This page draws together a monthly selection of articles and features supplied by LexisNexis for publication on Local Government Lawyer and Public Law Today. We also showcase other publications and resources that LexisNexis produces to support lawyers working in the public sector. To see all articles, please click here.
Slide background

When must a local authority carry out an EHC needs assessment?

Staff Accommadation 28101216 s 146x219Under the reform introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014 (CFA 2014), statements of special educational needs (SEN) are gradually being replaced with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans for children and young people with the most complex special educational needs and disabilities.

 

 This article is available within LexisPSL Public Law. To access further education content, why not take out a free trial?

 

Try Lexis PSL for free

 

Unlike statements, EHC plans are available for children and young people from the ages of 0–25, where required.

CFA 2014, s 36(2) defines an EHC assessment as follows:

‘An “EHC needs assessment” is an assessment of the educational, health care and social care needs of a child or young person.’

This provision, along with the other sections of CFA 2014 which address EHC assessments, are heavily supplemented by the SEN Code of Practice 2015 (COP); in particular Chapter 9, which concerns EHC needs assessments. The COP makes clear that, like statements of SEN before them, EHC plans are to be made for those with more significant SEN, whose needs cannot be met from within the resources usually available to mainstream schools. Therefore, not every child with SEN will require an EHC needs assessment.

Local authorities should ensure that parents and education providers in their area are made aware, through the Local Offer service, of the full range of support services in their area for children and young people with SEN.

A Local Offer is the directory of provision and support services in the local area: a requirement introduced by CFA 2014.

Where the Local Offer service functions well, it should signpost parents of children with SEN to all available support services, so that parents are making use of all relevant services available without an EHC plan, prior to requesting an EHC assessment.

Although the statutory test for whether an EHC assessment is necessary differs from that for statements under the Education Act 1996 (EA 1996), the practical effect of both pieces of legislation is overwhelmingly similar: the focus is on the child’s possible need for an EHC plan and practical availability of appropriate support in the absence of a plan.

This checklist outlines the circumstances when a local authority must carry out an EHC needs assessment.

What is the statutory test?

When asked to carry out an EHC needs assessment, the relevant test is set out at CFA 2014, s36(3):

‘When a request is made to a local authority under subsection (1), or a local authority otherwise becomes responsible for a child or young person, the authority must determine whether it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan.’

The focus is on whether it ‘may be necessary for special educational provision to be made’ in accordance with an EHC plan. The reference to ‘may’ connotes the fact that an EHC assessment itself would determine whether an EHC plan should be made for the child/young person.

As set out by Judge Jacobs (Cambridgeshire CC v FL-J [2016] UKUT 225 (AAC) at para [4]):

‘To put it loosely and without intending to rewrite or gloss the language of the legislation, the issue at the initial stage is a provisional and predictive one; it is only when an assessment has been made that a definitive decision has to be made.’

Only once an assessment has been carried out, does a local authority have to determine whether it actually is necessary to provide special educational provision in accordance with an EHC plan.

Does the child have, or may the child have, a learning difficulty?

When considering a request to carry out an EHC assessment, a local authority must first consider whether the child/young person has a learning difficulty. Section 20(1) provides that:

‘A child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her.’

Special educational provision means ‘educational or training provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age’ in mainstream schools, early years settings, nurseries, schools and post-16 institutions.

Is special educational provision required, or might it be required?

The question of whether ‘special educational provision’ is, or may be, required, is to be assessed with refer-ence to what would usually be provided for children of the same age in mainstream education settings. This includes early years providers, nurseries, schools and post-16 institutions. This is the case, regardless of whether the child is currently attending an educational setting and regardless of the type of setting.

This section of the legislation must be read in conjunction with COP, which requires a ‘graduated response’ to meeting the needs of children with SEN. Only those with the most significant needs should require EHC plans. This is addressed in more detail, below.

Is the difficulty a ‘learning’ difficulty?

The COP identifies four broad areas of need:

• communication and interaction
• cognition and learning
• sensory and/or physical needs and
• social, emotional and mental health needs

These are unchanged from the EA 1996 and the 1996 Code of Practice. These subcategories are routinely used in EHC plans, to describe different areas of a particular child’s needs.

The relevant need must, though, impact on the child’s ability to learn.

A child does not require an EHC assessment just because, for example, he/she has a serious medical condition, or speaks English as an additional language.

If the SEN are such that the child is failing to make ‘adequate progress’ despite ‘relevant and purposeful’ action having been taken to identify, assess and meet those needs, then an EHC assessment will be necessary.

