Identifying an educational need and provision under the special educational needs legal framework
Produced in partnership with Christopher McFarland, Solicitor and Matthew Wyard, Pupil Barrister of Sinclairs Law
Identifying an educational need and provision under the special educational needs legal framework

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Christopher McFarland, Solicitor and Matthew Wyard, Pupil Barrister of Sinclairs Law provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Identifying an educational need and provision under the special educational needs legal framework
  • What is a special educational need?
  • What is special educational provision?
  • How are special educational needs and provision identified?
  • Distinguishing between ‘educational’ needs and other needs
  • The test to establish if a provision is ‘educational’
  • Challenging the contents of an EHCP or Statement
  • The future

FORTHCOMING CHANGE: From 3 April 2018, the Special Educational Needs and Disability (First-tier Tribunal Recommendations Power) Regulations 2017, SI 2017/1306 will come into force, which will extend the powers of the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) so that it may make non-binding recommendations in respect of certain types of health and social care needs and provision specified in Education, Health and Care plans.

As part of their duties to children and young people with special educational needs, a local authority will specify the identified needs of a child in an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or Statement of special educational needs (SEN) (Statement) and, in doing so, distinguish educational needs from other needs, such as health or social care needs. It is during the drafting of these documents that the distinction between educational provision and other provision arises. This distinction is relevant because it will affect who is responsible for delivering the provision necessary to meet the need, as well as its enforceability. To a local authority this will be relevant from a budgetary perspective and, to a parent or young person it is relevant from a delivery perspective.

This Practice Note explains the process of identifying SEN provision in England and Wales and considers the distinction between educational needs and other needs.

What is a special educational need?

In England, a child or young person has special educational needs under Children and Families Act 2014 (CFA 2014) if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.Children and Families Act 2014, s 20

In