 had been resolved. See also T v Neath Port Talbot  EWHC 3039.
As for the content of the EHCP overall, see CFA2014 s37, Regs2014 r12, and COP2015 #9.62-9.76.
The LA must first specify all of the child’s needs in section B (COP2015 #9.69(B)), then specify provision in section F “for each and every need specified in section B” (COP2015 #9.69(F)). Placement is considered last, and a draft plan must not include a name or type of placement: CFA2014 s 38(5).
Statement Part 2
EA1996 s312: A child has SEN “if he [or she] has a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for him [or her]”. He has a learning difficulty if “(a) he [or she] has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of his age, (b) he [or she] has a disability which either prevents or hinders him [or her] from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of his [or her] age in schools within the area of the local authority, or (c) he [or she] is under compulsory school age and is, or would be if special educational provision were not made for him [or her], likely to fall within paragraph (a) or (b) when of that age.”
Part 2 can include narrative description of a child as well as specifying SEN (cf R v Secretary of State for Education ex p E  1 FLR 377): W v Leeds CC  EWCA Civ 988,  ELR 617.
EHCP Section B
CFA2014 s20: a child has SEN when he or she “has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her”. He or she has such a learning difficulty or disability if he or she “(a) has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or (b) has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions.”
Note that this is a material change from the EA1996 test because the comparison is now between the provision this child/young person requires and what is generally provided to others in mainstream schools generally, rather than any comparison with what the particular local authority ensures is provided in its mainstream schools.
Note also that the comparison with what is provided generally to others of the same age – i.e. with general mainstream provision and not with what mainstream institutions might provide to some pupils/young people.
CFA2014 s21(5): SEN will include those needs for what would otherwise be health or social care provision that are treated as SEP because they educate or train the child or young person. It follows that the mere fact that the provision in question might be considered health or social care, or might in practice be provided by a social services department or the NHS, does not mean that it is not to be treated as SEN. The most obvious effect of this is that SALT is almost always SEN.
When describing cognitive impairments, the learning difficulty can be categorised as severe, moderate, or mild; there is no category of ‘significant learning difficulty’: **LB Hillingdon v G HS/2241/2016
See also COP2015 Introduction xiii-xxiii
Relationship between Statement Part 2 and Part 3
Each special educational need specified in Part 2 must be met by provision specified in Part 3: R v Secretary of State for Education ex parte E  1 FLR 377.
Relationship between EHCP Part B and Part F
“Provision must be specified for each and every need specified in Section B”: COP2015 #9.69(F)
PART 3 / SECTION F – SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL PROVISION
Relationship between Part 3A (objectives) and Part 3B (provision)
Where something is identified as an “objective” in Part 3A, Part 3B needs to specify the SEP intended to meet that objective: C v East Sussex CC  EWHC 3122 (Admin),  ELR 367.
EHCPs: relationship between Section E (outcomes) and Section F (provision)
“It should be clear how the provision will support achievement of the outcomes”: COP2015 #9.69(F)
EA1996 Relationship between SEP (Part 3) and non-educational provision (Part 6)
Note that, for the EA1996, the distinction was between “special educational provision” and what became known as “non-educational provision”. Neither was the subject of any statutory definition and the boundary was understood through the application of case law.
The question of whether any particular provision is educational or non-educational (or a mixture of both) is not a question of law; rather, it is a matter for the LA and, on appeal, the Special Educational Needs Tribunal. A Tribunal can lawfully give educational need a broad meaning, for example a child’s education can require day-long and year-round attention to many physical needs: Bromley v SENT  ELR 260.
A v Hertfordshire CC  EWHC 3428,  ELR 95: It is well established that there is no hard boundary between “educational” and “non-educational” – some things could be both – the LA, then Tribunal, decides. And, just because particular provision brings some educational benefit, it does not follow that there is a special educational need for it. Much less does it follow that a provision bringing some educational benefit beyond school hours automatically translates into a special educational need (and thus special educational provision) beyond school hours.
Learned behaviour, such as sexualised behaviour, may not itself be a learning difficulty, but that does not mean that the provision required in relation to it (including a residential placement) is not SEP if it is directly related to a learning difficulty: H v A London Borough  UKUT 316,  ELR 503 [25-26].
Psychiatric input is capable of being an educational need, but is a question of fact for the specialist tribunal. Education is “about instruction, schooling or training, so one or more of these factors is likely to be discernible in provision which is asserted to be educational”: DC & DC v Hertfordshire CC  UKUT 379 (AAC).
CFA2014 provides for a three way split (with no need for the old concept of “non-educational provision”) namely (special) educational provision (SEP), Social Care Provision (SCP) and Health Care Provision (HCP). CFA2014 s21:
· SEP (for a child or young person aged 2 or over) means “educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age in (a) mainstream schools in England, (b) maintained nursery schools in England, (c) mainstream post-16 institutions in England, or (d) places in England at which relevant early years education is provided”. SEP (for a child under 2) is “education provision of any kind”.
· SCP means “provision made by a local authority in the exercise of its social services functions”.
· HCP means “provision of health care services as part of the comprehensive health service in England continued under section 1(1) of the National Health Service Act 2006”.
The previously wide approach to what is SEP thus applies.
However, CFA2014 s21(5) is needed and operates to ensure that aspects of what were previously regarded as SEP which would otherwise also now fall within the definition of SCP or HCP remain treated as SEP (rather than SCP or HCP): “Health care provision or social care provision which educates or trains a child or young person is to be treated as special educational provision (instead of health care provision or social care provision).”
The task of the tribunal is different between ‘direct’, and ‘deemed’ SEP (i.e. provision falling in CFA2014 s21(5)). For direct provision it may add, amend or remove, it; but for deemed provision the tribunal’s only role is to classify the social care provision to filter out that part of the provision that is properly classified as SEP under 21(5): East Sussex CC v TW  UKUT 0528 (AAC).
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech therapy should be treated as educational (i.e. Part 3) unless there are “exceptional reasons for not doing so”: cop1996 # 8.49; X&X v Caerphilly BC  EWHC 2140,  ELR 78.
“Speech and language therapy and other therapy provision can be regarded as either education or health care provision, or both. It could therefore be included in an EHC plan as either educational or health provision. However, since communication is so fundamental in education, addressing speech and language impairment should normally be recorded as special educational provision unless there are exceptional reasons for not doing so”: COP2015 #9.74.
“Waking day curriculum”
A waking day curriculum (which in practice is likely to lead to a requirement for a residential school placement) may be justified if the pupil needs to “translate into his home and social and indeed all areas of his life and functioning, the skill which he learns within the school and school room”: S v Solihull MBC  EWHC 1139.
Simply because a child needs consistency of approach is not necessarily an educational need which should be met beyond the school day in a residential setting: LB Hammersmith and Fulham v JH  UKUT 328 (AAC) [18-19]. The question to be asked is whether the “need for a consistent program was such that [the child’s] education could not reasonably be provided unless accommodated on the site where [the child] was educated”: Hampshire v JP  UKUT 239 (AAC);  ELR 413.
The FTT has acknowledged the imprecision of the term “waking day curriculum”, while noting that it generally means that “the person’s special educational needs are such that they call for special educational provision to be delivered beyond ‘normal hours’”. It may be linked with residential placement, but not necessarily so: East Sussex CC v TW  UKUT 0528 (AAC).
Requirement for specification of provision in Part 3
Following from the definition of SEP in EA1996 s312 and the Schedule to the SEN regulations (which prescribe the format for a Statement) Part 3 must describe all aspects of the provision which differ from the provision normally made in mainstream schools in the area. Thus for example:
· Placement in a different year group: AB v North Somerset  UKUT 8.
· Different class sizes: H v Leicestershire  ELR 471.
· Staff qualifications/experience: e.g. “teacher who is experienced in working with pupils who have significant learning difficulties and autism/communication disorders”: R v Wandsworth ex parte M  ELR 424.
· Where small group work is involved, the size of the group, the length and frequency of the sessions: L v Clarke and Somerset  ELR 129.
· The need for and amount of 1:1 work: L v Clarke and Somerset  ELR 129.
· Input from other professionals, such as sessions of speech therapy: R v Harrow ex parte M  FCR 761
It followed from the fact that the reference point was the provision normally made in mainstream schools in the area that what was SEP in one area might not be SEP in another. So if, for example, every child in mainstream schools in the area was routinely provided with a laptop, then provision of a laptop would not be SEP, whereas otherwise it would be.
EHCP Section F
Regs2014 r12(f) requires section F to set out “the special education provision required by the child or young person”, for which see CFA2014 s21(1) (extracted above). The same general principles will apply as under the EA1996.
But the reference point is no longer what is provided in mainstream schools in the area, but now what is provided in mainstream institutions in England as a whole. It follows that what is SEP in one area will also now be SEP in every other; and also that, depending on how existing provision in an area compares to the national picture, things which were SEP in that area may no longer be SEP and vice versa. It follows that, in the migration from a Statement to an EHCP the SEP which is specified may not be the same (up or down) even if nothing else has changed.
SEP in Part 3 must normally be quantified in terms of hours, staffing, etc
COP1996 #8.37: Provision should be quantified in terms of hours (etc) except, exceptionally, by reference to the “changing needs of the child”.
Think who, what, where and when?
A child’s needs may be “changing” in that way because the child itself is changing or because of the interaction between the child and its environment; but not because of external factors or changes; it is not permissible to leave provision unspecified or unquantified simply to allow for flexibility in the school’s approach/arrangements: IPSEA v Secretary of State  EWCA Civ 7  ELR 393.
“The real question … is whether [the statement] is so specific and so clear as to leave no room for doubt as to what has been decided and what is needed in the individual case”: L v Clarke and Somerset  ELR 129.
Words like “as appropriate”, “as required”, “regular”, “periodic”, “subject to review” are all likely to illustrate illegality.
Example (of a child in a special school):
“LS needs direct involvement with speech and language therapy in the classroom, initially a visit once a week for a term, thereafter reducing to at least once a fortnight. This should involve joint planning and delivery with the class teacher.
The speech and language therapist also needs to manage a structured programme, which will include training, to support ‘out of school’ professionals in providing a consistent approach and assisting LS in developing and generalising his skills in different settings. Similarly LS’s parents and carers need support so they may embed more firmly the full range of communication methods used in school so he can apply them in other contexts, including home and respite provision. The speech and language therapist will visit the home at least three times a year.”