Equally, it may be the case that the child actually requires a different type of assessment, eg a social care assessment leading to a child in need plan or child protection proceedings. The fact that a child’s behaviour is outside parental control, or a child’s medical needs are too significant for parents to manage without further support, does not mean that an EHC assessment is necessarily required.

Determining the ‘threshold’ for carrying out an EHC assessment

COP, para 9.14 sets out the types of evidence a local authority will wish to consider (emphasis added):

‘In considering whether an EHC needs assessment is necessary, the local authority should consider whether there is evidence that despite the early years provider, school or post-16 institution having taken relevant and purposeful action to identify, assess and meet the special educational needs of the child or young person, the child or young person has not made expected progress.

To inform their decision the local authority will need to take into account a wide range of evidence, and should pay particular attention to:

• evidence of the child or young person’s academic attainment (or developmental milestones in younger children) and rate of progress;
• information about the nature, extent and context of the child or young person’s SEN;
• evidence of the action already being taken by the early years provider, school or post-16 institution to meet the child or young person’s SEN;
• evidence that where progress has been made, it has only been as the result of much additional intervention and support over and above that which is usually provided;
• evidence of the child or young person’s physical, emotional and social development and health needs, drawing on relevant evidence from clinicians and other health professionals and what has been done to meet these by other agencies; and 

• where a young person is aged over 18, the local authority must consider whether the young person requires additional time, in comparison to the majority of others of the same age who do not have special educational needs, to complete their education or training. Remaining in formal education or training should help young people to achieve education and training outcomes, building on what they have learned before and preparing them for adult life.’

Local authorities often have their own application/referral forms for parents and schools to complete, which purport to set out additional or different criteria from the test at CFA 2014, s 36(3) and the guidance at COP, para 9.14. It is important for local authorities not to lose sight of the fact that the statutory test for whether an EHC assessment is necessary, is a simple one. The bar is set relatively low—might the child need an EHC plan in order to secure the right provision? If so, an EHC assessment should be undertaken.

Arbitrary refusal to assess based on the fact that a child does not have a particular diagnosis, or is not currently being supported at a particular ‘banding’ or ‘level’, are unlawful and would likely be overturned by the First-Tier Tribunal if the child’s parents appealed the refusal to assess.

It may be helpful for local authorities to have in place policies or procedures around requests for EHC as-sessment requests. However, these must not contradict the statutory test or be followed slavishly where to do so would produce a result contrary to the spirit of the legislation or the statutory guidance in COP.

Has there been relevant and purposeful intervention to address the child’s SEN? Despite this, is it the case that the child is not making adequate progress?

The COP makes clear that there must be a ‘graduated response’ to meeting the needs of a child with SEN. The majority of children with SEN have their needs met from within the resources available to their school, as part of the notional SEN budget of approximately £6,000 per child. Early interventions provided by schools and other education settings must follow the ‘Assess, Plan, Do, Review’ model.

There will be some children, with profound needs, for whom an EHC plan would almost always be necessary, such that extensive evidence of ‘early interventions’ by the child’s education setting will not be necessary. However, for the majority of children and young people, a request to assess would be unlikely to succeed if the child’s education setting could not demonstrate that it had already put in place some degree of special educational provision, but that this had not succeeded in enabling the child to make adequate progress.

Adequacy of progress for school-age children will fall to be assessed using national school attainment and progress measures. For very young children, their progress through the Early Years Foundation Stage cur-riculum is relevant. For young people over 16, COP, para 9.14 is of less assistance, as the comparators can be more difficult to identify.

What triggers the obligation/who can make the request?

Under CFA 2014, s 36(1), a request for assessment may be made by:

• a child's parent
• a young person on his/her own behalf
• a person acting on behalf of the child/young person’s school or other educational setting

Formal requests for assessment may not be made by other professionals, such as a child’s general practitioner, social worker or health visitor, although evidence from such professionals frequently forms part of the evidence provided with a request to assess.

A local authority must also carry out assessment where, under CFA 2014, s 36(3), it ‘otherwise becomes responsible for a child or young person’. CFA 2014, s 24 refers to a local authority being responsible for a child who has or may have SEN, when the child has been identified by the local authority (perhaps through its Portage service or via colleagues providing services as part of the Local Offer) or where a child has been brought to the local authority’s attention by ‘any’ person. This is broad enough to encompass a situation where a local authority SEN department is notified by another professional that a child may have needs which require an EHC plan, or if the child has recently arrived in the area and has such needs.

