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Changes to the SEND Tribunal process

Changes in way in which Tribunals discharge their business were contained in the Children and Families Act 2014 with a commencement date of August 1st 2016.

There is no change in the 'appealable decisions', i.e. the grounds on which parents and carers can lodge an appeal. The changes relate to some of the processes involved.

Appeals relating to 'Refusal to Access' i.e. an LA's refusal to carry out an EHC needs assessment can take place on the basis of documentation alone. Parties will only be required to attend if the appellant requests this, providing reasons.

A further change seeks to speed up the process. The timetable has been reduced from 20 to 12 weeks. This does apply, however, to appeals based on disability discrimination. An appellant has the right to request speedier response.

Tribunals generally hear appeals against LA decisions but schools may be the subject of claims relating to disability discrimination


Page Published: 22/09/2016