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Appeals and Tribunals

Description

Where can I get more information, advice or support?

In the first instance it would be good to speak to your Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at the early years setting, school, college or education provider to discuss the decision further. You can also contact an Education, Health and Care Commissioning Officer based within the Children's Commissioning and Quality Monitoring Team for at the Local Authority.

Contact: (01482) 394000 (option 1, option 1)

Email: send.enquiries@eastriding.gov.uk

East Riding SENDIASS can explain the appeal process to you and provide impartial information, advice and support and can give you:

  • information about complaints procedures, disagreement resolution and mediation
  • advice about what to do if you are unhappy with the support the school or college is providing
  • details of other organisations, support groups and information services that might help
  • information and advice about your rights to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability)
  • impartial advice and support through the process of making a complaint, disagreement resolution, mediation or appeal.

National organisations that can also provide information and advice on SEND includes Independent Parental Special Education Advice.

If you would like to pursue an SEND Appeal with regards to the EHC process, you will find the documents and more information on the GOV.UK website.

The Local Offer includes information about the arrangements for resolving disagreements and for mediation. It also tells you about your right to appeal to the Tribunal.

SEN and Disability Tribunal Service:

For more information on SEN and Disability Tribunal Service and appeals please visit:

GOV.UK - Appeal an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan Decision (external website)

Appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal if you disagree with a decision your local authority has made about an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

Tel: (01325) 289350

Email: send@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

Single Route of Redress - National Trial - Extending Powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND)

What is the National Trial?

The Department for Education announced on Monday 4 November 2019 that the national trial of the single route of redress will be extended from 31 March 2020 to 31 August 2020. In line with:

Schedule 2 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 (external website)

which requires all local areas in England to publish details in their Local Offer for 'notifying parents and young people of their right to appeal a decision of the local authority to the Tribunal'.

Updated the information and resources in the SEND National Trial Toolkit (external website):

Updated Guidance on the national trial (pdf 306kb)

The national trial was due to end on 31 August 2020. However, given the pressures local areas and families are under as a result of coronavirus, Vicky Ford, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, has announced (18 June 2020) that the Department for Education are extending the Trial until 31 August 2021. Minister Ford is writing to Directors of Children’s Services today to inform them. The letter can be downloaded here: https://www.sendpathfinder.co.uk/send-single-route-of-redress-national-trial (external website).

What does this mean for parents and young people?

If you are unhappy with a decision not to issue an EHC plan, or with the special educational content or placement in the plan, you can make an appeal to the SEND Tribunal. This trial now gives you the opportunity to also request recommendations about the health and social care content of the plan at the same time. This will mean the Tribunal will take a more holistic, person-centred view of the needs of the child or young person.

This does not prevent you also complaining about other aspects of your disagreement through other complaint procedures. You should seek advice about the different routes available, including from your local SEND Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) on (01482) 396469.

If the SEND Tribunal makes a recommendation about health or social care elements of an EHC plan, this is non-binding. The local authority and/or health commissioner is generally expected to follow such recommendations, but they are not legally binding. Where they are not followed, the reasons for not following them must be explained and set-out in writing to you and to the Department for Education through the evaluators. If they are not followed, you can complain to:

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) (external website)

or

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) (external website)

or seek to have the decision judicially reviewed. Further information on the roles of these bodies can be found on their websites.

When can a parent or young person request recommendations about the health and social care elements of an EHC plan?

You can request the Tribunal makes recommendations about the health and/or social care aspects of EHC plans as part of an appeal relating to:

  • the description of the child/young person's special educational needs in an EHC plan
  • the special educational provision specified in an EHC plan
  • the school or other educational institution named in an EHC plan
  • a decision by the local authority not to issue an EHC plan
  • a decision by the local authority not to carry out a re-assessment for a child/young person who has an EHC 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.

What does this mean for local areas?

The Trial places responsibility on local authority SEN teams to:

  1. inform parents and young people of their new rights through decision letters and the local offer
  2. provide evidence to the Tribunal from the health and social care bodies in response to any issues raised within the timeframe set by the Tribunal, seeking permission to bring additional witnesses to the hearing as necessary
  3. if a recommendation has been made, send the health and social care response letters to the evaluators at SENDletters@IFFResearch.com.