Where a child has very significant needs, it may be necessary for the child to be placed in a special school for the purpose of carrying out an EHC assessment, in accordance with CFA 2014, s 34(5). This most commonly occurs when a child with very significant needs arrives in the UK from another country, or moves into a new local authority area at short notice.

Does the child live in the area?

Under CFA 2014, s 24, a local authority is responsible for a child ‘if he or she is in the authority’s area’. This connotes a residence requirement. The fact that a child attends a school maintained by Local Authority A, does not mean that Local Authority A should receive a request for EHC assessment, if the child lives in the area of Local Authority B.
CFA 2014, s 24 contains no requirement that the child be resident in a local authority area on a permanent, or long-term basis. Therefore, requests to assess children whose immigration status or housing situation are in doubt, or who are part of a travelling community, must be considered in the same way as any other.

What is the time limit for making a decision?

A decision must be made within six weeks of receiving a request for assessment. See: COP, para 9.17.

If refusing to assess

CFA 2014, s 36(5) imposes a duty upon local authorities to give reasons, if refusing a request to carry out an EHC assessment for that refusal. Standard form letters are not acceptable here, rather, the response must set out detailed reasons, specific to the child in question.

Where there has been insufficient action taken by a child’s school or other education setting, as part of the ‘graduated response’, it is good practice to identify which further steps a school should take, wherever this is possible.

A child’s parent (or a young person acting on their own behalf) may appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal against a refusal by a local authority, to carry out an EHC needs assessment.

Children who already have statements of SEN or already have EHC plans

For children and young people who received a statement of SEN under the pre-2014 system, their statements remain in force during the transition period, which ended on 1 April 2018.
Local authorities must carry out ‘transfer reviews’ for all children and young people with existing statements. Guidance issued by the Department for Education provides that:

‘By 1 April 2018, all statements of SEN must have been reviewed with a view to being replaced with EHC plans. In advance of that date, local authorities must ensure that children and young people who currently receive support as a result of a statement of SEN are transferred to the new system in accordance with the Transfer Review process.’

As part of a Transfer Review, a local authority must carry out an EHC needs assessment of the child or young person. It is not sufficient and is unlawful for the existing contents of a statement of SEN to be ‘copied and pasted’ into an EHC plan

EHC plans must be reviewed annually, in an Annual Review process, in the same way as was the case for statements of SEN. Under CFA 2014, s 44, parents, young people and education providers may request a ‘reassessment’ of the child’s needs, or a local authority may carry out a re-assessment of its own volition. This is most often necessary where a particular development means that the child’s needs have changed significantly, or where it has been several years since the original EHC assessment was carried out.

Special considerations for older children and young people

Requests for EHC assessment of older children and young people must be considered with particular regard to the relevant sections of COP, which address the particular considerations which apply to this age group:

• COP, para 9.14—‘where a young person is aged over 18, the local authority must consider whether the young person requires additional time, in comparison to the majority of others of the same age who do not have special educational needs, to complete their education or training. Remaining in formal education or training should help young people to achieve education and training outcomes, building on what they have learned before and preparing them for adult life’

• COP, para 9.15—‘a young person who was well supported through the Local Offer while at school may move to a further education (FE) college where the same range or level of support is not available. An EHC plan may then be needed to ensure that support is provided and co-ordinated effectively in the new environment. It may also be the case that young people ac-quire SEN through illness or accident, or have an existing condition that requires increasing support as they get older’

• COP, Ch 7, which sets out the duties on Further Education providers

• COP, Ch 8, ‘Preparing for adulthood from the earliest years’

Special considerations for very young children

While EHC plans—and therefore EHC assessments—are in theory available from birth onwards, in practice it will usually take time for parents and professionals to identify SEN in very young children. Often, health professionals such as Health Visitors are key in identifying likely SEN in very young children.

COP, Ch 5 covers SEN in the early years and sets out the duties on early years education providers and health professionals in these circumstances. This chapter makes clear that a delay in learning or development, in a child’s very early years, does not necessarily mean that the child has SEN.

Key progress checks, such as the two-year old review and the Early Years Foundation Stage review at age five, will often be key to establishing whether a request for EHC assessment is necessary. For children age three and over who attend an early years setting, the extent to which the setting has provided additional support as part of the ‘graduated response’, will be assessed in the same way as for a child of school age at a school.

