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Special Educational Needs & Disability Information, Advice & Support Service

Tribunal Appeals

Parents 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

SENDIASS can explain the appeal process to you and provide impartial advice and support.

Appealing to the Tribunal

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 school your local authority has named in your child’s plan or if they have not named a school in it). 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 local authority 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 they have done an assessment
  • 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 your local authority includes in your child’s EHC plan such as:

  • How they describe your child’s SEN
  • What SEN provision is included for your child
  • The school (or other educational establishment) your local authority says your child should attend, or if they do not include a school
  • If they change any of these details 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).