Tuesday, 23 October 2012
Therapy specified as part of educational provision?
Question: What are the implications for SEN case law that has established that speech and language therapy and occupational therapy is an educational provision because some children need it to access education? Does it also have implications for the case law that says that provision must be specified and quantified?
IPSEA’s answer: If the draft legislation’s apparent redefinition is enacted, making all therapy health provision, then case law based on our current law will cease to be applicable. It is only because of the current law’s wording that these therapies can be defined as either educational provision or health provision, depending on the child’s assessed needs. Speech and language therapy is normally educational provision and physio and occupational therapy can be educational provision when children need these therapies to access education.
The draft legislation takes out the duty to specify provision which LAs now have in relation to statements and replaces it with a new duty to "set out" provision. This is a weaker duty. If this new wording is allowed to stay and is introduced into final legislation then case law on specification will cease to be applicable.