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The Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014

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Restriction on disclosure of EHC plans

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17.—(1) Subject to the provisions of the Act and of these Regulations, an EHC plan in respect of a child or young person shall not be disclosed without the child or young person’s consent except—

(a)to persons to whom, in the opinion of the local authority concerned, it is necessary to disclose the whole or any part of the EHC plan in the interests of the child or young person;

(b)for the purposes of any appeal under the Act;

(c)for the purposes of educational research which, in the opinion of the local authority, may advance the education or training of children or young persons with special educational needs, if, but only if, the person engaged in that research undertakes not to publish anything contained in, or derived from, an EHC plan otherwise than in a form which does not identify any individual including, in particular, the child concerned and the child’s parent or the young person;

(d)on the order of any court or for the purposes of any criminal proceedings;

(e)for the purposes of any investigation under Part 3 of the Local Government Act 1974(1) (investigation of maladministration);

(f)to the Secretary of State when he requests such disclosure for the purposes of deciding whether to—

(i)give directions, make determinations, or exercise any contractual rights under an Academy’s funding agreement (for any purpose), or

(ii)make an order under section 496, 497 or 497A(2) of the Education Act 1996(3).

(g)for the purposes of an assessment of the needs of the child or young person with respect to the provision of any statutory services for him or her being carried out by officers of an authority by virtue of arrangements made under section 5(5) of the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986(4);

(h)for the purposes of a local authority in the performance of its duties under sections 22(3)(a), 85(4)(a), 86(3)(a) and 87(3) of the Children Act 1989(5);

(i)to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills(6), exercising the right to inspect and take copies of an EHC plan in accordance with section 10(1)(e) of the Education Act 2005(7) and section 140(2)(a) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006;

(j)to the person in charge of any relevant youth accommodation for the purposes of the provision of education or training for a detained person(8);

(k)to a youth offending team for the purposes of the provision of education or training for a detained person.

(2) A child may consent to the disclosure of an EHC plan for the purposes of this regulation if his or her age and understanding are sufficient to allow him or her to understand the nature of that consent.

(3) If a child does not have sufficient age or understanding to allow him or her to consent to such disclosure, the child’s parent may consent on the child’s behalf.

(4) The arrangements for keeping a child or young person’s EHC plan must be such that they ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that unauthorised persons do not have access to it.

(5) In this regulation, any reference to an EHC plan includes a reference to any representations, evidence, advice or information obtained in relation to an EHC plan.

(2)

Section 497A was inserted into the 1996 Act by section 8 of the 1998 Act, and amended by section 60 of and Schedule 22 to the Education Act 2002 (c.32) and by section 59 of and Schedule 2 to the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (c.22)

(6)

Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills is appointed under the Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills Order 2011 (S.I. 2011/2720) which is made under section 113(1) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 (c.40)

(8)

‘Relevant youth accommodation’ and ‘detained person’ have the same meaning as in section 72(5) of the 2014 Act.

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