Nobody understands the special needs and requirements of your child better than you. As a result, it’s common for disputes to arise over a whole range of issues relating to Education, Health and Care Plans.
The good news is that parents have a legal right to appeal a decision made by a local authority or council, whether such appeal focuses on the overall refusal to carry out an EHC needs assessment by the relevant authority or an appeal over its content after it has been provided.
How to make SEN Appeals with SENDIST
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (SENDIST) helps to mediate disputes between the party involved in applying for an EHCP (i.e. parents/young people) and the party awarding/accepting the plan (i.e. the local authority).
SENDIST has a duty to listen and evaluate all sides of the argument, including that of both parties as mentioned above, as well as any other relevant sources of information such as teachers and medical professionals.
For those appealing any decision, SENDIST is the first port of call; however, other legal services and specialist SEN solicitors are often engaged by parents looking to overturn a decision. Also be aware that there a mediation process is also typically part of the appeals process.
When to make SEN Appeals?
It’s worth noting that any appeal must be submitted to SENDIST within certain strict time periods. If you have received a decision from a LA that you are unhappy with and wish to appeal, you should do so promptly and be fully aware of the timescales involved in the appeals process.
Typically, SEN appeals may focus on some of the following:
- A refusal by the local authority to carry out an Education Health and Needs Assessment
- A refusal by the local authority to issue and EHCP
- Appealing the contents of the EHCP
- Appealing an EHCP after an annual review
- Appealing a decision to cease to maintain an EHCP
- Appealing a SENDIST decision to the Upper Tribunal