Appealing an EHCP
You may well have heard the terms ‘appealing’ or ‘going to Tribunal’, when talking about EHCPs. What does it mean?
Parents have a right of appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) when a local authority makes one of the following decisions relating to your child’s special educational needs. Refusal to:
- assess a child or young person’s educational, health and care (EHC) needs
- reassess their EHC needs
- issue an EHC plan
- change what’s in a child or young person’s EHC plan following annual review
- maintain the EHC plan
SENDIST is an independent national tribunal which hears parents’ and young people’s appeals against LA decisions about the special educational needs of children and young people. It also will hear appeals against disability discrimination by schools.
The SEND Tribunal has the power to order LAs to carry out EHC needs assessments, issue EHC plans, and amend existing EHC plans. LAs must comply with orders made by the SEND Tribunal.
SENDIST looks at the evidence and decides whether the LA decision followed the law and the Code of Practice. It will make a decision based on what is right for the child or young person at the date of the hearing, based on the evidence it has to consider.
The SEND Tribunal also has the extended power to make recommendations about health and social care issues in EHCP appeals (this does not apply to refusal to secure an EHC Needs Assessment).
Parents can appeal these decisions themselves, or engage an advocate, representative or solicitor to support them. Having good evidence is key.
Appeals are lodged via the Government website. There is no charge by this service.
Take a look at our booklets, or watch one of our webinars on appealing a decision from the Local Authority.