It also places responsibility on health and social care commissioners to:

  1. Respond to any request for information and evidence within the timeframe set by the Tribunal
  2. Send a witness to attend the hearing as required
  3. Respond to the parent/young person and the LA SEN team within 5 weeks of a recommendation being made, setting out the steps they have decided to take or giving reasons why they are not going to follow the recommendation.

How can a parent or young person request a health or social care recommendation?

If you wish to appeal against a local authority decision on any of the grounds above and want to request that the Tribunal considers your concerns about the health and /or social care aspects of the EHC plan, you should follow the normal process for bringing an appeal to the Tribunal and tick the box on the form relating to a health and/or social care appeal. Advice on making SEND appeals to the Tribunal and the appeal form is available at:

GOV.UK - First Tier Tribunal - appeal a Educaiton, Health and Care Plan decision (external website)

and further guidance can be found at:

SEND pathfinder - The trial toolkit of support (external website)

Taking part in the evaluation

There will be an independent evaluation of the trial to inform a decision on whether the new tribunal recommendation powers should be continued after the trial. The evaluation will run alongside the trial, from January 2018 to March 2021.

It is important that the evaluation is based on robust evidence, and the evaluators are therefore strongly encouraging participation from parents and young people. This could include taking part in a telephone or online interview just after the appeal hearing (or when the appeal process has been completed, if earlier), and then a follow-up interview 6 months later. These interviews will help the evaluators to gather the views of parents and young people on the appeal process, as well as identify how recommendations have been implemented and what the (early) impact has been.

Parents and young people that take part in the trial will receive a letter from the Tribunal explaining more about the evaluation and how their personal data will be stored confidentially and how it will be protected.

Help and further information

The evaluation of the trial is led by IFF Research working with Belmana. For any questions or to get involved please get in touch with them at:

Email: SENDtrial@IFFResearch.com

Freephone: 0800 035 6051

Location
County Hall
Cross Street
Beverley
East Riding of Yorkshire
HU17 9BA
Contact
Education, Health and Care Commissioning Officer
(01482) 394000 (Option 1, Option 1)
County Hall
Cross Street
Beverley
HU17 9BA
Back
Description

Where can I get more information, advice or support?

In the first instance it would be good to speak to your Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at the early years setting, school, college or education provider to discuss the decision further. You can also contact an Education, Health and Care Commissioning Officer based within the Children's Commissioning and Quality Monitoring Team for at the Local Authority.

Contact: (01482) 394000 (option 1, option 1)

Email: send.enquiries@eastriding.gov.uk

East Riding SENDIASS can explain the appeal process to you and provide impartial information, advice and support and can give you:

  • information about complaints procedures, disagreement resolution and mediation
  • advice about what to do if you are unhappy with the support the school or college is providing
  • details of other organisations, support groups and information services that might help
  • information and advice about your rights to appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (SEN and Disability)
  • impartial advice and support through the process of making a complaint, disagreement resolution, mediation or appeal.

National organisations that can also provide information and advice on SEND includes Independent Parental Special Education Advice.

If you would like to pursue an SEND Appeal with regards to the EHC process, you will find the documents and more information on the GOV.UK website.

The Local Offer includes information about the arrangements for resolving disagreements and for mediation. It also tells you about your right to appeal to the Tribunal.

SEN and Disability Tribunal Service:

For more information on SEN and Disability Tribunal Service and appeals please visit:

GOV.UK - Appeal an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan Decision (external website)

Appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal if you disagree with a decision your local authority has made about an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

Tel: (01325) 289350

Email: send@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk

Single Route of Redress - National Trial - Extending Powers of the First-tier Tribunal (SEND)

What is the National Trial?

The Department for Education announced on Monday 4 November 2019 that the national trial of the single route of redress will be extended from 31 March 2020 to 31 August 2020. In line with:

Schedule 2 of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 (external website)

which requires all local areas in England to publish details in their Local Offer for 'notifying parents and young people of their right to appeal a decision of the local authority to the Tribunal'.