Held, S v SENDIST  EWHC 1139, “much more detail” was needed.
See also M v Brighton and Hove City Council  EWHC 1722, condemning as impermissibly ambiguous (especially the last sentence): “Opportunities for individual and/or small group support within class and a withdrawal basis as considered appropriate to target literacy difficulties and specific areas of the curriculum. J needs to be in a class setting with others who have similar severity of specific learning difficulty and work across the curriculum. He needs to be taught by specialist teachers trained in teaching pupils with severe specific learning difficulties.”
And per S v SENDIST  EWHC 1139 saying (for example) that the therapist should give “initially a visit once a week for a term thereafter reducing to once a fortnight” was too vague [e.g. How long is each session? What should each session consist of?]. Likewise, that the SALT “also needs to manage a structured programme, which will include training, to support out of school professionals in providing a consistent approach and assisting LS in developing and generalising his skills in different settings” [what sort of professionals?]. Similarly “LS’s parents and carers need support so they may embed more firmly the full range of communication methods” [what type and intensity of support?]. Nor should the Tribunal have relied on the LA’s assurance that it would flesh out the detail later [unless that led to amendment to the statement, how would the parents appeal?].
Further see JD v South Tyneside  UKUT 9 (AAC),  ELR 118 which criticised: (1) the use of the term “it is recommended that the needs and objectives as previously outlined should be met by the following”, as it suggested nothing at all is required, (2) “individual programmes tailored to her needs. She will require a handwriting programme, a PE programme and a reading programme. These programmes can be provided on an individual basis or in a group situation as deemed appropriate by her school (SENCO)” added nothing as the content of programmes is not specified, (3) “access to multi-sensory teaching may be helpful” was beside the point as Part 3 is to specify required provision, (4) “opportunities to encounter success in her work in order to increase her confidence and self-esteem” achieves nothing as the LA would not design opportunities for the child to encounter failure.
The requirement to specify is “not a bureaucratic purpose…. by that provision, local authorities … and tribunals… are required to give full and adequate specific consideration to the needs of the child… the requirement for specificity outlaws … a general statement …. in such broad terms that it could lead to specific needs being ignored or inadequately focussed upon…. the second purpose is that, once made in terms which are specific the purpose of the provision can be furthered and effected by enforceability….”: E v Flintshire  EWHC 388,  ELR 378.
The legislative purpose is “to require focussed and express consideration to be given to the specific needs of a child and then to provide for them in terms which will further and effect its enforceability as a provision…”: IPSEA Ltd v Secretary of State for Education  EWHC 504.
An LA policy not to specify/quantify is unlawful.
Statements can refer to funding “bands” (see further below) but not as an alternative to specifying/quantifying provision nor so as to override or limit the specified/quantified provision.
Note also that the fact that the LA has a policy of delegating “all” SEN funds to schools independently of the statementing regime is not an answer to an appeal against a refusal to assess or make a statement; the test for those things remains grounded in whether (per the Code) the child requires provision beyond School Action Plus and whether (per EA 1996 s324) the child’s SEN is such that the provision needs to be “determined” by the LA. Funding follows that; not the other way round. The Tribunal is not bound by the LA policy.
In K&K v The Authority  UKUT 624 (AAC),  ELR 295, the UT had to decide whether “taught in small groups of less than 10 pupils” required small classes, or merely being within a small supported group doing differentiated work in a whole class setting. Recalling that the function of a statement is to “specify” the SEP: EA1996 s324(3)(b), the UT said that the FTT should have resolved and made clear what was required and meant; and sent the case back to the FTT to decide.
A Tribunal should not “rubber stamp” an inadequately vague statement: EC v North East Lincolnshire  UKUT 648 (AAC),  ELR 109. The FTT is “empowered to take a much closer look at the content of the LEA's statement [than the judicial review court].
Indeed for many purposes it stands in the LEA's shoes, re–evaluating the available information in order if necessary to recast the statement”: Bromley v SENT  ELR 260 per Sedley LJ at 294.
“The specificity and flexibility of Part 3 is pre-eminently an area within the expertise of the FTT” – it is entitled to take a more flexible approach if it considers it to be appropriate and may delete provisions that are too prescriptive: FC v Suffolk CC  UKUT 368 (AAC),  ELR 45. The Tribunal will be pragmatic, particularly in cases where a child is to start at a new school – the statement will be “realistic and practical” where adjustments will be made to provision and knowledge develops. The reference to an assessment that might take place was not an unlawful delegation of the FTT’s duty to specify SEP: CL v Hampshire CC  UKUT 468 (AAC),  ELR 110.
“Provision must be detailed and specific and should normally be quantified, for example, in terms of the type, hours and frequency of support and level of expertise, including where this support is secured through a Personal Budget”: COP2015 #9.69(F)
The previous case law has been applied under the CFA2014. Where a child is at a special school or college, rather than a mainstream school, that may be a factor to be taken into account in allowing greater flexibility: East Sussex CC v TW  UKUT 528 (AAC).
Can the Statement leave matters in Part 3 to be dealt with by a future assessment?
The Statement must actually set out what has been decided by the LA and, on appeal, the Tribunal. Recall: section 324 refers to the LA “determining” provision. The Tribunal does the same. It cannot leave matters over for future assessment, such as:
· the extent of disapplication from the National Curriculum: C v SENT and Greenwich  ELR 5.
· the nature or amount of other provision (say speech therapy) which is to be provided: Re A  ELR 639.
Example: E v Rotherham MBC  EWHC 432,  ELR 266 condemning a statement which provided SALT detail but then said that it was to be “formally reviewed every 6 months by a speech and language therapist” and that “any change in the level [of] support will require a formal discussion between the LEA, the NHS Trust and one or both of [C]’s parents, but the above level of support is to remain at no less than the present level until June this year.”
Although note that the Court of Appeal accepted as lawful a statement which made provision for future assessment of therapy needs where the statement was seen as necessary to get the child back into school and his therapy needs could not be assessed until he was back in school: E v Newham  EWCA Civ 07; although presumably the results of the later assessment should then have been encapsulated in a fresh statement.
Also see Hampshire CC v JP  UKUT 239 (AAC),  ELR 413: the Tribunal did not err simply because there was a risk that a place at a placement would not be available for 9 months. This is because there was a chance a place would open sooner, and to look for other placements may lead to disagreement and stress for the child.
CFA2014 s36(3) continues the statutory language that the LA must “determine” whether SEP may be necessary reinforcing that the LA must determine rather than leaving matters for future assessment.
Can the Statement require parents to provide education?
A Statement cannot lawfully specify (in Part 3 or 4) provision which is to be made by parents: A v Cambridgeshire  EWHC 2391,  ELR 464.
The Tribunal should look at what a statement requires of parents and ask whether it is “educational” or “special educational provision”: KW v Rochdale  EWHC 1770.
See thus for example, Tottman v Hertfordshire  EWHC 1725  ELR 1725,  EWCA Civ 1893, in which the Tribunal lawfully found that there was no need for educational provision out of school hours (there was merely a need for “consistency of approach”).
CFA2014 s42(4): Where an EHC Plan is maintained, the “local authority must secure the specified special educational provision for the child or young person” (i.e. LA and not parents).
However, where the LA has satisfied itself that the parents have made suitable alternative arrangements for SEP to be made then no duty falls on the LA to secure the SEP: CFA2014 s42(5), COP2015 #9.131-9.136.
Can the Statement require other bodies to arrange/fund the required provision?
The Statement must make provision in its Part 3 for all the SEP in question and cannot leave it to bodies other than the LA (such as the social services department or the NHS) to make such provision (whether identified in Part 5 or not): T v Hertfordshire CC  EWCA Civ 927; FJ v Cambridgeshire CC  EWHC 2391; N v North Tyneside BC  EWCA Civ 135,  ELR 312.
A requirement for “an Occupational Therapy programme [to be] devised and implemented by Children’s Integrated Therapies, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust” was found unlawful by the UT as the obligation to arrange SEP is on the LA not the NHS: JD v South Tyneside  UKUT 9 (AAC),  ELR 118.
CFA2014 s42(3): It is the duty of the LA to secure SEP and if (non-educational) health care provision is specified in the EHC Plan, the healthcare organisation who is responsible for arranging provision of that kind is under a duty to arrange the specified provision.
Can Part 3 make it the school’s responsibility to fund provision?
Part 3 can make reference to the arrangements for funding the provision (e.g. the balance between school and LA or health and LA): R v Cumbria CC ex parte P  ELR 337.
But, whatever the effect of such arrangements on the relationship between the LA and the school, they have no legal effect in terms of the child’s entitlement and the LA remains ultimately responsible for making the provision if the school fails to do so: R v Oxfordshire ex parte C  ELR 153; R v Hillingdon ex parte Queensmead School  ELR 331.
COP1996 # 8.6. “LEAs have a duty under section 324 of the Education Act 1996 to arrange the special educational provision in a child’s statement. LEAs may provide the facility in their funding agreements to intervene when a pupil is not receiving the provision in their statement and make the arrangements themselves, charging the costs to the school’s budget.”
CFA2014 s42 and COP2015 #9.131-132 “When an EHC plan is maintained for a child or young person the local authority must secure the special educational provision specified in the plan. If a local authority names an independent school or independent college in the plan as special educational provision it must also meet the costs of the fees, including any boarding and lodging where relevant.”
PART 4 / SECTION I – PLACEMENT – GENERAL
Relationship between Part 3 and Part 4
“.... part 4 cannot influence part 3. It is not a matter of fitting part 3 to part 4, but of considering the fitness of part 4 to meet the provision in part 3”: R v Kingston upon Thames and Hunter  ELR 223 p233C. Recall, after all, that a consultation draft statement contains the LA’s proposals for Parts 2 and 3 but must be silent on type and name of placement: EA1996 Schedule 27 para 2.
It remains the case that provision (Section F) is a prior consideration to placement (Section I). Where the draft EHC Plan is sent to the child’s parent or young person, it must not name the school or institution, or specify a type of school or institution: CFA2014 s38(5).
