Before you can appeal to the SEND Tribunal, you must have contacted a mediation adviser (unless your appeal is only about the school named in your child’s plan. You will need a certificate from the mediation adviser to register an appeal with the SEND 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.
The SEND Tribunal is a legal body. It hears appeals against decisions made by local authorities about EHC needs assessments and EHC plans. You can appeal to the Tribunal if the LA decides:
- not to carry out an EHC needs assessment or re-assessment for your child
- not to draw up an EHC plan for your child, once an assessment has been completed
- not to amend your child’s EHC plan after the annual review or re-assessment
- to cease to maintain your child’s EHC plan
You can also appeal if you disagree with what the LA includes in your child’s EHC plan such as:
- description of your child’s SEN
- the SEN provision for your child
- the school (or other educational establishment) the LA names,
- if changes are made to the plan without your agreement.
The SEND Tribunal also hears disability discrimination claims against schools (and against local authorities if the local authority is responsible for the school).
Please note: The Government are extending the powers of the First-tier Disagreement Resolution and Mediation Guidance for Parents/Carers Tribunal (SEND), sometimes referred to as the ‘SEND Tribunal’, to make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans as part of a two-year trial. The trial will apply to decisions made or EHC plans issued/amended from 3 April 2018.
To date, you have only been able to appeal the educational aspects of EHC plans. The trial gives you new rights to request recommendations about the health and social care needs and provision specified in EHC plans, in addition to the educational aspects, when making a SEND appeal. This gives you the opportunity to raise all your concerns about an EHC plan in one place.
It is only possible for the Tribunal to consider the health and/or social care aspects of the EHC plan where you are already making an appeal in relation to the education aspects of the EHC plan and the education aspect must remain live throughout the appeal.
For further information see the Appeal a Decision to the Tribunal Page.