Case Law Update 47 – AT and BT v Barnet - LAs have to provide sufficient explanation for departing from the recommendations of the First-Tier Tribunal

This case concerned a challenge to a local authority refusal to follow a FTT recommendation regarding social care. AT has autism and severe sleep difficulties. His parents disagreed with provisions in his EHCP and appealed to the FTT, which they asked to make recommendations about the amount of social care provided under its ‘National Trial’ jurisdiction.

The High Court held that local authorities have to provide sufficient explanation for departing from the recommendations of the First-Tier Tribunal (‘FTT’) regarding EHCPs. Decision letters must properly engage with the recommendations of the FTT and, if they are not followed, explain why this is so.