Freedom of information response

EHC Plans written externally

Publication date: 
Thursday 29 August 2019
Request: 

I would like to request the following information for the financial years 2018/19, 2017/18, 2016/17, 2015/16, 2014/15.

How many EHC Plans were issued?

How many of these were written by an external company?

Contract arrangements in place – for example, a block contract.

Total expenditure for plans written externally.

External companies used to write EHC Plans.

I would be grateful if this could be completed in the attached spreadsheet.

Response: 

1. Unfortunately we do not hold the data in the format requested. The data is published by the DfE by calendar year and can be found using the following link: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statements-of-sen-and-ehc-plans-england-2019

2. This answer has been withheld using the Section 43 exemption of Commercial Interests, please see below for a full explanation.

3. Spot purchasing

4. We publish details of payments to suppliers on our website – the details to answer this question are publicly available at www.thurrock.gov.uk/what-we-spend

5. Enhance

Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act

Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it). A commercial interest relates to a person or organisation’s ability to successfully participate in a commercial activity, i.e. the purchase and the sale of goods or services.

Unfortunately we are unable to supply to you the answer to question 2. As we publish our payments to suppliers and the number of assessments completed is also publicly available, we believe that if we made available how many EHC plans our supplier completed on our behalf it would put them at a commercial disadvantage. Releasing the answer to question 2 could allow a competitor to determine how much our supplier currently charged and therefore put them at a commercial disadvantage in a competitive market. We complete some EHC plans in-house therefore we are able to release the remainder of the answers without putting Enhance at a disadvantage.

We have taken account of the public interest in transparency of spending of public funds and in understanding how the council functions, and to this end have provided an answer to the other question you raised, but we feel the factors in favour of withholding the answer to question 2 outweigh those in favour of its publication.

You are free to use any information supplied to you for your own use, including non-commercial research purposes. However, any other type of re-use, for example, by publishing the information or issuing copies to the public will require the permission of the copyright owner.

Where the copyright is owned by Thurrock Council, you must apply to the Council to re-use the information. Please email information.matters@thurrock.gov.uk if you wish to re-use the information you have been supplied. For information where the copyright is owned by another person or organisation, you must apply to the copyright owner to obtain their permission.

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which the council have managed your FOI request you can pursue an Internal Review by contacting us using the above email address. Your request will be considered by the Strategic Lead for Information Management who will update you with the outcome of the review. 

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Request reference:
FOI 9230