You can appeal against decisions made by the local authority on matters relating to an education health and care plan.
An appeal can be lodged by the child's parent(s) or carers(s). A child can lodge an appeal in their own right. You will normally have to appeal to the tribunal within 2 months of getting the council's decision letter.
To appeal, you will apply to the Health, Education and Social Care (HESC) Chamber of the first-tier tribunal. The tribunal system is a more informal court of law that hears civil disputes. The tribunal process is aimed to be user-friendly so that the parents, carer or young person should not need to have legal representation.
Before registering an appeal, parents, carers and young people must consider mediation and must obtain a certificate from a mediation advisor before lodging an appeal. For more information, please view our mediation and disagreement resolution page.
Parents and young people can appeal to the first-tier tribunal about:
- A decision by the local authority not to conduct an EHC needs assessment or re-assessment.
- A decision by the local authority not to issue an EHC plan after an assessment.
- The description of the child or young person's SEN, specified required services, and the specified education institution or lack thereof, in the EHC plan, and any amendments to these elements of the plan.
- A decision by the local authority not to amend an EHC plan following a review or re-assessment.
- A decision by the local authority to cease to maintain an EHC plan.
- Disagreement over the name of the setting, or other educational establishment, named in the plan.
- Disagreement over the type of setting, or other educational establishment, named in the plan.
- If no setting or other educational establishment has been named in the plan.
- Disagreement in relation to the child or young person's special educational needs set out in the plan.
Since 3 April 2018 the powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND) have been extended to also make non-binding recommendations about the health and social care aspects of Education, Health and Care plans as part of a two-year trial. Please see the information on the 'Single Route of Redress – National Trial.'
Independent Parental Special Education Advice (IPSEA) offers free and independent legally based information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).