This article was written by Lexis PSL Local Government in partnership with Hannah Lynch of St Pauls Chambers.

 

 This article is available within LexisPSL Public Law. To access further education content, why not take out a free trial?

 

Try Lexis PSL for free

 

More content from LexisNexis

December 02, 2021

Empty white space in a data hall operated by an IT company forms part of a rateable hereditament

LexisPSL analyse a case in which empty white space in a data hall operated by an IT company forms part of a rateable hereditament
November 26, 2021

Costs order made against an intermediary (A local authority v Mother)

LexisPSL conduct a Family analysis on a case in which a Costs order was made against an intermediary (A local authority v Mother).
November 25, 2021

Court finds no duty to take past housing oversupply into account in assessing five-year target

LexisPSL conduct a planning analysis on the Tewkesbury BC v SSHCLG case, in which the court dismissed a challenge to an inspector’s decision to grant planning permission for a housing development.
November 19, 2021

Infrastructure planning - an error of law in the process of determining applications did not justify a quashing of the decisions

Joseph Cannon analyses the EFW Group Ltd v SSBEIS case, in which an error of law in the process of determining applications did not justify a quashing of the decisions.
November 12, 2021

Faith school legitimate expectation and discrimination challenges dismissed

Adam Heppinstall QC and Jack Castle explore a case in which the court dismissed legitimate expectations, discrimination and irrationality challenges against the decision to move a Sikh-faith Academy to another Trust.
November 04, 2021

Issuing and serving the claim form

Rebecca Lawrence considers the pitfalls and potential relief in procurement challenges and beyond (CitySprint UK v Barts Health NHS Trust).
November 01, 2021

Local Authority Insight Series - Effectively tackling ASB

Join expert Housing barrister, Kuljit Bhogal and Susan Taylor, Senior Solicitor at Capsticks as they outline the latest thinking for social landlords on effectively tackling ASB.
October 15, 2021

Local Authority Insight Series - the Liberty Protection Safeguards

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: Alex Ruck-Keene and Emma Harrison look at how the new Liberty Protection Safeguards will work in practice when they replace the Deprivations of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS) next year.
October 14, 2021

Who examines the examiners?

Graeme Watson of Clyde & Co LLP considers the role of case examiners for the General Medical Council and the extent to which their decisions are open to challenge by disappointed patients.
October 07, 2021

Unregulated placements for children under 16

Can the High Court to still authorise, under its inherent jurisdiction, the deprivation of liberty of a child under the age of 16 following amendments to the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010? Tahmina Rahman, barrister at 1GC Family Law, considers the issues.
September 30, 2021

Social care reforms in England - how will they work in practice?

Nicola Gunn of Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP, in association with Lexis PSL, considers what the reforms will mean in practice for those who require care.
September 24, 2021

The recovery of tuition fees

Imogen Proud analyses the decision of the High Court in SS Education v CCP Graduate School Ltd to deny the recovery of tuition fees under the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011.
September 17, 2021

Local Government - new starter guide

The following LexisNexis practice note is aimed at trainee solicitors and those who are new to Local Government and explains the role of local government lawyers and provides an overview of the primary legal disciplines they will encounter.
September 07, 2021

Homelessness and eligibility

This LexisNexis Local Government practice note, produced in partnership with Iris Ferber of 42 Bedford Row, provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the eligibility of applicants for housing assistance.
September 03, 2021

What is climate change litigation?

The following LexisNexis Environment practice note produced in partnership with Katharina Theil of Leigh Day and Richard Lord QC of Brick Court Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information on the rise of climate change related litigation.
August 27, 2021

Local Authority Insight Series - Local Authority Duties in Intercountry Adoption

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: Ruth Cabeza, barrister and author of the text, International Adoption, from Harcourt Chambers and Joy Hopkinson, Principal Social Care Lawyer from London Borough of Lambeth, discuss the issues for local authorities dealing with overseas placements both in a private and public law context.
August 26, 2021

Gambling law: at-a-glance guide

This LexisNexis Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Carl Rohsler of Memery Crystal provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the legal issues most pertinent to the gambling industry.
August 19, 2021

Delivering 21st-century customer experience in the public sector

Rachel Buchanan examines how legal teams should support their authorities in delivering tailored services at a time of restrained resources.
August 05, 2021

The Public Law Outline 2014

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the operation of the Public Law Outline 2014 during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
July 29, 2021

IR35 and off-payroll workers

The following LexisNexis Tax practice note, produced in partnership with David Smith of DLA Piper, explains the IR35 regime which applies where either a public authority or a private sector entity engages a worker via an intermediary.
July 22, 2021

