The SEND Tribunal is part of the system of courts and tribunals which makes decisions in appeals and claims.

Click below to watch or download our useful SENDIASS tribunal support pack.

SEND Tribunal hears cases which involve:

  • appeals against decisions of Local Authorities about children with special educational needs and; 
  • claims of disability discrimination by a school against a child 

The deadline for making an appeal is two months from the date of the letter from the Local Authority giving their final written decision. You must SEND Tribunal the appeal so that it is received by SEND Tribunal within two months of the date of the letter. 

If you want to appeal after the two months deadline, if the circumstances are exceptional you can apply to extend the time.

In most cases you will need to consider whether you want to go to mediation before you make your appeal. If you decide to go to mediation or decide that you don’t want to go to mediation you will need a mediation certificate issued by a mediation provider before you can make an appeal. 

You have two months to request a mediation certificate from the date of the decision letter from the local authority. This deadline cannot be extended by the mediation provider. You will then have an additional 30 days from the date of the Mediation certificate to make an appeal to SEND Tribunal.

Even after an appeal has been made, parents/carers or a young person and the LA should continue to try to reach agreement by discussing the case.

What can I appeal? 

You can appeal if the LA:

  • refuses to carryout an EHC Needs Assessment of the child or young person’s special educational needs, following a request by a child’s parents, young person or education provider (Nursery/School/College);
  • refuses to issue an EHC Plan for the child or young person after completing an EHC Needs Assessment; 
  • refuses to arrange a EHC reassessment of the child or young person if the LA has not carried out an EHC Needs Assessment in the last 6 months;
  • ceases to maintain an EHC Plan
  • decides not to amend the EHC Plan following an annual review
  • decides not to change the EHC Plan after carrying out an EHC reassessment; or
  • has finalised, or has changed a previous EHC Plan and you disagree with one or all of the following:
  • Section B which specifies the child or young persons special educational needs in an EHC Plan
  • Section F which specifies special educational provision within an EHC Plan
  • Section I the school/college/institution or type of school/college/institution named in the EHC Plan
  • The LA not naming a school/college/institution in Section I of the EHC Plan

The SEND Tribunal cannot deal with a case if the issue is:

  • the way the LA carried out the EHC Needs Assessment, or the length of time that it took
  • how the Local Authority or education provider is arranging to provide the support set out in the EHC Plan
  • the way in which an education provider is meeting your child/young person’s needs under SEN Support 
  • the outcomes in Section E of the EHC Plan
  • any disputes about the wording of Sections A, J, K, of the EHC Plan
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