I am not happy with the draft EHC plan, what can I do?
I have just received the draft ehc plan for my 6-year-old. I was not happy and let the coordinator know who arranged a meeting. The coordinator tells me the school should decide where the funding goes. I have requested the LA states the funded hours. The coordinator tells me that funded hours are no longer a thing? I am not comfortable accepting the draft until I am sure it's correct.
The LA has a duty to specify the contents of an EHC plan under section 37 of the Children and Families Act 2014. You are correct to be wary of an EHC plan which is not fully specified and quantified as it can be difficult to enforce and there is a risk that your child will not receive the provision they require at school.
There is case law that addresses the need to specify the contents of the plan: L v Clarke and Somerset  ELR 129. This case dealt with the specification of special educational provision within a Statement of SEN, but is still relevant to any section of an EHC plan. The judge, in this case, stated that special educational provision within a plan should be “so specific and so clear as to leave no room for doubt as to what has been decided is necessary in the individual case. Very often specification of an hour per week will no doubt be necessary and there will be a need for that to be done.”
There has been recent case law that has reconsidered this and determined that it is possible for there to be some flexibility in an EHC plan, but this must only be used when it is for the benefit of the child. If your child requires a set number of hours of support, as most children with an EHC plan will, then this should be specified and quantified within section F of the plan.
An LA policy not to specify or quantify the contents of an EHC plan is unlawful and it should never be left up to a school to determine what provision is required or how the funding for the plan will be used. It is also worth noting that whilst EHC plans can refer to funding “bands”, this can not be used as an alternative to specifying and quantifying provision.
There is some more information about the contents of a plan on IPSEA’s EHC plan checklist which you may find helpful: https://www.ipsea.org.uk/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=afd8d11f-5f75-44e0-8f90-e2e7385e55f0
If the LA refuses to specify the hours within the plan, we would suggest that you appeal this to the SEND Tribunal. You can find more information about this process on the IPSEA website here:https://www.ipsea.org.uk/appeals-about-the-contents-of-an-ehc-plan