Food advertising

This LexisNexis Practice Note, produced in partnership with Katrina Anderson of Osborne Clarke, considers the law and practice applicable to food advertising to consumers.
July 15, 2021

CQC enforcement tracker

This Practice Note from LexisNexis provides a summary of key prosecutions for health and social care offences brought by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in England since 2015. This tracker is intended to assist practitioners in monitoring the type of sentences which are being imposed for breaches of health and social care legislation.
July 09, 2021

Good faith in commercial agreements

The following Commercial practice note from LexisNexis examines the concept of good faith and the extent to which it is applied in commercial agreements.
June 28, 2021

Local Authority Insight Series - Climate Change

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: What are the legal powers that local authorities can use to fight climate change and what legal obstacles do they face? Rachel McKoy, Stephen Cirell, Richard Honey QC and James Lupton consider the problems.
June 18, 2021

Possession - anti-social behaviour, nuisance and crime

This Local Government practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the options available to social housing landlords when taking possession proceedings against tenants engaged in anti-social behaviour.
June 11, 2021

Unlawful eviction and quiet enjoyment

This LexisNexis Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Laura Tweedy of Hardwicke Chambers explains what unlawful eviction is, how and when it may arise from a civil and criminal perspective, the civil remedies available and potential consequential causes of action, in particular a breach of a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment.
June 04, 2021

Anti-social behaviour - powers to control behaviour

This LexisNexis Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Hardwicke Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the powers available under The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
May 28, 2021

Introduction to public contracts procurement

The following LexisNexis Local Government practice note, produced in partnership with Katherine Calder of DAC Beachcroft, provides comprehensive and up to date legal information providing an introduction to public contracts procurement.
May 21, 2021

Housing disrepair for local authority landlords - a practical guide

This LexisNexis Local Government practice note, produced in partnership with Alexander Bastin of Hardwicke Chambers, discusses disrepair claims in relation to social housing, setting out the legal basis for a claim and other the relevant factors that need to be considered.
April 16, 2021

Education tracker

This Local Government practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering key upcoming developments of interest to Education lawyers from early years foundation stage (EFYS) to further and higher education.
April 09, 2021

Vulnerable persons - participation and evidence in family proceedings

The following Family practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the participation of vulnerable people and evidence in family proceedings.
March 31, 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - implications for property

The following Property practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the implications for landlords of the Covid-19 pandemic.
March 19, 2021

Brexit - key legislation explained

The following Public Law practice note produced in partnership with Dr. Kieran Laird of Gowling WLG provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the key legislation governing Brexit.
March 12, 2021

Transparency in the family courts

Ths following Family practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering recent developments in the transparency of family court proceedings.
March 05, 2021

Use of confidential information in civil proceedings

This Dispute Resolution Practice Note from LexisNexis looks at the status and use of confidential information in civil proceedings including what confidential information is, how to protect confidential information and how confidentiality may be lost.
February 18, 2021

Brexit Timeline Tracker

This Practice Note sets out a timeline of key events and updates in the post-transition period, focussing in particular on the implementation of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement and associated agreements.
February 11, 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Children’s Social Care Tracker

This tracker is focused on children’s social care and is intended to be used to track key developments, legislation, guidance, parliamentary briefing notes and other sources of interest relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) and children’s social care, where relevant to local government lawyers.
February 05, 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Healthcare Tracker

This tracker is focused on healthcare and is intended to be used to track key developments, legislation, guidance, parliamentary briefing notes and other sources of interest relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) and healthcare.
January 29, 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Governance Tracker

This tracker from LexisNexis Local Government intended to be used to track the most recent key developments, legislation, guidance, parliamentary briefing notes and other sources of interest relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) local authority governance, where relevant to local government lawyers.
January 21, 2021

Data protection under the EU GDPR

The following Information Law precedent from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering data protection after the final withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
January 14, 2021

Commencing criminal proceedings - applying for the issue of a summons

The following Corporate Crime practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the correct procedure for bring a criminal prosecution.
December 18, 2020

Education tracker

This Lexis®PSL Local Government future developments tracker is intended to be used to track key upcoming developments of interest to education lawyers covering the entire spectrum of education from early years foundation stage (EFYS) to further and higher education.
December 11, 2020

Termination for breach of contract

The following LexisNexis Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the identification and the process and implications of ending a contract due to breach.
December 03, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – implications for property

