Therapies in EHC Plans

Last modified: March 12, 2019
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There are a lot of questions about whether therapies are a special educational provision.

Therapies, such as Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and even CAMHS can (and should) be listed as a special educational provision (in section F) if the therapy is required in order for the child to access, engage with and benefit from education.

Parents are sometimes told that as the therapy provider is actually employed by Health/NHS etc, that it is a health provision.  However, it is a special educational provision if the child requires it to access, engage with and benefit from education.

For example, speech and language therapists are employed by the health service, not the local authority.  However, if a child requires speech and language therapy to ensure they can receive and benefit from education, it is a special educational provision (section F) and not a health provision (section C).

Section C or Section F?

Making sure that they go into Section F is very important.  The special educational provision can be challenged by parents (or the young person) at Tribunal if they disagree with the provision specified.

In addition, if a therapy is a special educational provision (eg. goes into Section F of an EHC Plan), then the Local Authority (LA) has a legal duty to ensure that the provision is delivered.  Although it may be the school or college named in the Plan who deliver it, ultimately it the school or college don’t, then it is down to the LA to provide it.

The Children & Families Act s.21(5) says that health care or social care provision that educated or trains the child/young person MUST be considered educational provision and MUST go into section F of an EHC Plan.

Section C describes health care needs – health care provision goes in section G.

See “EHC Plans – Sections within” to see what goes where in a plan

Local Policy?

If the LA says their local policy is to put this into Section C, please refer them to the Code of Practice – paragraph 9.74

“Decisions about whether health care provision or social care provision should be treated as special educational provision must be made on an individual basis. 

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.”

Local Policy should always comply with the law.  Remember, the law will always take priority over any local policy


Feedback

  • Great article! Just to expand on what you’ve said – the Children & Families Act s.21(5) says that health care or social care provision that educates or trains the child/young person MUST be considered educational provision and MUST go into section F of an EHC Plan. Also section C describes health care needs – health care provision is section G. Hope that’s helpful.
    • It is very helpful.  Have added the information to the post. Thank you
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