Evidence to support a placement
The decision to name a particular school must be based on proper evidence. Before naming a particular school, the Tribunal should normally have at the very least the prospectus, or oral evidence or a written statement from a member of the school’s staff. Neither the fact of registration of an independent school nor the fact that other LAs place children there is evidence of its suitability for children in general let alone for the particular child in question: “a Tribunal may draw reassurance or comfort from those facts, but no more…”: LB Southwark v Animashaun  EWHC 1123,  ELR 208.
The decision as to whether a particular child should be placed at a particular school must be based on the particular child and their particular needs. The fact that there are other children with greater SEN whose needs are being met by the school is irrelevant: MMB v Hillingdon  EWHC 513.
Must the school have the provision in place already?
The fact that a particular school does not have all the required facilities at the time of the Tribunal does not preclude it from being named provided that the Tribunal is properly satisfied by the assurances that it will do so by the time the child attends: Lawrence v LB Southwark  EWHC 1210; and, of course, the provision specified in Part 3 can, in any event, be enforced by the child through judicial review proceedings: R v Harrow ex parte M  FCR 761, VA v Cumbria  EWHC 232.
In N v North Tyneside Borough Council  EWCA Civ 135,  ELR 312 N sought to compel delivery of that SALT in her Statement by judicial review. The Administrative Court refused to compel delivery. The Court of Appeal held that to be wrong. The obligation under the Education Act 1996 s324(5) on an LA to arrange the SEP specified in a statement of SEN was absolute. It was not merely a “best endeavours” obligation which was satisfied where the LA had arranged most of the elements of Part 3 of the statement and considered that the child did not require the others (despite the Tribunal having decided to the contrary). A provision in a statement which purported to allow an LA to change provision without amending the statement was unlawful.
Specifying a type/name
Part 4 must set out the “type of school” which is considered appropriate (e.g. mainstream, special, residential, MLD, EBD, etc.). But, unless para 3(3) of Schedule 27 compels it, there is no absolute legal obligation to name a particular school: Richardson v Solihull  ELR 319.
Where, however, the LA/Tribunal has identified “mainstream” as the “type”, then it should normally name a particular school: MH v Hounslow  EWCA 770  ELR 424 (see further below).
Type includes “primary” or “secondary” which must be specified: R(M) v East Sussex  EWHC 1651, rejecting an LA’s argument that it did not need to amend a statement to anticipate secondary transfer where the statement did not specify primary and where the school named made provision 5-16 such that (on its case) no amendment was needed, and thus no right of appeal would be triggered. The LA could not be permitted to rely on its own failure to properly specify the type of school in Part 4.
Where two parents disagree on a choice of maintained school, the LA or Tribunal may not resort to naming only a type of school: SG v Denbighshire CC  UKUT 460 (AAC).
Regs2014 r12(i): The EHCP must set out “the name of the school, maintained nursery school, post-16 institution or other institution to be attended by the child or young person and the type of that institution or, where the name of a school or other institution is not specified in the EHC plan, the type of school or other institution to be attended by the child or young person (section I)”.
Relevance of breakdown of relationship between parents and school
The Tribunal is entitled to take account of the breakdown in considering suitability of a placement and “give some weight to it” L v Wandsworth  EWHC 694 (QB),  ELR 376.
Relevance of religion
The impact of religion can be relevant to the delivery of provision, for example how a child can access provision at a non-religious school where they have previously attended a religious school: A v SENDIST & LB Barnet  EWHC 3368.
Relevance of stress on a pupil
B v Vale of Glamorgan  ELR 529: A 16 year old suffering from mental ill-health refused to attend the school specified in Part 4 of her statement of SEN. Her parents’ appeal was allowed because there had been a failure to address how, notwithstanding her refusal, it concluded that the school could provide for her needs.
MW v Halton BC  UKUT 34 (AAC): If a tribunal were merely to find that a pupil, whilst attending or being expected to attend a school, experienced symptoms (from whatever cause) consistent with stress sufficient to be of evident concern to his medical advisers, it would need to be able to form a conclusion that the school proposed was nonetheless “appropriate”. This implies a need to consider the impact, if any, of attendance at that school on the child and how, if at all, the condition could be managed in such an environment and (since the circumstances are unlikely to be entirely fixed, or necessarily clear-cut) monitored.
Relevance of multi- agency assessment to a residential placement
COP1996 #8.74 provides that a residential placement will be appropriate where a multi-agency agreement identifies a listed specified circumstance but does not make the existence of one of those circumstances a pre-condition to such a placement: The Learning Trust v MP  EWHC 1634 (Admin),  ELR 658 .
There is no directly equivalent provision in COP2015.
Consultation with the school
A school should be careful before refusing to admit a child or young person on the basis it was not consulted by the LA. Where a school is named in a statement, the refusal to admit due to a failure to consult can be challenged by judicial review and costs ordered against the school (even if the SofS has agreed with the school in a determination that the authority has unreasonably named the school): N v Governing Body of a School  EWHC 1238 (Admin).
Maintained schools, academies, etc have a duty to admit where named in the EHCP: CFA2014 s43.
Most academies have a clause in their funding agreement providing that the academy can seek the Secretary of State’s determination as to whether the LA should have named the academy. However, that determination is still subject to an appeal to the FTT.
PLACEMENT REQUEST GENERALLY
See EA1996 Schedule 27 para 3, EA1996 s316
See CFA2014 s33 and s39, COP2015 #9.78-9.94
Where parents ask for a particular maintained [school] placement
Parental request for a maintained school (mainstream or special)
If (per EA1996 Schedule 27 para 3(3)) the parent has requested that a particular maintained school should be named, then Part 4 must name that school as long as it is:
· suitable to meet his or her needs; and
· his/her attendance would be compatible with the provision
of efficient education for the children with whom he/she would be educated and the efficient use of resources.
As considered further below, that did not apply where a parent expressed a preference for an academy or free school, since they are independent schools and not maintained schools.
Para 3(3) allows “a parent” to express a preference and therefore does not explicitly provide for where two parents disagree upon the choice of maintained school. When that happens, the Tribunal should determine which of the schools preferred would provide a better education. The Tribunal may not simply name a type of school, nor may it name two schools: SG v Denbighshire CC  UKUT 460 (AAC).
When a draft EHCP is prepared, the child’s parents or young person may request the LA name a particular school or institution of the type listed: COP2015 #9.78.
Those listed are set out at CFA2014 s38(3) and are wider than simply maintained schools:
“(a) a maintained school;
(b) a maintained nursery school;
(c) an Academy;
(d) an institution within the further education sector in England;
(e) a non-maintained special school;
(f) an institution approved by the Secretary of State under section 41 (independent special schools and special post-16 institutions: approval).”
That extension beyond “maintained schools” has the effect of putting academies/free schools on an equal footing with maintained schools for the first time.
The addition of “institution approved by …” under CFA2014 s41 allows for individual independent schools to choose to be placed on that same footing, which creates a level playing field in terms of parent’s/young person’s preference in relation to such schools and maintained schools/academies/free schools while, of course, also bringing a level playing field for the purposes of admitting children (i.e. an independent school or specialist college which opts to be within that framework is considered equally alongside maintained schools by parents and young people, but must also, if then named by the LA, admit as would a maintained school).
When a parent or young person has requested such a placement, the LA is then required to consult the school or institution (CFA2014 s39(2)), and must secure that the EHCP names the school or institution (CFA2014 s39(3)) unless (CFA2014 s39(4)):
“(a) the school or other institution requested is unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or special educational needs of the child or young person concerned, or
(b) the attendance of the child or young person at the requested school or other institution would be incompatible with--
(i) the provision of efficient education for others, or
(ii) the efficient use of resources.”
See also COP2015 #9.79
Where parents disagree on the named school, SG v Denbighshire CC  UKUT 460 (AAC) is likely to apply (see above for commentary).
Like the 1996 Act, the right to request a school in section 38(2)(b) of the 2014 Act is given to “the parent” and does not therefore cater for any disagreement between parents.
Efficient use of resources
The mere fact that the parentally-preferred provision is a bit more expensive is not an automatic barrier under EA1996 Schedule 27 para 3(3) as above to placement in respect of efficient use of resources. The LA/Tribunal must balance the statutory weight given to the parental preference against the extra cost in deciding whether the extra cost is “inefficient”, and even if it is found to be “inefficient” the Tribunal must still then, as a second stage, balance the extra cost against any extra benefit it is claimed to bring for the child: L v Essex, Gibbs J  EWHC 1105 (Admin),  ELR 452 (upholding a decision in which the Tribunal had held that £4,000 extra was not inefficient, and thus did not even need to go on to consider whether that extra cost was justified by extra benefits to the child). It is only if the extra cost is “significant” that the parentally preferred placement is displaced Surrey CC v P  ELR 516. See also C v Lancashire  ELR 377.
The “efficient resources” are those of the LA responsible (not LAs generally): B v Harrow (No 1)  ELR 109 such that: the LA can take into account the cost of an out-of-area placement if that is requested; and the LA can take into account – in a special school funded on a place-led basis – the “wasted” cost of not placing the child at the school.
But note that expenditure by a maintained school is by law LA expenditure such that increased (or reduced) school expenditure (i.e. depending on the child attending) is still taken into account in the resource balance even if the amount delegated to the school would not change the amount delegated to the school by the LA: X City Council v SENDIST, AB, MB & GB  EWHC 2278,  ELR 1.
Given that the House of Lords’ reasoning in B v Harrow (No 1)  ELR 109 was premised on particular funding arrangements in place at the time for mainstream schools and for special schools (something which has now changed) and the (flawed even then) notion that all children with Statements were educated in special schools, it is unclear whether consideration of “efficient use of resources” for CFA2014 s39(4)(b)(ii) would focus only (as the House of Lords held to be the case in EA1996) on the resources of the particular LA.
Parents willing to pay transport costs
Where parents and LA both prefer maintained special schools, and the parental school incurs additional transport costs, the stages to consider are (1) the parental school should be named alone (pursuant to EA1996 Sch 27 para 3(3)) if the additional cost is not incompatible with the provision of efficient resources or such inefficiency is outweighed by educational benefit, (2) if there is no duty to name the parental school, the Tribunal should determine whether the extra transport costs are unreasonable public expenditure (EA1996 s9) – if not the parental choice of school should be named alone, (3) if the costs are unreasonable, is it still incompatible if the parents pay for transport – if not, then both schools can be named subject to parents paying travel costs to their preferred school: Dudley MBC v S  EWCA Civ 346,  ELR 206.
