What is the defintion of ‘Education’ used in the Education Health and Care Plan?

Parents Asks:

What definition of 'education' is used in Education Health and Care Plans? Does educational provision just cover access to the National curriculum or does it cover the wider school curriculum including support for after school clubs run by the school?

Does educational provision in an EHCP just cover the school day e.g. 9 until 3.15pm? What is the situation, in terms of reasonable adjustments, for schools who offer an after school club on their site, but which is run by a private provider. Is the school still responsible for the club - who must make reasonable adjustments? Does the school have any responsibility for a private provider Education?

ipsea answers

IPSEA Answers:

The definition of education, or more particularly, special educational provision is found in s.21 of the Children and Families Act 2014.  It is defined as educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for other of the same age in mainstreams schools maintained nursery schools, mainstream post-16 institutions or places in England at which early years education is provided.

Special education provision is delivered in the normal school day and ordinarily after school activities are excluded.  If a case can be made that an after school club has an educational element and this is included in the child’s EHC plan at Section F (i.e. it’s demonstrated that it is special educational provision to meet a specific special educational needs in Section B of the Plan), then the LA would be obliged to secure the special educational provision specified.  The norm, however, is that after-school activities are not special educational provision – because it does require evidence to support special educational provision being delivered in this way, outside of the school day, to meet a child’s SEN.

If the child is disabled, then there would be a duty on the provider/school to make reasonable adjustments in accordance with the Equalities Act 2010 (although cost considerations make certain adjustments unreasonable).  It might also be possible to secure support outside of the SEN Law framework via social care support.