Tom Tabori in UT(AAC) appeal of wide significance for operation of Children & Families Act 2014 regime, s 19 LA duty, & status of EHCP "outcomes"

Tom Tabori appeared in a UT(AAC) appeal on operation of Children & Families Act 2014 regime, incl. s19 duty & status of EHCP "outcomes".

The parents had appealed on two conventional grounds, failure to take into account a particular authority and overlooking s 9 Education Act 1996. However, granting permission to appeal, Upper Tribunal Judge Mitchell added further grounds, allowing the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) the opportunity to consider questions that have remained elusive since the Children and Families Bill was published.

Of particular importance to the development of the new statutory scheme will be two questions with which the UT(AAC) grappled at the appeal:

(1) Whether s 19 of the Act, the LA's duty to have regard to the views, wishes and feelings of the child, also applied to the FTT; and

(2) Whether the requirement to secure provision [s 42(2) of the Act] is the requirement to secure provision that is sensibly linked to the "outcomes" that must be specified in an EHCP [s 37(2)(b)], such that FTT must identify and have regard to those outcomes.

Appearing for the appellant parents, Tom argued the answer to both was yes. The local authority strenuously resisted. Judgment is now awaited and will allow the UT(AAC) to give guidance to both FTTs and local authorities.