Incompatible with the efficient education of others
A preference under EA1996 schedule 27 para 3(2) was only displaced by a positive finding of “incompatibility with the efficient education of other children” and not merely by evidence of an impact on those other children: Hampshire v R & SENDIST  EWHC 626, (2009) ELR 371.
When considering the question (in EA1996 schedule 27 para 3(3)) whether “the attendance of the child at the school would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for the children with whom he would be educated” the Tribunal was entitled to consider the impact on all or any children at the school. When explaining its decision, however, it needed to give a clear identification of just what difference D’s admission (not the admission of all four children with appeals pending) would have, and on the efficient education of which children. Where a school is nominally full, admitting children over this number might be incompatible with the efficient education of others: NA v LB Barnet  UKUT 180 (AAC),  ELR 617.
The test for incompatibility is not met by a test of “adverse effect” or “impact on” or “prejudicial to”: **M v LB Harrow HS/4850/2013.
EA 1996 s9 in play even where parent requests a maintained school
Even where the EA1996 schedule 27 para 3(3) duty to name the maintained school requested by parents has been displaced by (e.g.) “inefficient use of resources”, the EA1996 s9 obligation (as below) is still in play; i.e. s9 does not only apply where an independent school is requested: O v Lewisham  EWHC 2130,  ELR 633; but note that the decision maker must consider para 3(3) and section 9 separately – they do not collapse into a single test: Ealing v SENDIST & K  EWHC 193 (Admin),  ELR 183.
EA1996 s9 is not affected by the shift from Statements to EHCPs (but only applies to parental requests – i.e. not young people’s- and only to “pupils”, namely persons for whom education is being provided at a school, other than—(a) a person who has attained the age of 19 for whom further education is being provided, or (b) a person for whom part-time education suitable to the requirements of persons of any age over compulsory school age is being provided).
Does EA1996 s9 apply to a request for change of name only?
EA1996 s9 does apply to a request for a change of name pursuant to EA1996 schedule 27 paragraph 8: Mulla v Hackney Learning Trust  EWCA Civ 397,  ELR 350. This assists an applicant who seeks mainstream provision outside the authority’s area, as the calculation of “efficient use of public resources” is of the public purse generally rather than limited to the maintaining authority’s resources.
There is no equivalent in CFA2014 to EA1996 schedule 27 para 8, however the latter remains in force.
Where parents ask for a particular independent placement/provision
Parental preference for an independent placement EA1996 s9
Regard is to be had to the principle that education is in accordance with parental wishes unless that involves unreasonable public expenditure. There is no obligation (as such) to give effect to parental preference under section 9: C v Buckinghamshire (1999) ELR 179.
Section 9 does not impose a duty to act in accordance with parental preference, but to have regard to it: WH v Warrington BC  EWCA Civ 398,  ELR 212.
Even if the Tribunal finds incompatibility under section 9, that is not the end of the process. It does not mean that the Tribunal is entitled to ignore the reasons lying behind the parent’s choice of school. Those are matters still to be taken into account by the Tribunal in the exercise of its discretion under EA1996 s324(4) and weighed in the balance among the other factors which the Tribunal considers to be relevant: Hampshire v R & SENDIST  EWHC 626,  ELR 371.
Section 9 should be approached in three stages: IM v LB Croydon  UKUT 205 (AAC):
1. Are both schools appropriate
2. If they are, which is parent’s preferred school?
3. Would naming the parent’s preferred school be incompatible with the provision of efficient instruction and training or the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure. If so, the school suggested by the LA must be named.
[Note, however, the more nuanced explanation and analysis in Hampshire v R & SENDIST  EWHC 626,  ELR 371]
A Tribunal cannot dodge these questions, and must answer them. For example, a failure to decide whether the parent’s preferred school is suitable constitutes an error of law: EC v North East Lincolnshire  UKUT 0648 (AAC),  ELR 109 .
Where a grandmother and local authority both had parental responsibility and disagreed over placement, neither preference inherently carried more weight and the issue was to be decided on the facts having regard to both preferences: **K v LB Haringey HS/3004/2014.
Because EA1996 s9 is untouched by the change from EA1996 to CFA2014, if the LA/Tribunal finds incompatibility, the reasons lying behind the parent’s expression of preference for a school can still be taken into account per CFA2014 s39(5). (Note above on the applicability of EA1996 s9 post 16.)
Whose efficient instruction and training?
Reference to “the provision of efficient instruction and training” in EA1996 s9 is to the impact on the education of the other children with whom the child will be educated and not just the child concerned in the appeal: Hampshire v R & SENDIST  EWHC 626,  ELR 371.
Whose public expenditure?
The term “public expenditure” within EA1996 s9 is concerned with the impact of the parent’s choice on the public purse generally and thus requires the Tribunal to take into account the cost of social services respite provision which would be saved by placing the child in a residential rather than day school: WH v Warrington BC  EWCA Civ 398,  ELR 212; O v Lewisham  ELR 633. See also EH v KCC  UKUT 376 (AAC).
It also involves taking into account the (positive) financial impact on an another LA where the child being placed in a school maintained by another LA would lead to an inter-authority payment by the ‘home’ LA; it is not to be ‘read down’ so as to refer only to the resources of the home LA: CM v Bexley  UKUT 215 (AAC),  ELR 413.
If money is delegated to a school by the LA, that remains expenditure of the LA and should be taken into account for the purposes of section 9: Coventry City Council v SENDIST  EWHC 2278,  ELR 1.
How to calculate public expenditure for section 9?
It is only the marginal (i.e. additional) cost of the placements under consideration which is relevant; thus, if the taxi is already provided, or a learning support assistant could look after a second child at no extra cost, then there is no additional public expenditure: Oxfordshire v GB  EWCA 1358,  ELR 8.
But note that a specific evaluation is needed, particularly if the cost balance is critical to the choice between two placements which have been found to be appropriate. Accordingly, where transport was needed, it could not be assumed that the marginal cost of transporting the child was nil where a taxi was already covering that route: evidence was needed as to how the price was affected, if at all, by the number of children carried. The Tribunal should have identified the issues it was considering and then expressly dealt with them: (1) what would be the cost of transport without an escort? (2) what would be the cost of the escort? (3) would an additional vehicle be required and, if so, at what cost? W v LB Hillingdon  EWHC 1580,  ELR 599.
When considering relevant "public expenditure" for the purposes of EA1996 s9 the LA’s budgetary arrangements for an individual school would usually be a sensible starting point. If those arrangements made provision for the payment of an age weighted pupil unit (AWPU) to the school then there was no reason why the First-tier Tribunal should not accept that the AWPU, together with any additional costs specifically incurred in respect of the child in question, were a fair reflection of the cost to the public purse of educating the child at that school: EH v Kent  EWCA Civ 709.
Additional expenditure by a maintained school arising from placing a child there is (as a matter of law) additional expenditure by the LA even where the LA has in place a scheme of delegation which means that it would not provide any extra funds to the school if the child was placed there: X City Council v SENDIST, AB, MB & GB  EWHC 2278,  ELR 1
Under the “new” funding framework, when the LA determines budget shares for maintained schools, it must include £10,000 per place reserved for children with SEN (School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations 2013). It follows that, generally, where there is a vacancy the £10,000 place funding is not treated as an additional cost. However, that is only the starting point for the evaluation. If the place review mechanism is such that, in fact, the decision on placement will impact on whether or not the £10,000 is paid now or in the future (albeit manifested in the allocation of a “place”) then that will become relevant for EA1996 s9 purposes: Hammersmith & Fulham LBC v L & F  UKUT 523 (AAC),  ELR 528. This position applies to the Early Years Finance (England) Regulations 2014 and 2015 as well (Hammersmith was decided under the 2013 Regs): P v Worcestershire CC  UKUT 0120 (AAC),  ELR 194.
The comparison exercise for unreasonable public expenditure is between the fees and advantages of the schools which are proposed – see EC v North East Lincolnshire  UKUT 648 (AAC),  ELR 109, where the parents’ argument was rejected that account should be taken of savings the authority made when the child had previously not been attending school, and the high fees of the school where the child previously attended.
Over what time to calculate for EA1996 s9
When considering the cost balance, the LA/Tribunal should look at the effect over time of the choice of placement – thus the Tribunal erred in not taking into account the fact that, at the parentally preferred school, a year extra would be needed to complete GCSEs:
Southampton v G  EWHC 1516,  ELR 698.
What benefits to take into account?
In deciding on the balance between extra costs and extra benefits all benefits (including thus health, social, etc., benefits) and not just educational benefits arising from the extra cost must be taken into account: SK v Hillingdon  UKUT 71 (AAC),  ELR 165
What is unreasonable?
As to what is “unreasonable”, note Wardle-Heron v Newham  EWHC 2806,  ELR 68 in which the judge remitted back to the Tribunal for it to consider whether the extra cost was “unreasonable” a case in which the LA package would cost £5,641 and the parental package £12,286, thus recognising that the difference (nearly £7,000) was not necessarily “unreasonable”. Similarly £4,000 was not necessarily unreasonable given the benefits which arose in Ealing v SENDIST & K  EWHC 193,  ELR 183. See also MM & DM v Harrow  UKUT 395 (AAC) where the UT declined to decide whether £17,000 (an extra 60%) would inevitably be unreasonable public expenditure.
Other appeals have, however, suggested that under the EA1996 s9 ‘unreasonable public expenditure’ test even fairly modest additional sums required to place a child in the parentally preferred school may prevent the Tribunal from naming it unless there is a clear explanation as to the additional benefit to be derived from the parental placement and the Tribunal explains why it is not unreasonable for this to be funded by the LA. As always, the detailed reasoning is key when deciding appeals on the basis of respective costs.
Academies and Free Schools (including special academies and special free schools)
Academies are independent schools not maintained schools. They operate under contract (the Funding Agreement) between the SofS and an “Academy Trust” now taking effect under the Academies Act 2010.
EA1996 provisions relating to SEN apply to Academies only as if they were independent schools other than where they are specifically mentioned in the specific provision in play.
EA1996 s316 (qualified duty to secure mainstream) expressly applies to Academies.
