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Appealing to Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Tribunal

In cases where issues cannot be resolved and agreement is not reached between you and the Local Authority, there are two other routes you may wish to consider mediation or appealing to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Tribunal (SENDIST).

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Tribunal (SENDIST - also known as the First-Tier Tribunal) is the Government body that handles appeals from parents, carers or young people (over the age of 16 years) regarding special educational needs.

Who can appeal?

You can appeal if you have parental responsibility for the child or are their foster parent or carer. Your child must be under 16 years old. 

If your child is over 16 years, they may be able to appeal on their own behalf instead.


What can I appeal?

Parents/Carers and young people can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal about:

  • A decision by a local authority not to carry out an EHC needs assessment or re-assessment
  • A decision by a local authority that it is not necessary to issue an EHC Plan following an assessment
  • The description of a child or young person’s SEN specified in an EHC Plan, the special educational provision specified, the school or other institution or type of school or other institution (such as a mainstream school/college) specified in the plan or that no school or other institution is specified
  • An amendment to these elements of the EHC Plan
  • A decision by a local authority not to amend an EHC Plan following a review or re-assessment
  • A decision by a local authority to cease to maintain an EHC Plan

SENDIST are also able to make non-binding recommendations about health and social care issues in some appeals. 

SENDIST


How Do I Appeal?

When a decision is made about a request for a Education, Health Care Needs Assessment or an Education, Health and Care Plan, you will be notified in writing by the Local Authority. 

The letter explaining the decision will contain details of how you can appeal the decision, although it is always recommended you ask for a meeting with a Local Authority representative to discuss the decision further.  

For more information see what to do if you don't agree with a decision

Before you can appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Tribunal, you must have contacted a mediation adviser (unless your appeal is only about the setting your local authority has named in Section I of your child’s plan or if they have not named a setting in it). You will need a certificate from the mediation adviser to register an appeal with the SEND Tribunal. to register an appeal with the Tribunal.

You have one month from receiving the certificate or two months from the original decision (whichever is the later date) to register an appeal with the Tribunal and for the Tribunal to receive your completed forms (including a mediation certificate where applicable).

 Further advice and support on this topic:

  • SENDIASS is a confidential and impartial information, advice and support service on issues related to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).

          Southend SENDIASS

  • IPSEA is a national charity offering free and independent legally based information, advice and support for parents/carers of children and young people with all kinds of SEND -IPSEA

  • SENDIST can be contacted at the following address: HM Courts & Tribunals Service, Special Educational Needs & Disability Tribunal, 1st Floor, Darlington Magistrates’ Court, Parkgate, Darlington, DL1 1RU. Helpline Number: 01325 289 350, email: send@justice.gov.uk website: http://www.justice.gov.uk/tribunals/send

 

 


 Last updated: 19 Nov 2021

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