Should every young person with a Learning Difficulty Assessment get an EHCP?

Parent's EHCP Transfer Clinic Question

Should local authorities only be transferring students who have a Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA for 16+) on to an EHCP if they are high cost or high needs learners?

What are the reasons why someone would not be issued a EHCP? The LA are saying that their needs can be met through the local offer, but what then distinguishes them from a mainstream student without SEN? And students with the similar needs as them are being transferred whilst they are at school.

Hope this makes sense.

Helen Gifford answers

Local authorities are required to transfer students with an LDA (Learning Difficulty Assessment) to an EHCP where the student will be continuing in education and requests and needs one. The underlined word is the crucial one here as it is open to a local authority to decide that the student does not need an EHCP, and that their learning needs can be met without an EHCP, under the Local Offer i.e. from the provision available without an EHCP. If an EHCP has been requested, the student must be given a right of appeal to the SEND Tribunal if that request is refused. The regulations for this can be found here

Colleges have a specific statutory duty to provide for their students with SEND with or without an EHCP; they must use their best endeavours to secure the special education provision that the student requires under the Children and Families Act 2014. They are also bound by the Equality Act 2010 to make reasonable adjustments to prevent students with disabilities being placed at a substantial disadvantage. So, this is the legal underpinning to ensure that more or different provision to the standard mainstream offer is made for students with SEND. 

The SEND Code of Practice says that any additional provision for students with SEND in college should be regularly reviewed. As colleges must have regard to the SEND Code of Practice, if they are not holding regular reviews, they will have to be able to explain why.

I do hope this helps clear this up. I am not sure why things appear to be different between schools and colleges in your area as this will spend on local factors. There is a bit of a postcode lottery in SEND provision and EHCPs I'm afraid.

If you have any questions or comments, do let me know. 

SNJ note: We have a post about transferring from LDA to EHCP here