The following Property practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the implications for commercial and residential property of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
November 27, 2020

Local Government Brexit tracker

This tracker is intended to be used to track key developments, legislation, guidance, parliamentary briefing notes and other sources of interest relating to Brexit relevant to local government lawyers. It is arranged alphabetically by topic and is designed to provide an easy reference point for relevant content for lawyers to support preparation for and implementation of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union.
November 20, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Managing the Workplace

The following LexisNexis Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the management of workplaces during the Coronavirus pandemic.
October 22, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Social Care Tracker

This LexisNexis tracker is intended to be used to track key developments, legislation, guidance, parliamentary briefing notes and other sources of interest relating to COVID-19, where relevant to social care lawyers.
October 16, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - local government tracker

This LexisNexis tracker is intended to be used to track key developments, legislation, guidance, parliamentary briefing notes and other sources of interest relating to COVID-19, where relevant to local government lawyers.
October 09, 2020

The Planning White Paper

LexisNexis looks at the government's proposals for a ‘whole new planning system for England’ in White Paper published for consultation, alongside interim reforms.
October 02, 2020

The Public Sector Equality Duty

The following LexisNexis Public Law guidance note, produced in partnership with Zoe Bedford of Ellis Whittam, provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the scope of the Public Sector Equality Duty.
September 25, 2020

Housing disrepair for local authority landlords - a practical guide

The following LexisNexis Local Government guidance note, produced in partnership with Alexander Bastin of Hardwicke, provides comprehensive and up to date legal information for local authorities covering all aspects of dealing with disrepair issues.
September 17, 2020

Employment law and Covid-19

This Employment guidance note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering employment law issues arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
September 11, 2020

Introduction to Public Contracts Procurement

The following LexisNexis Local Government guidance note, produced in partnership with Walker Morris, provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering public contracts procurement, including the impact of Brexit.
September 04, 2020

Guide to Care Act 2014 repeals

The following LexisNexis Private Client guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering repealed legislation (in whole or in part), secondary legislation revoked (in whole or in part), relevant new secondary legislation and statutory guidance and directions cancelled.
August 21, 2020

Obtaining possession of a secure tenancy

The following LexisNexis Local Government guidance note, produced in partnership with Karl King of Hardwicke Chambers, provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the grounds on which and steps required to obtain possession of a secure tenancy.
August 14, 2020

Obstruction of highways

This LexisNexis Local Government guidance note, produced in partnership with Nicholas Hancox Solicitors, provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering a wide variety of circumstances in which public highways may be obstructed and what measures are available to councils to deal with them.
August 07, 2020

LexisNexis Gross Legal Product (GLP) Index: Quantifying legal demand growth and the impact of COVID-19

LexisNexis has built a data model to track growth in demand for legal services – the Gross Legal Product Index, or GLP. The report provides a framework for quantifying the impact of COVID-19 on your sector.
July 31, 2020

COVID-19: What’s worrying lawyers?

Elizabeth Rimmer of LawCare examines some of the issues encountered by lawyers when working remotely during the pandemic.
June 19, 2020

The First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) - practice and procedure

This Property Disputes guidance note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the jurisdiction, practice and procedure of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).
June 12, 2020

Quick guide to landlord’s remedies for breach of lease

The following property disputes guidance note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information for commercial landlords.
June 05, 2020

The Public Law Outline 2014

This Practice Note provides practical guidance on key aspects of procedure and the PLO 2014 for public children proceedings.
May 07, 2020

Anti-social behaviour - powers to control behaviour under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

This LexisNexis Local Government guidance note, produced in partnership with Hardwicke Chambers, provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the powers available to control behaviour under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014
May 01, 2020

Anti-social behaviour - powers to close premises under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

This Local Government guidance note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information outlining the powers available to local authorities to close premises where anti-social behaviour is taking place.
Coronavirus Hand sanitizer 146x219
April 24, 2020

Coronavirus – What’s the impact on the legal profession?

With Coronavirus dominating the news and the majority of Europe now entering different stages of lockdown due to the rise in uncertainties about the virus, LexisNexis has rounded up its latest articles discussing the pandemic.
Human Rights 96780326 s 146x219
April 23, 2020

Why is advancing the rule of law so important?