EA1996 schedule 27 para 3(3) does not apply to Academies. As with independent schools EA1996 s9 still applies
Early funding agreements were very variable often saying little about SEN
Latterly, a “model” was used as the basis for the contract, but the model changed over time
However, the content of most if not all such agreements is such that the Academy is bound by contract to give effect to a Statement which names the Academy in Part 4 following a Tribunal appeal and so, in practice, the Tribunal should be able to proceed (in terms of its jurisdiction to deal with the case) as if this was a maintained school.
The parental request for the Academy is operative unless “admitting the child would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for other children, and no reasonable steps could secure compatibility” (from April 2016 model funding agreement).
Beware that some Academies (apparently sometimes acting in collaboration with LAs) seemingly do not apply this and, instead, apply some other criteria, e.g. a quota of children with statements, or admitting only children with particular types of SEN, or applying a distance threshold to children with statements, or some combination; none of which would be lawful if they have the provisions above (which the overwhelming majority do).
If the Academy wanted to apply such arrangements then they would need to be consistent with the Funding Agreement and would almost certainly require an amendment to the Funding Agreement which previous Secretaries of State would have resisted.
SC v The Learning Trust  UKUT 214 (AAC),  ELR 474
Even for an academy with a pre-2010 funding agreement (i.e. which did not specifically refer to the SENDIST or make clear that the academy had to admit where named in a statement) the SENDIST has jurisdiction to hear an appeal and order an academy placement which the academy resists.
An issue remains, however, as to the test to apply. UT made it clear that the Tribunal looks to the test in the FA (and thus must be through the prism of section 9 EA 1996). But the subsequent FTT hearings looked only at section 9.
“Free Schools” are, for these purposes, academies in all but name.
There is likely to be nothing stopping a parent (1) making a request to the LA to name an academy in Part 4 and (2) applying directly to the academy for a place for their child. The effect of that is that, if the academy refuses the place (and the LA acts on that and refuses to specify the academy in part 4) then (unlike with a mainstream school request where the parent would not have been able also to apply directly for a school place to the school) the parent can both (a) appeal to the FTT against the LA’s refusal to name and (b) bring a disability discrimination claim to the FTT in relation to the academy’s refusal: AB v DYRMS  UKUT 403 (AAC)
CFA2014 places statutory SEN duties on academies just as it does on maintained schools.
For example, they can be the subject of a parental request for a placement with the same effect as for a maintained school (section 38(3)(c)) and have a duty to admit when named (CFA2014 s43(1) and (2)).
This is now reflected in the latest Model Academy Agreement (which will apply to newly created academies but has no retrospective effect) at section 10.
But existing academies based on older model agreements will include SEN provisions which pre-date the CFA2014. For those:
1. The provisions in the particular funding agreement (which should be specifically checked, as they vary) govern the position in relation to a Statement and EA1996.
2. For a CFA2014 situation (i.e. dealing with an EHCP) the provisions of the CFA2014 prevail over any conflicting provisions in the funding agreement (and there may well be a conflict in that the funding agreement may appear to allow the academy to, for example, refuse a placement in the face of CFA2014 obligation) but,
3. Provisions in the funding agreement which are consistent with the CFA2014 but which constrain the academy’s position can still be relied on.
Where parents want a maintained mainstream placement (or mainstream academy placement for EHCP)
DFES Guidance 0774/2001:
“22. The starting point is always that children who have statements will receive mainstream education. The new section 316 states that a child who has special educational needs and a statement must be educated in a mainstream school unless this would be incompatible with –
(a) the wishes of the child’s parents;
(b) or the provision of efficient education of other children.
These are the only reasons why mainstream education can be refused outright.”
“24. Mainstream education cannot be refused on the grounds that the child’s needs cannot be provided for within the mainstream sector. The general duty assumes that with the right strategies and support most children with special educational needs can be included successfully at a mainstream school. The local education authority should be able to provide a mainstream option for all but a small minority of pupils. Local education authorities should look across all of their schools and seek to provide appropriate mainstream provision where possible...”
Where (1) the maintained school requested by the parents is not named because of suitability or incompatibility with the efficient education of others, or (2) no school is requested by the parents, then the LA:
“must secure that the plan provides for the child or young person to be educated in a maintained nursery school, mainstream school or mainstream post-16 institution, unless that is incompatible with--
(a) the wishes of the child’s parent or the young person, or
(b) the provision of efficient education for others”: CFA2014 s33(2).
In respect of not naming a mainstream placement generally, the LA “may rely on the exception in subsection (2)(b) [the exception for provision of the efficient education of others] in relation to maintained nursery schools, mainstream schools or mainstream post-16 institutions in its area taken as a whole only if it shows that there are no reasonable steps that it could take to prevent the incompatibility”: CFA2014 s33(3).
In respect of not naming a particular mainstream placement, the LA “may rely on the exception in subsection (2)(b) in relation to a particular maintained nursery school, mainstream school or mainstream post-16 institution only if it shows that there are no reasonable steps that it or the governing body, proprietor or principal could take to prevent the incompatibility” (CFA2014 s33(4)).
See overall COP2015 #9.88-9.90.
What constitutes a reasonable step will “depend on all the circumstances of the case”, and factors include whether taking the step would be effective in removing incompatibility, whether the step is practical, what steps have already been taken, financial implications, and disruption caused by the step: COP2015 #9.91-9.94.
But surely we have to ask whether the mainstream placement is suitable/appropriate?
No. “Suitability” is no longer an issue when considering whether to specify mainstream as a “type” in Part 4 if the parents wants it. In effect, the statute deems that, for all children, mainstream is suitable or can (and thus must) be made suitable, unless that results in incompatibility with the education of others. That requires the LEA/Tribunal to consider (and include in Part 3) the additional support the child requires to make the placement suitable. Additional support must be provided to ensure that a mainstream placement (albeit not necessarily a particular mainstream placement) is made available. The only issue is whether the placement (including thus the additional support put in place to support the child) would be incompatible with the education of other children (section 316(3)(b)) and that incompatibility cannot be removed by the taking of “reasonable steps” (section 316A(5)/(6)). See MH v Hounslow  EWCA Civ 770, (2004) ELR 424; Bury MBC v SU  UKUT 406 (AAC); CCC v London Borough of Tower Hamlets  UKUT 393 (AAC).
See Harrow v AM  UKUT 0157 (AAC): “In my judgment, the apparent incompatibility between the provision of suitable education and the requirement to name a mainstream school without express regard to the suitability of the school for the child can only be reconciled on the basis that the local education authority is under an absolute obligation to make a school suitable, if there is no suitable school already, whether inside or outside its area, where the child can be found a place, subject only to the qualification in section 316(3)(b).
It has to provide for the identified needs. It cannot say that it will educate the child in a mainstream school without providing for them.
Nor can it rely on any independent resources issue in this respect.
This combines the need to protect the interests of the child with Parliament’s intention, in amending 1996 Act in 2001, to promote inclusion” (para 27).
CFA2014 s33 and s39 provide essentially the same two stage process whereby the LA is under a duty to accede to the parental preference for a particular maintained school/academy/etc unless it is unsuitable or is incompatible with the efficient use of resources or education of others; but even though a particular mainstream school fails at that stage, the same school remains a candidate when it comes to the duty to secure mainstream where the parent wants it unless that involves incompatibility with the efficient education of others which cannot be removed by the taking of reasonable steps. See ME v LB Southwark  UKUT 0073 (AAC) for a comprehensive outline of the law on this point under the CFA2014.
As with the EA1996, the obligation on the LA becomes one of taking whatever steps are necessary (without regard to cost or other resources) to make that placement suitable, and the obligation to place there remaining unless that involves incompatibility with the efficient education of others which cannot be removed by the taking of reasonable steps. Resources may be relevant in deciding on the reasonableness of those additional steps (i.e. those which are only to remove incompatibility with the efficient education of others) but they are not relevant in relation to deciding what was necessary to make the placement suitable for the particular child in the first place.
What if parents only want part time mainstream school?
Provided that more than a de minimis part of the child’s education could be provided in a mainstream school then EA1996 s316 can be in play such that, if parents want a mainstream placement then there is a duty to provide it unless (per section 316) it would be incompatible with the efficient education of other children (etc.). Pursuant to EA1996 s319, where it is not appropriate to make all of that provision at school, the rest can then be made (as here) out of school: MS v Brent  UKUT 50 (AAC),  ELR 301.
So how do we deal with a parental request for a particular mainstream maintained school?
1. If parents have expressed a preference under EA1996 schedule 27 para 3 (i.e. for a maintained mainstream school), consider it by reference to that paragraph first.
2. Unless one of the disqualifiers in para 3(3), applies, they have a right to that placement.
3. If one of the disqualifiers bites (see above on inefficient use of resources), then consider the type of placement under EA1996 s316.
4. Unless incompatible with the education of others and the steps to remove the incompatibility are unreasonable, then the Tribunal must specify mainstream as a type in Part 4.
5. Deciding whether the steps to remove incompatibility with the efficient education of other children are unreasonable can also involve considering their impact on the child in question (but that is not introducing a ‘suitability’ test by the back door).
6. If there is no incompatibility the Tribunal should try and identify a particular placement.
7. In doing so, all mainstream schools put forward by either parent or LA are candidates including the school put forward by the parent under para 3 (and rejected under para 3).
8. But the parent does not have a right to have any particular school named at this stage, only a right to have it considered as a candidate, albeit helped by EA1996 s9 (the general duty to educate in accordance with parental preference subject to unreasonable expenditure). Example: the child requires classes fitted with hearing aid loops; the parents want mainstream; s316 can secure them mainstream, but not a particular mainstream, such that the Tribunal could order placement at a mainstream school which has been equipped by the LA with loops.
9. But it may nonetheless be necessary (to comply with EA1996 s316) to prescribe additional provision to make “suitable” that which was considered “unsuitable” (EA1996 schedule 27 para 3).
As above when it comes to the interaction between CFA2014 s33 and s39.
Does EA1996 s316 apply to a request for change of name only?
EA1996 s316 does not apply when considering a parental request under EA1996 schedule 27 para 8 to change the name of the placement in Part 4 (because changing name would not change the “type” i.e. from special to mainstream): Slough v SENDIST  EWHC 1759,  ELR 546; although that would not be the case where the statement was (unlawfully as it happens) silent as to “type” of placement and Part 3 was consistent with a mainstream placement, such that changing the name was all that was needed to achieve the outcome the parents wanted.
