Drafting reasons for Appeal
When you submit an appeal to SENDIST, you need to provide reasons you are appealing in the form you are asked to complete (SEND Form 35 or Form 35a for refusal to assess).
We advise sending a separate Grounds for Appeal document in addition to the form, so as to answer that question in a comprehensive way.
The Grounds for Appeals is where you set out why you think the LA’s decision is wrong, or why the contents of the EHC plan need to change.
Evidence is key. The Tribunal cannot make any decisions if it does not have evidence.
You must send in enough information for the LA to be able to formally respond.
Here’s some helpful do’s and don’ts
- Keep it concise.
- Try to put in everything you need to say, and reference key points of evidence to support your reasons.
- Use bullet points, numbered points and paragraphs with headings to make your information easily accessible.
- If you are relying on evidence to make your point, and support your argument, you need to make sure it’s included. You can always send more later within the timetable.
- Refer to the legal issues that you wish to draw attention to (for example failure to gather information to identify needs, failure to specify provision).
- Give tons of detail on the history background.
- Get sidetracked by going into too much detail about your feelings about the school or individuals as the Tribunal is there to make decisions regarding the LA’s obligations.
- Send evidence that is years and years old, unless it definitely is relevant. For example, if you have a history of speech and language needs with your child, but the LA is disputing this, or not gathered evidence, then it can be helpful to add it in.
See our tools and guidance below about drafting grounds for appeal. Get in touch to speak to us about how we can help by drafting your grounds for appeal document.