Have you ever considered your human rights? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights outlines our various rights under the law, the most basic being: “We are all equal before the law."But, is this really the case?
April 16, 2020

Employment law and Covid-19

This following employment guidance note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information on employment law changes caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Roadworks 54101373 s 146x219
February 28, 2020

Road traffic – order procedure notices

This Local Government guidance note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering road traffic orders, regulations, procedures and the powers available to local authorities.
Housing Rogue Landlord 99725772 s 146x219
February 13, 2020

Obtaining possession of a secure tenancy

Produced in partnership with Karl King of Hardwicke Chambers, this LexisNexis Local Government guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the range of tenancy types for social housing and the processes involved in obtaining possession for each.
February 06, 2020

Local authority social care duties

The following Local Government guidance note, produced in partnership with Ros Ashcroft of DAC Beachcroft and Stephanie Townley of Addleshaw Goddard LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering local authority duties towards social care.
January 31, 2020

Houses in multiple occupation

This LexisNexis Local Government guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the management, licensing and definition of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
December 13, 2019

Granting assured and assured shorthold tenancies

This practice note from LexisNexis explains the criteria for assured tenancies (AT) and assured shorthold tenancies (AST) and the exceptions to those criteria, the main terms of AT and ASTs, the position regarding succession, and summarises a landlord’s obligations in respect of energy efficiency, gas safety and other health and safety obligations, right to rent and tenancy deposits.
December 05, 2019

Assignment and succession of tenancy

Morayo Fagborun Bennett looks at the circumstances in which social housing tenancies can be transferred to another tenant.
November 29, 2019

Powers to control anti-social behaviour under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014

This guidance note provides a comprehensive and up to date overview of powers to control anti-social behaviour under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, Reform of anti-social behaviour powers (2014), Part 1 Civil Injunctions and Part 2 Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).
Missiles 91309216 s. 146x219
October 11, 2019

Exploring the court’s power to block sale of arms to Saudi Arabia

Sue Willman, senior partner at Deighton Pierce Glynn, analyses the case of R (on the application of Campaign Against Arms Trade) v Secretary of State for International Trade (Amnesty International and others intervening) and its implications for UK arms trade.
Airport travel 3160566 640
October 11, 2019

Court rejects challenges to Heathrow expansion

Charles Streeten, barrister at Francis Taylor Building, explains how the court came to reject the claims for judicial review of the Heathrow runway expansion in R (on the application of Spurrier) v Secretary of State for Transport and other cases.
Housing family 96709182 s
October 04, 2019

Exploring the limits of public authority’s liability for children

Duncan Fairgrieve and Jim Duffy, barristers at 1 Crown Office Row, examine the Supreme Court’s decision in Poole Borough Council v GN and another that the respondent local authority did not owe a common law duty of care to exercise its functions under the Children Act 1989 to protect the appellants, who were children of a family which it had housed, from harm at the hands of anti-social neighbours.
Dead end road 32516564 s 146x219
October 04, 2019

Abandoning a procurement exercise - when can a contracting authority extinguish a challenge?

Lucy James looks at the legal effect of a decision to abandon a procurement exercise and whether it extinguishes an accrued cause of action a bidder may have against a contracting authority for breaches of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 SI 2015/102 (PCR 2015).
Education cuts 93374247 s 146x219
August 23, 2019

‘Funding crisis’ - a detailed look at the funding shortage in UK schools

According to campaigners, more than 200 schools in England are cutting their school weeks short due to funding shortages. This raises questions over legal ramifications and the responsibility of the government. Jean Tsang, associate at Bates Wells and governor of a maintained primary school, addresses these questions and looks at the worrying effects of this ‘funding crisis’ on the ‘most vulnerable children’ in the educational system.
Cost cutting 21525611 s 146x219
August 16, 2019

Judicial review challenge over closure of children’s centres defeated by local authority

The case R (on the application of L, an infant (by his mother and litigation friend)) v Buckinghamshire County Council represents the first time when the High Court considered in detail the meaning of the ‘sufficiency duty’ in section 5A of the Childcare Act 2006 (ChA 2006) in the context of whether a council’s consultation on the closure of a number of children’s centres was unlawful or not. James Goudie QC examines the background to and the practical implications of the judgment.
Market 25240022 s 146x219
August 09, 2019

How does a local authority establish a market?

The LexisPSL team outline the powers available to local authorities looking to establish a new market.
School gate iStock 000003257894XSmall 146x219
August 02, 2019

Forced academisation of schools - is resistance futile?