Not relevant in CFA2014 as it contains no equivalent of EA1996 schedule 27 para 8.
Where parents ask for a home programme or other non-school placement
What about home programmes or placements out of school?
By section EA1996 s319, an LA can make provision out of school if appropriate provision cannot be made in school. The first question to be asked is what does the child need (i.e. decide on Part 3) then decide if that can be provided in school: S v Bracknell Forest  ELR 51.
TM v Hounslow  EWCA Civ 859,  ELR 137: To answer the question whether or not it would be “inappropriate” for provision to be made in a school, it is not enough to ask whether the school “can” meet the needs set out in Part 3. One must ask if the school “would not be suitable” or “would not be proper”. That requires the LA to take account of the circumstances of the case which would include the child’s background and medical history, the particular educational needs of the child, facilities that can be provided by a school and otherwise than at a school, the comparative costs of alternative provisions, the child’s reaction to the provisions, the parents’ wishes and any other particular circumstances that might apply.
Where a “home programme” is identified (e.g. Lovaas) that should be described in Part 3 and can also be described in Part 4: Wandsworth v K  EWHC 1424 Admin,  ELR 554.
What is a school? A “unit” sited at a school but not part of it (and run as a partnership between several academies and the LA known as GROW) could nonetheless be a “school” for the purposes of section 319 EA 1996 (and thus be a second placement for children who were placed at PRU). Factors included the fact it had a management committee, a chain of command, a teacher who works at GROW and an EP employed by the LA: TB v Essex CC  UKUT 534 (AAC),  ELR 46. The question is a question of fact for the specialist FTT, and the decision should be reached considering at least the factors listed in paragraph 34 of TB (and paragraph 33 may be disregarded): MA v Kensington and Chelsea  UKUT 186 (AAC),  ELR 326.
“(1) A local authority in England may arrange for any special educational provision that it has decided is necessary for a child or young person for whom it is responsible to be made otherwise than in a school or post-16 institution or a place at which relevant early years education is provided.
(2) An authority may do so only if satisfied that it would be inappropriate for the provision to be made in a school or post-16 institution or at such a place.
(3) Before doing so, the authority must consult the child’s parent or the young person.”
So CFA2014 is similar to EA1996 s319 although with linguistic tweaks.
The LA must now decide if it is “necessary” to educate a child or young person other than in a school or post-16 institution, but what is “necessary” is cast in terms of whether it is “inappropriate” for provision to be made in school or post 16 institution. Therefore case law on what “inappropriate” means is directly applicable, as are the cases on what constitutes a school.
Any approved home tuition is not put into Section I: East Sussex CC v TW  UKUT 528 (AAC).
CEASING TO MAINTAIN A STATEMENT/EHCP
What happens when the child reaches compulsory school leaving[GC1] age?
Where live issues between the parties remained and it was possible that if an appeal went ahead, the Tribunal might have made an order that special educational provision be provided by the LA, then the Tribunal had jurisdiction despite the child being over compulsory school age and not on the roll of a school: KC v Newham  UKUT 96,  ELR 429.
See also Wolverhampton v Smith  EWHC 1117,  ELR 418 and Hill v Bedfordshire  EWCA Civ 661,  ELR 660.
The EHCP will continue until the end of the academic year in which the young person turns 25: see CFA2014 s37(1), s46 and 83(2), where there definition of “young person” is “over compulsory school age but under 25”.
The LA may cease to maintain a plan only where (1) it is no longer responsible for the child or young person or (2) it is no longer necessary for the plan to be maintained: CFA2014 s45(1).
See also COP2015 #9.199-9.210.
No additional considerations (other than the CFA2014 s45(3) obligation to have regard to whether the educational or training outcomes specified in the plan have been achieved) come into play simply because the young person is no longer of compulsory school age and may indeed be over 19. In particular, the continuing need for an EHCP is not premised on (for example) any particular expectation of progress let alone any requirement that the young person is expected to gain qualifications (see Buckinghamshire CC v SJ  UKUT 254 (AAC),  ELR 350 on issuing a plan, although its reasoning can be applied in the context of ceasing).
If an appeal is made against a decision to cease, the EHC Plan continues pending the determination of the appeal (CFA2014 s45(4)(b)).
As regards young people over 18 who have left education but then want to return, see Regs2014 r30.
Where a young person aged 18 or over leaves education or training before the end of their course, the LA should review to determine whether the young person wishes to return to education or training: Guidance19-25.
What happens when the ‘child’ reaches 19?
Statements of SEN cease automatically when the child reaches 19, albeit that LAs have the power to continue to make provision for the person beyond that point, including to finish the academic year: AW v Essex CC  EWCA Civ 1315,  ELR 1
“In line with preparing young people for adulthood, a local authority must not cease an EHC plan simply because a young person is aged 19 or over. Young people with EHC plans may need longer in education or training in order to achieve their outcomes and make an effective transition into adulthood. However, this position does not mean that there is an automatic entitlement to continued support at age 19 or an expectation that those with an EHC plan should all remain in education until age 25. A local authority may cease a plan for a 19- to 25-year-old if it decides that it is no longer necessary for the EHC plan to be maintained. Such circumstances include where the young person no longer requires the special educational provision specified in their EHC plan. In deciding that the special educational provision is no longer required, the local authority must have regard to whether the educational or training outcomes specified in the plan have been achieved (see the section on Outcomes, paragraphs 9.64 to 9.69)…
Young people who no longer need to remain in formal education or training will not require special educational provision to be made for them through an EHC plan”: COP2015 #9.152-3
When a young person is close to finishing their education and training, the LA should use the final annual review to agree the support needed to help them engage with services after they turn 19: Guidance 19-25.
Can a statement be ceased before a Learning Disability Assessment has been completed?
Although the contents of an LDA can and should provide information relevant to the question (in a challenge to a decision to cease to maintain a statement) of whether the statement continued to be needed, that was not the only source of such information, nor even a mandatory source. Accordingly it is not a prerequisite when making considering a cessation appeal for the Tribunal to have before it a complete and lawful LDA: LB v Kent  UKUT 405 (AAC),  ELR 31
No equivalence or relevance for CFA2014 because LDAs no longer apply and the provision for young people beyond compulsory school age is dealt with through the ordinary EHCP regime under CFA2014.
Unless someone else has made free travel arrangements, an LA must make such travel arrangements as it considers necessary in order to secure that suitable home to school travel arrangements, for the purpose of facilitating an “eligible child’s” attendance at the relevant educational establishment free of charge: EA1996 s508B(1).
“Travel arrangements” means transport or, with the consent of parents, an escort to accompany the child or payment of expenses: s508B(2).
The LA in determining what it considers necessary can take account of cost and practicality, and there is no duty to provide transport from after school clubs, or before the end of the day where a child has medical appointments in the week: P v East Sussex CC  EWHC 4634 (Admin),  ELR 178.
Travel arrangements made by a parent only displace the LA’s duty if the arrangements are made voluntarily: EA1996 s508B(5).
“Relevant educational establishment” means (essentially) nearest suitable school: EA1996 s508B(10).
“Eligible child” means of compulsory school age and includes children living beyond the statutory walking distance and children with SEN, a disability or mobility problems registered at a school within that distance who by reason of SEN etc. cannot reasonably be expected to walk to school: EA1996 Schedule 35B para 2.
It follows from the above that parents of children with SEN cannot be required to escort their child (although some LAs have tried to require this).
Transport must be “non-stressful”: R v Hereford & Worcester ex p P (1992) 2 FCR 732.
For a child with a Statement, the transport would be “non-educational” – i.e. Part 6. And even then, COP1996 #8.89 it would only exceptionally be put into the Statement (where child has particular transport needs). But, of course, the LA remains under a EA1996 s509 duty to provide.
Where transport costs impact on the cost balance (whether under EA1996 schedule 27 para 3(3) or under EA1996 s9) the Tribunal will have to properly evaluate the costs involved – see W v LB Hillingdon  EWHC 1580,  ELR 599. This includes deciding what would be needed by way of suitable transport.
MM & DM v Harrow  UKUT 395 (AAC): “Transport is not an educational need. However, it has to be taken into account. A placement cannot be appropriate if the authority cannot provide suitable transport to the school. ...On appeal, the First-tier Tribunal is not concerned with whether the authority’s proposed arrangements were within the range of reasonableness; it had to decide whether or not they were suitable. I also accept that stress, safety and comfort are not necessarily the only factors that might make a journey unsuitable.”
A statement can, in Part 4, name a school on the basis of parental preference and subject to an expressed agreement by parents to transport the child to school without the statement identifying a particular fall-back to which the LA would send the child if the parents ceased to transport: M v Sutton  EWCA Civ 1205,  ELR 123,
Overall, see COP2015 #9.214-9.217.
It remains the case that home to school transport is non-educational and cannot generally be categorised as SEP: Staffordshire CC v JM  UKUT 246 (AAC),  ELR 307  and . It should be in EHCP Section D and not F, and the FTT does not have jurisdiction over it: Regs2014 r43, Staffordshire CC v JM [32-33].
The duty in relation to those over 19 years old is to “make such arrangements for the provision and otherwise as they consider necessary” (EA1996 s508F) which is weaker than the duty in respect of eligible children. COP2015 #9.214-217 is unclear in this respect, in particular appearing to cite a “free-standing rule allowing transport needs to be included in an EHC plan if exceptional circumstances could be shown to exist, despite section 508F”: Staffordshire v JM [37-40].
WHAT IF THE PARENTS WANT PROVISION IN EXCESS OF THAT WHICH THE TRIBUNAL CONSIDERS TO BE NECESSARY?
What if the school requested for Part 4 provides more than the child needs (e.g. un-needed residential)
Even if the Tribunal considers that the school proposed by the LA is not suitable, it does not follow that it should automatically name the school requested by parents if that latter school costs a lot more because it makes provision (e.g. residential provision) which the child does not need. The Tribunal should specify a type or consider adjourning if there may be other, less costly, options Hereford & Worcester v Lane  ELR 319, LB Hackney v Silaydin  ELR 571.
