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EHCP ‘cease to maintain’ letter

Hello everyone,

My youngest has taken many months out of education due to mental health issues. He’s autistic, has selective mutism, OCD and depression - and college (it’s a Further Ed. College) was just too much for him so when it came to starting back again in September he couldn’t face it and so came off the course - but with the intention of going back to education eventually. He’s had an EHCP for many years (previously he had a Statement as it was called then). 
He has regular therapy with an NHS therapist but still has many struggles and wouldn’t want to be in full time education at present. 

Today - quite out of the blue - we received an email saying they want to remove his EHCP. They say he has ‘met his outcomes’ - which makes no sense as no one has even spoken to him in over a year. They don’t even say what outcomes - I don’t know what they’re talking about because nothing has really changed in terms of my sons situation or health etc since his last annual review. So they cannot know that he has ‘met his outcomes’.

Of course he’s not been attending college for a very long time - which is presumably the main issue. The problem is that he hopes  to eventually return to college and without the EHCP he won’t be able to do that - the cost of the fees - which are several thousand pounds - would make it completely impossible.

Has anyone else had one of these cease to maintain letters? What can we do? I feel totally overwhelmed by the idea of taking these people on - you hear such terrible stories about the battles people go through.

I’d massively appreciate any advice anyone can give on this. I don’t know where to start. Help! 

  • Dear Kate


    I'm sorry to hear your son has been experiencing so many difficulties. Please be reassured that the Local Authority cannot remove your son's EHCP without your agreement. IPSEA state that:


    ‘An LA may decide to cease to maintain an EHC plan at any time, but they can only do so on certain grounds:

    • If the LA isno longer responsible for the child or young person; or
    • If it isno longer necessary to maintain it.

    These are the only legal reasons for ceasing to maintain an EHC plan (they are set out in section 45 of the Children and Families Act 2014).

    An LA would no longer be responsible if:

    • the young person has taken up paid employment (excluding apprenticeships);
    • the young person has started higher education (university);
    • a young person aged 18 or over has left education and no longer wishes to engage in further learning;
    • the young person has turned 25; or
    • the child or young person has moved to a different LA.’


    From the information you have provided, it sounds like your son has not met the criteria for having his EHCP removed and it sounds like there are many valid reasons for your son being temporarily out of education.


    My advice would be to reply to the email, making sure you keep a copy for evidence, stating that you disagree that the outcomes have been met. Your son did not have a planned move on from education and he does not consider that he has finished his education. The FE college that he was in was not able to meet his needs at that time and he left because he was unable to continue. I would advise that you make it clear that he wants to return and the EHCP needs to remain in place.


    The SEN and Disability Code of Practice states that the LA cannot cease to maintain just because the young person has finished their course or is currently out of education.


    It is also worth asking the LA what support they can offer to help your son to get back into education and if there are any resources they can offer him in the meantime as part of his EHCP.


    If you would like more information and support with this situation, please contact you can contact our Transition Support Helpline by clicking on this link Transition Support Helpline


    I hope this helpful


    Kind regards


    Wendy - Transition Support Coordinator (England)