Updated the information and resources in the SEND National Trial Toolkit (external website):

Updated Guidance on the national trial (pdf 306kb)

The national trial was due to end on 31 August 2020. However, given the pressures local areas and families are under as a result of coronavirus, Vicky Ford, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, has announced (18 June 2020) that the Department for Education are extending the Trial until 31 August 2021. Minister Ford is writing to Directors of Children’s Services today to inform them. The letter can be downloaded here: https://www.sendpathfinder.co.uk/send-single-route-of-redress-national-trial (external website).

What does this mean for parents and young people?

If you are unhappy with a decision not to issue an EHC plan, or with the special educational content or placement in the plan, you can make an appeal to the SEND Tribunal. This trial now gives you the opportunity to also request recommendations about the health and social care content of the plan at the same time. This will mean the Tribunal will take a more holistic, person-centred view of the needs of the child or young person.

This does not prevent you also complaining about other aspects of your disagreement through other complaint procedures. You should seek advice about the different routes available, including from your local SEND Information Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) on (01482) 396469.

If the SEND Tribunal makes a recommendation about health or social care elements of an EHC plan, this is non-binding. The local authority and/or health commissioner is generally expected to follow such recommendations, but they are not legally binding. Where they are not followed, the reasons for not following them must be explained and set-out in writing to you and to the Department for Education through the evaluators. If they are not followed, you can complain to:

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) (external website)

or

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) (external website)

or seek to have the decision judicially reviewed. Further information on the roles of these bodies can be found on their websites.

When can a parent or young person request recommendations about the health and social care elements of an EHC plan?

You can request the Tribunal makes recommendations about the health and/or social care aspects of EHC plans as part of an appeal relating to:

  • the description of the child/young person's special educational needs in an EHC plan
  • the special educational provision specified in an EHC plan
  • the school or other educational institution named in an EHC plan
  • a decision by the local authority not to issue an EHC plan
  • a decision by the local authority not to carry out a re-assessment for a child/young person who has an EHC 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.

What does this mean for local areas?

The Trial places responsibility on local authority SEN teams to:

  1. inform parents and young people of their new rights through decision letters and the local offer
  2. provide evidence to the Tribunal from the health and social care bodies in response to any issues raised within the timeframe set by the Tribunal, seeking permission to bring additional witnesses to the hearing as necessary
  3. if a recommendation has been made, send the health and social care response letters to the evaluators at SENDletters@IFFResearch.com.

It also places responsibility on health and social care commissioners to:

  1. Respond to any request for information and evidence within the timeframe set by the Tribunal
  2. Send a witness to attend the hearing as required
  3. Respond to the parent/young person and the LA SEN team within 5 weeks of a recommendation being made, setting out the steps they have decided to take or giving reasons why they are not going to follow the recommendation.

How can a parent or young person request a health or social care recommendation?

If you wish to appeal against a local authority decision on any of the grounds above and want to request that the Tribunal considers your concerns about the health and /or social care aspects of the EHC plan, you should follow the normal process for bringing an appeal to the Tribunal and tick the box on the form relating to a health and/or social care appeal. Advice on making SEND appeals to the Tribunal and the appeal form is available at:

GOV.UK - First Tier Tribunal - appeal a Educaiton, Health and Care Plan decision (external website)

and further guidance can be found at:

SEND pathfinder - The trial toolkit of support (external website)

Taking part in the evaluation

There will be an independent evaluation of the trial to inform a decision on whether the new tribunal recommendation powers should be continued after the trial. The evaluation will run alongside the trial, from January 2018 to March 2021.

It is important that the evaluation is based on robust evidence, and the evaluators are therefore strongly encouraging participation from parents and young people. This could include taking part in a telephone or online interview just after the appeal hearing (or when the appeal process has been completed, if earlier), and then a follow-up interview 6 months later. These interviews will help the evaluators to gather the views of parents and young people on the appeal process, as well as identify how recommendations have been implemented and what the (early) impact has been.

Parents and young people that take part in the trial will receive a letter from the Tribunal explaining more about the evaluation and how their personal data will be stored confidentially and how it will be protected.

Help and further information

The evaluation of the trial is led by IFF Research working with Belmana. For any questions or to get involved please get in touch with them at:

Email: SENDtrial@IFFResearch.com

Freephone: 0800 035 6051

Age
4-16