However, this does not mean in every hearing where the school named in Part 4 is inappropriate an LA should be given an opportunity to suggest alternatives that are less expensive than the parental school – where there is a risk the LA school will be found unsuitable the LA can suggest a fall-back: Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council v SENDIST  ELR 290.
The onus is on an LA which is or should have be aware that there was a risk that the FTT might find its proposed school unsuitable to bring forward alternatives if it wants to promote alternatives; and not therefore on the FTT to take the initiative: **LB Hillingdon v G HS/2241/2016.
Extended day provision does not necessarily mean a residential placement provided that appropriate provision beyond the normal school day is available: TA v Bowen & Solihull  EWHC 5,  ELR 148. Such provision must obviously be taken into account in considering costs and it should also be specified to some extent in Part 3 rather than simply stating “an extended day” or similar. The decision should make clear the extent of extended day that is being approved as suitable provision for the child.
Fall back positions
In Bromley v SENT  ELR 260, Sedley LJ rejected an argument by an LA that the SENDIST should have given it opportunities to canvass alternative schools after it had rejected the LA’s proposal. He held: “While proceedings before SENTs are not expected to mimic litigation, a SENT is in the ordinary way entitled to expect each side to bring its full case forward, at least to the extent of putting down the necessary markers. No such marker was put down by the LA.”
See also Stanley Burnton J in Hammersmith & Fulham v Pivcevic & SENDIST  EWHC 1709 (Admin),  ELR 594 para 62 “if a considerable amount of money turns on a decision of the Tribunal it is incumbent on the LA to prepare for and conduct its case with greater care.”
The onus is on an LA which is or should be aware that there is a risk that the FTT might find its proposed school unsuitable to bring forward alternatives if it wants to promote alternatives; and not therefore on the FTT to take the initiative: **LB Hillingdon v G HS/2241/2016.
A parent is entitled to express a first choice independent placement, and with a fall back mainstream provision. As in KC v LB Hammersmith and Fulham  UKUT 177 (AAC),  ELR 317, the Tribunal found the parental first choice school would involve unreasonable public expenditure as compared with the LA’s first choice maintained special school; however following this the Tribunal had to consider the parental mainstream fall back to which, by operation of s316 EA 1996, the parents would then have been entitled (over the LA’s maintained special school proposal).
TRIBUNAL (FTT) PROCEDURE
Young people and capacity
A “young person” is “over compulsory school age but under 25”: CFA2014 s83(2).
Unless there is evidence to displace the statutory presumption of capacity to conduct the appeal, the young person is the appellant (i.e. the appeal is in their name and they can appoint a representative – i.e. an advocate – like anyone else): CFA2014 s51, LB Hillingdon v WW  UKUT 253 (AAC),  ELR 431. It follows that, in such a case it is wrong in law for a parent (or similar) to be identified as bringing the appeal “on behalf of” (or similar) the young person: it is the young person’s appeal.
Where a young person lacks capacity to conduct an appeal, an ‘alternative person’ must bring the appeal – that being a Court of Protection Deputy or donee of lasting power of attorney; and if there is no such person, the parent: Regs2014 r64(2)(b). They are then the appellant (i.e. the appeal is in their name) in respect of the young person, but not on behalf of the young person in the way an SEN advocate would: Buckinghamshire CC v SJ  UKUT 254 (AAC),  ELR 350 . It follows that, in such a case it is wrong in law for the alternative person to be identified as bringing the appeal “on behalf of” (or similar) the young person: it is the alternative person’s appeal. (Note in that regard that COP2015 p274 is therefore misleading in referring to “occasions when a representative or parent has to act on behalf of young person who lacks capacity …”)
The ordinary presumption of capacity applies (i.e. capacity is presumed unless the contrary is shown). If there is an issue about the young person’s capacity then the Tribunal itself must resolve that issue: Buckinghamshire CC v SJ  UKUT 254 (AAC),  ELR 350.
Where a young person lacks capacity and attends a residential placement consider whether the test for deprivation of liberty is met meaning the LA is required to make an application to the Court of Protection: see e.g. Birmingham CC v D and W  EWCOP 8.
Evidence from the child/young person
The older and more mature the child, the greater weight the LA (and Tribunal) should place on a child’s views: West Sussex CC v ND  UKUT 349 (AAC)
It does not assist to have two working documents, and the tribunal has the power to direct the parties to produce a single working document under its general case management power under rule 5(2): **G v LB Lewisham HS/1956/2016
Tribunal v the family law courts
The Family Division exercising its powers under the Children Act 1989 could not dictate to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal how it was to exercise its statutory jurisdiction under the EA1996 in relation to a child who happened to be subject to a care order. The family court was no more bound in practical terms by a decision of the tribunal than was a parent and if the family court was able to make other “suitable arrangements” for the child's education then the family court was not obliged to agree that the child be sent to the school identified in the statement of special educational needs: X CC v DW, PW and SW  EWHC 162.
A family proceedings court did not have the power to make an order under the Children Act 1989 s91(14) to prevent a mother from applying to the FTT without permission from the family court for the further assessment of the educational needs of her son who was in care. Re: M (a child)  EWCA Civ 1550.
Even though her child (being M in the case above) was in care, MG could still appeal to the SENDIST against the Statement of Special Educational Needs made for him by the local authority. And, where the SENDIST directed that the local authority make him available for assessment, the local authority (having not challenged the legality of that direction) was obliged to do so – it had no residual discretion to decide not to obey the direction in the light of its view that further assessment was “abusive” (of which, as it happened, it offered no evidence) MG v Tower Hamlets  EWHC 1577,  ELR 523.
The child’s parents wanted him to attend a residential special school. The LA wanted him to attend a day special school which (because his parents were no longer able to look after him) he could only do so if accommodated by the local authority. The parents sought to exercise a power of veto in Children Act 1989 s20(7) over the accommodation, thus blocking the local authority’s preference. The SENDIST acceded to that. The Court ducked the issue, which thus remains to be decided. [But note that the Tribunal did not grapple with the question of whether the fact that his educational needs could only be met where the school was combined with residential provision meant that the latter was providing education; nor was the point taken on appeal. Bedfordshire CC v Haslam and others  EWHC 1070,  ELR 333.
The mother had made a specific issue application in the Family Court that the child attend a particular school, the SEND Tribunal was right to adjourn an appeal by the father for a different school pending resolution of the mother’s application to the Family Court: **C v LB Richmond HS/5021/2014.
This case law remains good law as to the relationship between the Tribunal and family law courts, applying now to the SENDIST’s statutory jurisdiction under the CFA2014 in relation to children who happen to be subject to a care order.
However COP2015 places considerable emphasis on effective partnerships between (amongst others) care and education: see e.g. “Local authorities must work to integrate educational provision and training provision with health and social care provision where they think that this would promote the wellbeing of children and young people with SEN or disabilities, or improve the quality of special educational provision”: COP2015 #3.13.
Role of the Tribunal/FTT
The Tribunal stands in the LA’s shoes, re-evaluating the available information in order if necessary to recast the statement: London Borough of Bromley v SENT  ELR 260.
“… if there was inadequate information [about the proposed school placement], the Tribunal should have taken the necessary steps to obtain it, if necessary adjourning to do so. Tribunals, it seems to me, cannot proceed on a purely adversarial basis, but have a duty to act inquisitorially, when the occasion arises by making sure they have the necessary information on which to decide the issues before them, rather than rely entirely on the evidence adduced by the parties. The Tribunal will usually have much greater expertise than the parents who appear before them”: W v Gloucestershire CC  EWHC Admin 481 . See also J v SENDIST and Brent  EWHC 3315 and MW v Halton  UKUT 34.
Where the appellant is unrepresented and there is an evidential shortfall, there may be a duty on the FTT to adjourn on its own initiative even if no application has been made: **C v Wiltshire CC HS/2270/2014.
Where issues arise at the oral hearing where the parental experts are not present (for example, for costs reasons) fairness can require that those experts have a chance to deal with essential points emerging for the first time during others’ oral evidence (e.g. by an adjournment): **O v Devon City Council HS/716/2016.
Note earlier judicial comments to the effect that the Tribunal has no power to consider issues not raised by the parents’ grounds of appeal: M v Essex, 5 November 2001, unreported. It is not clear, however, whether the judge in that case was referred to Bromley, which takes precedence.
Where there is a crucial disagreement between experts and “the dispute involves something in the nature of an intellectual exchange with reasons and analysis advanced on either side, the judge must enter into the issues canvassed before him and explain why he prefers one case over another”: Hampshire CC v JP  UKUT 239 (AAC),  ELR 413.
It was impermissible for a Tribunal to decline to make findings on an issue subject to competing expert reports on the basis that “the contents of the reports had not been agreed and the subject matter…was highly technical” (here evidence on acoustics) – the Tribunal should have decided how to resolve the issues: RB Kensington & Chelsea v CD  UKUT 396,  ELR 493.
The Tribunal’s inquisitorial role remains. The powers of the Tribunal (FTT) are now set out in Regs2014 r43.
See also: Gloucestershire CC v EH  UKUT 85 (AAC) confirming that for EHCP appeals as for statement appeals, the FTT looks at the position at the date of the hearing and looking forward, not at the time of the appealed decision.
The ‘fair minded and informed observer’ test applies as set out in Porter v Magill  UKHL 67. Bias was not established where a judge who sat on an earlier unsuccessful disability discrimination appeal sat on a SEND case, even though he raised inconsistencies between evidence he heard in the previous case and evidence in the present case: SG v LB Bromley  UKUT 619 (AAC),  ELR 190.
LA’s duty to the Tribunal
Although the proceedings are in part adversarial because the LA will be responding to the parents’ appeal, the role of an education authority as a public body at such a hearing is to assist the Tribunal by making all relevant information available. Its role is not to provide only so much information as will assist its own case. At the hearing, the LA should be placing all its cards on the table, including those which might assist the parents’ case. It is not an adequate answer to a failure to disclose information to the Tribunal for an LA to say that the parents could have unearthed the information for themselves if they had dug deep enough: JF v Croydon  EWHC 2368.
As an example of that, it was incumbent on the LA to tell the FTT about the impending conversion into an academy of the school it was proposing: LS v Oxfordshire CC  UKUT 135 (AAC),  ELR 429
The LA’s duty remains the same, and all public bodies are subject to the duty of candour.
Can the FTT use its own expertise?