What are the circumstances which lead to a school being forced to become an academy, and is there anything that can be done to stop it happening? Katie Michelon provides an overview of the forced academisation process, and explains the options available to schools, parents and local authorities when faced with the possibility of an Academy Order.
Plane passenger plane 19469 640 pixabay
June 13, 2019

Home or away?

Katherine Illsley outlines how a local authority should approach the situation where a parent to be assessed for the purposes of public children care lives in another jurisdiction.
House key iStock 000004543619XSmall 146x219
June 07, 2019

Tenant Fees Act 2019 - government guidance

The government recently published guidance on the Tenant Fees Act 2019 (TFA 2019). Robin Stewart and David Smith of Anthony Gold Solicitors look at some of the key questions relating to the guidance, including enforcement, penalties and some controversial aspects such as guidance pertaining to payment of damages.
Choice 33452110 s 146x219
June 07, 2019

How should the courts approach cases with an ‘open’ pool of possible perpetrators?

Chris Stevenson, barrister at Fourteen, examines the Court of Appeal’s decision in Re B (children: uncertain perpetrator) to allow a father’s appeal against a Family Court judge’s finding that he was within a pool of possible perpetrators responsible for sexually transmitting gonorrhoea to three of his children (registration required).
Planning 146x219
May 24, 2019

Court of Appeal finds permissive housing policies can restrict development elsewhere

In Gladman Developments Ltd v Canterbury City Council [2019] EWCA Civ 669, the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by developer Gladman against the decision of the High Court to quash planning permission granted on appeal for a residential development on a site not allocated for development, not on previously developed land, and outside the existing built-up area.
Child safety gate 36045624 s 146x219
May 24, 2019

Safety first?

Daljit Kaur looks at the implications for disability discrimination of a case concerning a nursery-age child prevented from accessing provision over 15 hours.
UK map 66823434 s 146x219
May 17, 2019

The changing landscape of local authority Trading Standards prosecutions?

Richard Heller considers the potential impact of Qualter and others v Crown Court at Preston [2019] EWHC 906 (Admin) could have on the way regional Trading Standards services investigate and prosecute criminal offences (registration required).
Child removal iStock 000007583512XSmall 146x219
May 17, 2019

Wish they weren't here?

Can a parent with parental responsibility object to their child, who is subject to an interim care order, being taken on holiday by their foster parents?
Housing Rogue Landlord 99725772 s 146x219
May 10, 2019

Exploring the new guidance on greater protections from rogue landlords

Jason Hobday, associate at Womble Bond Dickinson, discusses the implications of recent government guidance documents which intend to enforce greater protections from rogue landlords (registration required).
Bias iStock 000008329150XSmall 146x219
May 09, 2019

Court finds judge in Uber licensing case was not biased

Philip Kolvin QC examines the High Court’s decision in R (United Cabbies Group) v Westminster Magistrates’ Court to dismiss the claimant’s application for judicial review of a district judge’s grant of an operator’s licence for London private hire vehicles to the third interested party, Uber.
Housing timer 45568205 s 146x219
May 03, 2019

End of the road?

Morayo Fagborun Bennett looks at the Court of Appeal's decision on waiving offers of alternative accommodation and the lawfulness of an earlier review decision on a subsequent homelessness appplication in Godson v London Borough of Enfield [2019] EWCA Civ 486.
Council Tax 89947548 s 146x219
May 03, 2019

Court rejects implied duty to report change of address for council tax purposes (R v D)

Samuel Genen, solicitor at Steel & Shamash, comments on the case of R v D [2019] EWCA Crim 209 where the Court of Appeal ruled that a failure to notify the local council of a change of address for the purpose of council tax did not constitute a criminal offence under the Fraud Act 2006 (FrA 2006). (Registration required)
Evidence in Foreign Courts 71283762 s 146x219
March 22, 2019

Is it in the best interests of a child to give evidence in a foreign trial?

Katherine Duncan explains how the court, in Re X, carried out a balancing exercise in determining whether a child, who was ward of the court, should be permitted to travel out of the jurisdiction to give evidence at a foreign criminal trial.
High Courts inherent jurisdiction for the protection of vulnerable adults 95112860 s 146x219
March 15, 2019

High Court’s inherent jurisdiction for the protection of vulnerable adults

The case of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council v Meyers [2019] EWHC 399 (Fam) highlights the wide and largely unfettered nature of the power to grant injunctive relief under the High Court’s inherent jurisdiction for the protection of vulnerable adults and the difficulty surrounding the issue of how the balance should be struck between protection of a person on grounds of vulnerability and respect for their autonomy, writes Bethan Harris.