“A specialist tribunal, such as the SENDIST, can use its expertise in deciding issues [including rejecting expert evidence], but if it rejects expert evidence before it, it should state so specifically. …… where the specialist tribunal uses its expertise to decide an issue, it should give the parties an opportunity to comment on its thinking and to challenge it.”: L v Waltham Forest  EWHC 2907,  ELR 161.
However, the Tribunal can use its expertise in deciding between competing expert views and, for example, in ordering a level of provision in between that contended for by competing experts. Wiltshire CC v TM and SENDIST  EWHC 2521 (Admin),  ELR 56; T & A v London Borough of Wandsworth  EWHC 1869; D v SENDIST  EWHC 2722,  ELR 370.
Barking & Dagenham v SENDIST & MG  EWHC 343: A tribunal had been correct in its decision to proceed with an appeal hearing in the absence of the LA and had been correct to rule that staff shortages were not an excuse for failing to submit a statement of case within the requisite time limit.
HJ v Brent  UKUT 15 (AAC): The Tribunal should have given reasons for its refusal to admit in evidence a video submitted at the hearing. The Tribunal needed to consider whether the evidence was relevant, whether it went to the issues in dispute, why it was submitted late and the overriding objective.
Camden v FG  UKUT 249 (AAC): It is not the case that the Tribunal can only bar a party from attending a hearing following a failure to comply with a direction where there was wilful and repeated disobedience.
NW v Poole & SENDIST  EWCA Civ 1145, (2008) ELR 232: Where a case had been remitted to the Tribunal for it to provide additional specificity in the statement, that did not necessarily require that there should be a complete rehearing of all the issues.
Time limit for appeal
Appeal has to be made within 2 months after written notice of the decision or final statement or EHCP is sent to (i.e. not received by) parents or young person: FTT (HESC) Rules 2008 r20(1)(c). Tribunal has power to extend time under FTT (HESC) Rules 2008 r20(1)(c).
Factors to be taken into account include: (1) length of delay, (2) reasons for the delay, (3) the chances of the appeal succeeding and (4) degree of prejudice to the respondent if the application is granted: KS v FTT and CICA  UKUT 281 (AAC). These were approved in CM v Surrey CC (SEN)  UKUT 4 (AAC),  ELR 91, in which emphasis was placed on the fact that it is not only the explanation of the delay that is relevant.
Note appellants (excluding appeals only about a school or institution, or type of school or institution) must obtain a mediation certificate: CFA2014 s55. In such cases the appellant must contact the mediation adviser within 2 months: Regs2014 r33.
The Tribunal procedural rules are unchanged and the time limit still applies.
Assertions that are made only by representatives cannot be treated as evidence, see e.g. JS v Worcestershire  UKUT 451 (AAC),  ELR 138: “It is trite law that submissions are not evidence and if a representative puts forward alleged facts that are not otherwise in evidence, the tribunal should elicit how far the facts alleged are within his personal knowledge or based on some other evidence that can be produced. Little, if any, weight should normally be attached to assertions by the representative on instructions where there is no other evidence to back up those instructions.”
Under FTT (HESC) Rules 2008 r8(4)(c), “no realistic prospect of success” means “where the case is clearly unfounded or the opponents case is clear and incontestable”: **G v Governing Body of Queen Elizabeth’s Girls School HS/817/2014. A decision to strike out an unrepresented appellant entails particular dangers as laymen may be unable to explain a case in writing they may be able to do so orally – a strike out decision should contain a notice that the appellant may apply for reinstatement: **W v Upwood Primary School
In H v East Sussex CC  EWCA Civ 249,  ELR 161, the Court of Appeal explained that the Tribunal “is not required to be an elaborate formalistic product of refined legal draftsmanship, but it must contain an outline of the story which has given rise to the complaint and a summary of the Tribunal's basic factual conclusions and a statement of the reasons which have led them to reach the conclusion which they do on those basic facts.”
Despite that concerning an obligation only to give ‘summary reasons’ (which is no longer the position for the FTT) the UT has applied that approach to FTT decisions: SG v Somerset  UKUT 353 (AAC); DC v Hertfordshire  UKUT 379 (AAC); Hertfordshire v MC  UKUT 385 (AAC); **L v Cheshire West HS/3089/2016: “The basic principles relating to adequacy of a decision are summed up … in H v East Sussex”.
However, the obligation on the FTT is not distinct from that of a court, as any rate where there is a duty to address expert evidence: “Where there is a straightforward factual dispute whose resolution depends simply on which witness is telling the truth about events which he claims to recall, it is likely to be enough for the [FTT] (having no doubt summarised the evidence) to indicate simply that [it] believes X rather than Y; indeed there may be nothing else to say. But where the dispute involves something in the nature of an intellectual exchange, with reasons and analysis advanced on either side, the [FTT] must enter into the issues canvassed before [it] and explain why [it] prefers one case over another. That is likely to apply particularly in [appeals] where, as here, there is disputed expert evidence; but it is not necessarily limited to such cases”: Flannery v Halifax Estate Agencies Ltd  1 WLR 377, applied in Hampshire CC v JP  UKUT 239 (AAC),  ELR 413.
The FTT is “entitled to limit its consideration to the matters identified in the working document”: DL v LB Redbridge  UKUT 293 (AAC).
Non-standard experts (i.e. not OT, EP, SALT, PT)
Some guidance was given in RB Kensington and Chelsea v CD  UKUT 396,  ELR 493. Parties should communicate their intention to rely on expert evidence as soon as possible; the Tribunal should consider a joint expert; and in case management directions a tribunal judge could helpfully identify precisely the issues which the experts are to address.
Review and appeal to the Upper Tribunal
As for staying the FTT decision pending a UT appeal: “A stay is the exception rather than the rule, solid grounds have to be put forward by the party seeking the stay, and, if such grounds are established, then the court will undertake a balancing exercise weighing the risks of injustice to each side if a stay is or is not granted.”: Carmarthenshire v M & JW (SEN)  UKUT 348 (AAC))
In relation to review, see RB v First Tier Tribunal (Review)  UKUT 160 (AAC): “It cannot have been intended that the power of review should enable the First Tier Tribunal to usurp the Upper Tribunal’s function of determining appeals on contentious points of law.
Nor can it have been intended to enable a later First Tier Tribunal judge or panel, or the original First Tier Tribunal judge or panel, to re-decide the matter. This [the power of review] is intended to capture decisions that are clearly wrong, so avoiding the need for an appeal.
The power has been provided in the form of a discretionary power for the Tribunal so that only appropriate decisions are reviewed. This contrasts with cases where an appeal on a point of law is made because, for instance, it is important to have an authoritative ruling....
....The key question is what, in all the circumstances of the case, including the degree of delay that may arise from alternative courses of action, will best advance the overriding objective of dealing with a case fairly and justly....”
Setting aside a decision under FTT (HESC) Rules 2008 r45 is limited to procedural mishaps and errors, not matters that go to the substance of the decision: Worcestershire CC v JJ  UKUT 406 (AAC),  ELR 553.
Oxfordshire CC v GB  EWCA Civ 1358.  ELR 8: The Tribunal is required to give reasoned decisions and should not respond to an appeal by purporting to amplify its reasons.
In reviewing a decision, the UT judge should not discuss matters with the FTT judge (whose decision is under challenge), nor should the UT (having allowed an appeal) determine the scope of the decision to be made by the panel re-deciding the matter: LW v Norfolk CC  UKUT 65 (AAC),  ELR 167.
It is generally not a proper exercise of the FTT’s discretion in deciding whether to review, to refer a matter to the UT which requires practical educational expertise: Harrow Council v AM  UKUT 157 (AAC),  ELR 351.
A consent order constitutes a decision for the purposes of FTT (HESC) Rules 2008 Part V and therefore can be appealed: R v FTT and Hertfordshire CC  UKUT 213 (AAC),  ELR 456.
Where, following review, the FTT is to re-decide a case it should hold a hearing unless both parties do not want one: Essex CC v TB  UKUT 559 (AAC),  ELR 67.
The UT is badly placed to adjudicate on what was said by witnesses before the FTT – in the absence of a transcript, the hand written note of the Chair is the only authoritative guide to the evidence adduced: NC and DH v Leicestershire CC  UKUT 85 (AAC),  ELR 365.
At a hearing following an appeal, a second panel is not entitled to simply uphold the first tribunal’s decision if it has been found to include an error of law: JS v FTT and LB Greenwich  UKUT 374 (AAC).
The fact that an annual review of the Statement has been undertaken in the meantime, or is pending, does not mean that the UT appeal is rendered academic or that no relief should be given in the appeal: “its decision on whether errors were made may be important”: SG v Bromley  UKUT 0619 (AAC)
The general rule is no order as to costs, but the Tribunal may make an order where “a party or its representative has acted unreasonably in bringing, defending or conducting the proceedings”: FTT (HESC) Rules 2008 10(1).
Just because one party wins a case does not mean it was unreasonable to defend it – the reasonableness of conduct must take into account the ongoing and evolving nature of proceedings: HJ v LB Brent  UKUT 191 (AACV),  ELR 295.
Those who make costs applications “face a high hurdle. The requirement to demonstrate unreasonable conduct of the proceedings is not easily met, especially where the applicant’s conduct of the proceedings was itself in some respects remiss. A party should think carefully before instituting costs order proceedings. There is no point throwing good money after bad.” **A v Durham CC HS/231/2016 per UTJ Mitchell
If a costs order is made, costs ordered do not necessarily need to be confined to the costs attributable to the unreasonable conduct: McPherson v BNP Paribas (London Branch)  ICR 1398.
Where the parties have agreed matters and the appeal is withdrawn, FTT (HESC) Rules 2008 r10 allows a costs application to be made within 14 days: UA v LB Haringey  UKUT 0087 (AAC),  ELR 219.
The Education (Special Educational Needs) (England) (Consolidation) Regulations 2001 (SI 2001/3455)
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 (SI 2014/1530)
See http://administrativeappeals.decisions.tribunals.gov.uk//Aspx/default.aspx and/or https://www.gov.uk/administrative-appeals-tribunal-decisions for published decisions
[GC1]In comparison to David Wolfe Guide 2012, there is no reference of ‘school leaving age’ it is just ‘school age’
[GC2]Is this empty space necessary?